Try Our Apps


Gobble up these 8 terms for eating


[nahyf] /naɪf/
noun, plural knives
[nahyvz] /naɪvz/ (Show IPA)
an instrument for cutting, consisting essentially of a thin, sharp-edged, metal blade fitted with a handle.
a knifelike weapon; dagger or short sword.
any blade for cutting, as in a tool or machine.
verb (used with object), knifed, knifing.
to apply a knife to; cut, stab, etc., with a knife.
to attempt to defeat or undermine in a secret or underhanded way.
verb (used without object), knifed, knifing.
to move or cleave through something with or as if with a knife:
The ship knifed through the heavy seas.
under the knife, in surgery; undergoing a medical operation:
The patient was under the knife for four hours.
Origin of knife
before 1100; Middle English knif, Old English cnīf; cognate with Dutch knijf, German Kneif, Old Norse knīfr
Related forms
knifelike, adjective
knifer, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for knife
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
British Dictionary definitions for knife


noun (pl) knives (naɪvz)
a cutting instrument consisting of a sharp-edged often pointed blade of metal fitted into a handle or onto a machine
a similar instrument used as a weapon
have one's knife in someone, to have a grudge against or victimize someone
twist the knife, to make a bad situation worse in a deliberately malicious way
(Brit) the knives are out for someone, people are determined to harm or put a stop to someone: the knives are out for Stevens
under the knife, undergoing a surgical operation
verb (transitive)
to cut, stab, or kill with a knife
to betray, injure, or depose in an underhand way
Derived Forms
knifelike, adjective
knifer, noun
Word Origin
Old English cnīf; related to Old Norse knīfr, Middle Low German knīf
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for knife

late Old English cnif, probably from Old Norse knifr, from Proto-Germanic *knibaz (cf. Middle Low German knif, Middle Dutch cnijf, German kneif), of uncertain origin. To further confuse the etymology, there also are forms in -p-, e.g. Dutch knijp, German kneip. French canif "penknife" (mid-15c.) is borrowed from Middle English or Norse.


1865, from knife (n.). Related: Knifed; knifing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
knife in the Bible

(1.) Heb. hereb, "the waster," a sharp instrument for circumcision (Josh. 5:2, 3, lit. "knives of flint;" comp. Ex. 4:25); a razor (Ezek. 5:1); a graving tool (Ex. 20:25); an axe (Ezek. 26:9). (2.) Heb. maakeleth, a large knife for slaughtering and cutting up food (Gen. 22:6, 10; Prov. 30:14). (3.) Heb. sakkin, a knife for any purpose, a table knife (Prov. 23:2). (4.) Heb. mahalaph, a butcher's knife for slaughtering the victims offered in sacrifice (Ezra 1:9). (5.) Smaller knives (Heb. ta'ar, Jer. 36:26) were used for sharpening pens. The pruning-knives mentioned in Isa. 18:5 (Heb. mizmaroth) were probably curved knives.

Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary
Cite This Source
Idioms and Phrases with knife
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Word Value for knife

Scrabble Words With Friends

Nearby words for knife