Meaning of KNIFE in English


I. ˈnīf noun

( plural knives -īvz)

Etymology: Middle English knif, from Old English cnīf, probably from Old Norse knīfr; akin to Middle Low German knīf knife, Middle Dutch cnijf, Old English cnotta knot — more at knot


a. : a simple instrument used for cutting consisting of a sharp-edged usually steel blade provided with a handle

b. : a weapon consisting of or resembling a knife

c. : a culinary utensil consisting of a knife usually with blade of silver or steel and a handle of metal, ceramic, bone, or pearl

dinner knives

dainty fruit knives

d. : a sharp cutting blade or tool in a machine (as a band saw, a wood-planing machine, or a mowing machine)

e. : any of various instruments used in surgery primarily to sever tissues whether having the form of a conventional knife or scalpel or cutting by other means (as electric or radio-frequency currents) ; also : surgery — used with the

finally decided to submit to the knife

was under the knife for several hours

2. : mumblety-peg

3. : the shape of an envelope flap as produced by the knife on the cutting machine

the size, knife , and watermark of a stamped envelope

II. verb

( -ed/-ing/-s )

transitive verb

1. : to use a knife on: as

a. : to stab, slash, or wound with a knife

b. : to prune with a knife


a. : to cut or mark with a knife: as

(1) : to shape or cut out (as shoe uppers) with a knife

(2) : to trim (as shoe soles) with a knife

b. : to spread (as paint) with a knife

3. : to try to defeat by underhand means (as a political candidate of one's own party) : to work secretly against (one justified in expecting support) : undermine

aiding today those he knows will knife him tomorrow


a. : to move like a knife in

birds knifing the autumn sky

b. : to impart an action like that of a knife to

knifed his hand against his opponent's neck

intransitive verb

: to progress or cut a way with or as if with the blade of a knife

the cruiser knifed through heavy seas

a hot sun knifing down through the haze

knifed rapidly along the bone

Webster's New International English Dictionary.      Новый международный словарь английского языка Webster.