Meaning of KNIFE in English


I. knife 1 S3 W3 /naɪf/ BrE AmE noun ( plural knives /naɪvz/) [countable]

[ Language: Old English ; Origin: cnif ]

1 . a metal blade fixed into a handle, used for cutting or as a weapon ⇨ scalpel :

a knife and fork

Some young people are carrying knives to defend themselves.

a kitchen knife

Use a sharp knife to cut the melon into sections.

⇨ ↑ carving knife , ↑ flick knife , ↑ palette knife , ↑ paper knife , ↑ penknife

2 . the knives are out (for somebody) informal used to say that people are being extremely unfriendly in criticizing someone:

The knives are out for the vice president.

3 . twist/turn the knife (in the wound) to say something that makes someone more upset about a subject they are already unhappy about

4 . stick/put etc the knife in/into someone British English informal to dislike someone and be very unfriendly towards them

5 . under the knife informal having a medical operation

6 . you could cut the atmosphere/air/tension with a knife used to say that you felt the people in a room were angry with each other

7 . like a (hot) knife through butter informal used to say that something happens or is done very easily, without any problems

• • •



▪ sharp

Be careful using that knife - it's very sharp.

▪ blunt (=not sharp)

The knife was so blunt it wouldn't cut anything.

▪ a bread knife

Will you pass me the bread knife?

▪ a kitchen knife (=a long knife used for cutting vegetables etc)

Every chef has his own set of kitchen knives.

▪ a carving knife (=for cutting meat)

Dad always used to sharpen the carving knife.

▪ a pocket knife (=a small knife that you carry with you)

He was armed with nothing but a pocket knife.

■ knife + NOUN

▪ a knife wound

She died from a single knife wound.

▪ a knife attack

He was sentenced to 9 years in prison for a knife attack.

▪ knife crime (=crimes in which people are attacked with knives)

Knife crime is on the increase.

■ phrases

▪ the blade of a knife

The blade of the knife cut cleanly through the rope.

▪ the handle of a knife

His hand reached down to the handle of his knife.

■ verbs

▪ carry a knife (=have it with you)

The campaign warns young people about the dangers of carrying knives.

▪ be armed with a knife (=have it with you)

One of the men was armed with a knife.

▪ hold a knife

In his hand, he held a long knife.

▪ threaten somebody with a knife

The girls were threatened with a knife.

▪ brandish/wield a knife (=wave it around in a threatening way)

A man brandishing a knife burst into the room.

▪ sharpen a knife (=make it sharper)

What's the best way to sharpen a knife?

II. knife 2 BrE AmE verb [transitive]

to put a knife into someone’s body SYN stab :

She had been knifed to death.

—knifing noun [countable]

Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English.      Longman - Словарь современного английского языка.