knife

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English[edit]

a few kitchen knives: chef's knife, bread knife, steak knife, and paring knife

Etymology[edit]

Middle English knif, from late Old English cnīf, from Old Norse knífr (compare Danish/Swedish/Norwegian kniv), from Proto-Germanic *knībaz (compare Low German Knief, Luxembourgish Knäip ‘penknife’), from *knīpaną ‘to pinch’ (compare Dutch knijpen, Low German kniepen, Old High German gniffen), from Proto-Indo-European *gneibʰ- (compare Lithuanian gnýbti, žnýbti ‘to pinch’, gnaibis ‘pinching’). Replaced Middle English sax.

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

knife (plural knives)

  1. A utensil or a tool designed for cutting, consisting of a flat piece of hard material, usually steel or other metal (the blade), usually sharpened on one edge, attached to a handle. The blade may be pointed for piercing.
    • 2007, Scott Smith, The Ruins, page 273
      Jeff was bent low over the backboard, working with the knife, a steady sawing motion, his shirt soaked through with sweat.
  2. A weapon designed with the aforementioned specifications intended for slashing and/or stabbing and too short to be called a sword. A dagger.
  3. Any blade-like part in a tool or a machine designed for cutting, such as the knives for a chipper.

Derived terms[edit]

Translations[edit]

The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Help:How to check translations.

See also[edit]

Verb[edit]

knife (third-person singular simple present knifes, present participle knifing, simple past and past participle knifed)

  1. (transitive) To cut with a knife.
  2. (transitive) To use a knife to injure or kill by stabbing, slashing, or otherwise using the sharp edge of the knife as a weapon.
  3. (intransitive) To cut through as if with a knife.
  4. (transitive) To betray, especially in the context of a political slate.
  5. (transitive) To positively ignore, especially in order to denigrate. compare cut

Translations[edit]

The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Help:How to check translations.