Definition of knife in English:
noun (plural knives /nʌɪvz/)
1An instrument composed of a blade fixed into a handle, used for cutting or as a weapon.
- He studied the padded envelope for a moment, before pulling out a pocket knife and cutting into one of the ends.
- Take your sharpest serrated bread knife and cut the stick in half across the middle.
- Jake was carrying a sharp kitchen knife from his grandmother's house.
verb[with object] Back to top
1Stab (someone) with a knife: he was knifed to death during the argument
More example sentences
- A gang chased him into a dingy block of flats and knifed him to death.
- The victim, a 17-year-old boy, was taken to Mayday Hospital after he was knifed while sitting at a bus stop in Beulah Hill last Friday.
- The 45-year-old man was walking in the Hythe area of the town when four men got out of a car, knocked him to the ground and knifed him in the ribs.
1.1 [no object, with adverbial] Cut or move cleanly through something with a knife-like action: a shard of steel knifed through the mainsail
More example sentences
- The project's opponents concede the project is tastefully designed, with no Nassau-type high-rises knifing into the sky.
- I feel as if this highway knifes straight on through the world.
- The water came right up to the walkway, and a few Ring-billed Gulls knifed into the wind, sailing over dozens of ducks and coots.
before you can say knife
that one could cut with a knife
- When I had to go back to Littlehampton to debrief the team, you could cut the atmosphere with a knife.
- Last night in the club you could cut the atmosphere with a knife.
- To say you could cut the atmosphere with a knife in the Thursfield camp would be an understatement.
get (or stick) the knife into (or in) someone
- informal Be malicious or vindictive towards someone.Example sentences
- She stuck the knife into her ex-lover and twisted it with a ruthlessness that made every other dispute between politicians - whether personal or professional - appear tame by comparison.
- But if it were intended as a way of subtly sticking the knife into Mr Cameron, it seems to have failed.
- And you're prepared to stick the knife into Anderson at any opportunity.
go (or be) under the knife
- informal Have surgery.Example sentences
- While women still account for nearly 90 per cent of all plastic surgery patients in the United States, men are increasingly going under the knife.
- So here's my advice: If a doctor says you need back surgery, get several other opinions before going under the knife.
- I couldn't contemplate going under the knife to erase my wrinkles, it would be like wiping out a part of my past.
the knives are out (for someone)
- informal There is open hostility (towards someone).Example sentences
- He is a non-executive director of a kitchen installation company, who feels that the knives are out for him.
- In some quarters the knives are out for Alan Greenspan, the US Federal Reserve chairman.
- He admitted the knives are out for Eriksson and England if they fail to produce results.
like a (hot) knife through butter
- Very easily; without any resistance or difficulty: anti-aircraft fire would slice through the car like a hot knife through butterMore example sentences
- Consultant in communicable disease control Dr Mike Painter said: ‘This virus is very, very, very infectious and will go through a place like a knife through butter.’
- Ripon's batsmen but up a dismal show as Chris Hudson sliced through the line-up like a knife through butter, his 8-25 having the home side all out for only 57.
- ‘Conventional forces would cut through them like a knife through butter,’ said Major Heyman.
twist (or turn) the knife (in the wound)
- Deliberately make someone’s sufferings worse.Example sentences
- However the mother of the murdered 15-year-old said the confession merely twisted the knife as Campbell still refused to say what he had done with her daughter's body.
- If the illegality of their actions damaged Taylor's reputation, Levein twisted the knife by claiming that the chief executive acted ‘like a headmaster’ when the two met.
- In Sri Lanka, which lost some 30,000 citizens, nature twisted the knife as torrential rains flooded refugee camps.
1(Of an atmosphere) very tense or oppressive.
- Example sentences
- Knives or knife-like objects of any length cannot be carried on to a plane but they can be stored in checked baggage.
- She held her long knife-like weapon in her hand.
- The following day, he developed worsening, knife-like chest pain.
- Example sentences
- Others have suggested she let the knifer get too close before she fired.
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