noun, plural knives [nahyvz] .
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.

before 1100; Middle English knif, Old English cnīf; cognate with Dutch knijf, German Kneif, Old Norse knīfr

knifelike, adjective
knifer, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
knife (naɪf)
n , pl knives
1.  a cutting instrument consisting of a sharp-edged often pointed blade of metal fitted into a handle or onto a machine
2.  a similar instrument used as a weapon
3.  have one's knife in someone to have a grudge against or victimize someone
4.  twist the knife to make a bad situation worse in a deliberately malicious way
5.  (Brit) the knives are out for someone people are determined to harm or put a stop to someone: the knives are out for Stevens
6.  under the knife undergoing a surgical operation
7.  to cut, stab, or kill with a knife
8.  to betray, injure, or depose in an underhand way
[Old English cnīf; related to Old Norse knīfr, Middle Low German knīf]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

late O.E. cnif, from O.N. knifr, from P.Gmc. *knibaz (cf. M.L.G. knif, M.Du. cnijf, Ger. kneip), of uncertain origin. The verb is first attested 1865, from the noun. Fr. canif "penknife" (1441) is borrowed from M.E. or O.N.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Bible Dictionary

Knife definition

(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
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American Heritage
Idioms & Phrases


see at gunpoint (knifepoint); under the knife; you could cut it with a knife.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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Example sentences
And cutting with a plastic knife is almost impossible.
Hammon, the students wrote, allowed the suicidal student to buy a knife from a
  souvenir shop.
He was found lying by the roadside, with his throat cut, and a knife not far
  from his body.
At first, a knife and an old shirt were enough to purchase a horse.
Images for knife
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