What does Knife mean?

Definitions for Knife
naɪf; naɪvzknife

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word Knife.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. knifenoun

    edge tool used as a cutting instrument; has a pointed blade with a sharp edge and a handle

  2. knifenoun

    a weapon with a handle and blade with a sharp point

  3. tongue, knifeverb

    any long thin projection that is transient

    "tongues of flame licked at the walls"; "rifles exploded quick knives of fire into the dark"

  4. knife, stabverb

    use a knife on

    "The victim was knifed to death"


  1. knifenoun

    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.

  2. knifenoun

    A weapon designed with the aforementioned specifications intended for slashing and/or stabbing and too short to be called a sword. A dagger.

  3. knifenoun

    Any blade-like part in a tool or a machine designed for cutting, such as the knives for a chipper.

  4. knifeverb

    To cut with a knife.

  5. knifeverb

    To use a knife to injure or kill by stabbing, slashing, or otherwise using the sharp edge of the knife as a weapon.

  6. knifeverb

    To cut through as if with a knife.

  7. knifeverb

    To betray, especially in the context of a political slate.

  8. knifeverb

    To positively ignore, especially in order to denigrate. compare cut

  9. Etymology: knif, from late cnif, from Old Norse knífr (compare Danish/Swedish kniv), from knībaz (compare Low German Knief, Knäip ‘penknife’), from ‘to pinch’ (compare Dutch knijpen, Low German kniepen, Old High German gniffen), from gneibʰ- (compare Lithuanian gnýbti, žnýbti ‘to pinch’, gnaibis ‘pinching’). Replaced Middle English sexe.

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. Knifenoun

    plur. knives. An instrument edged and pointed, wherewith meat is cut, and animals killed.

    Etymology: cnif , Sax. kniff , Danish.

    Come, thick night,
    And pall thee in the dunnest smoke of hell,
    That my keen knife see not the wound it makes. William Shakespeare.

    Blest powers, forbid thy tender life
    Should bleed upon a barbarous knife. Richard Crashaw.

    The sacred priests with ready knives bereave
    The beast of life, and in full bowls receive
    The streaming blood. John Dryden, Æn.

    Ev’n in his sleep he starts, and fears the knife,
    And, trembling, in his arms takes his accomplice wife. Dryd.

    Pain is not in the knife that cuts us; but we call it cutting in the knife, and pain only in ourselves. Isaac Watts.


  1. Knife

    A knife (PL: knives; from Old Norse knifr 'knife, dirk') is a tool or weapon with a cutting edge or blade, usually attached to a handle or hilt. One of the earliest tools used by humanity, knives appeared at least 2.5 million years ago, as evidenced by the Oldowan tools. Originally made of wood, bone, and stone (such as flint and obsidian), over the centuries, in step with improvements in both metallurgy and manufacturing, knife blades have been made from copper, bronze, iron, steel, ceramic, and titanium. Most modern knives have either fixed or folding blades; blade patterns and styles vary by maker and country of origin. Knives can serve various purposes. Hunters use a hunting knife, soldiers use the combat knife, scouts, campers, and hikers carry a pocket knife; there are kitchen knives for preparing foods (the chef's knife, the paring knife, bread knife, cleaver), table knives (butter knives and steak knives), weapons (daggers or switchblades), knives for throwing or juggling, and knives for religious ceremony or display (the kirpan).


  1. knife

    A knife is a culinary or utility tool with a sharpened metal blade attached to a handle, used for cutting, chopping, slicing or as a weapon. It's one of the oldest tools used by mankind with various types from pocket knives to butcher knives.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Knifenoun

    an instrument consisting of a thin blade, usually of steel and having a sharp edge for cutting, fastened to a handle, but of many different forms and names for different uses; as, table knife, drawing knife, putty knife, pallet knife, pocketknife, penknife, chopping knife, etc.

  2. Knifenoun

    a sword or dagger

  3. Knifeverb

    to prune with the knife

  4. Knifeverb

    to cut or stab with a knife

  5. Etymology: [OE. knif, AS. cnf; akin to D. knijf, Icel. knfr, Sw. knif, Dan. kniv.]


  1. Knife

    A knife is a cutting tool with a cutting edge or blade, hand-held or otherwise, with or without a handle. Knife-like tools were used at least two-and-a-half million years ago, as evidenced by the Oldowan tools. Originally made of rock, bone, flint, and obsidian, knives have evolved in construction as technology has, with blades being made from bronze, copper, iron, steel, ceramics, and titanium. Many cultures have their unique version of the knife. Due to its role as humankind's first tool, certain cultures have attached spiritual and religious significance to the knife. Most modern-day knives follow either a fixed-blade or a folding construction style, with blade patterns and styles as varied as their makers and countries of origin.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Knife

    nīf, n. an instrument for cutting: a sword or dagger:—pl. Knives (nīvz).—v.t. to stab with a knife: (Amer.) to try to destroy a political candidate's chances by a treacherous attack.—ns. Knife′-and-fork′, a trencherman; Knife′-board, a board on which knives are cleaned: (coll.) the seat running along the top of an omnibus; Knife′-boy, a boy employed in cleaning knives; Knife′-edge (mech.), a sharp piece of steel like a knife's edge serving as the axis of a balance, &c.; Knife′-grind′er, one who grinds or sharpens knives; Knife′-mon′ey, a knife-shaped bronze currency formerly used in China; Knife′-rest, a glass or metal utensil on which to rest a carving-knife or fork; Knife′-tray, a tray for holding knives.—War to the knife, mortal combat. [A.S. cníf: Ger. kneif, knife, kneifen, to nip.]

Dictionary of Nautical Terms

  1. knife

    An old name for a dagger: thus Lady Macbeth-- "That my keen knife see not the wound it makes."

Suggested Resources

  1. knife

    Song lyrics by knife -- Explore a large variety of song lyrics performed by knife on the Lyrics.com website.

Surnames Frequency by Census Records

  1. KNIFE

    According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Knife is ranked #78567 in terms of the most common surnames in America.

    The Knife surname appeared 243 times in the 2010 census and if you were to sample 100,000 people in the United States, approximately 0 would have the surname Knife.

    68.7% or 167 total occurrences were White.
    25.1% or 61 total occurrences were American Indian or Alaskan Native.
    3.7% or 9 total occurrences were Black.

Matched Categories

British National Corpus

  1. Spoken Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'Knife' in Spoken Corpus Frequency: #3678

  2. Written Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'Knife' in Written Corpus Frequency: #3130

  3. Nouns Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'Knife' in Nouns Frequency: #1294

How to pronounce Knife?

How to say Knife in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of Knife in Chaldean Numerology is: 3

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of Knife in Pythagorean Numerology is: 9

Examples of Knife in a Sentence

  1. Joel Kulina:

    A lot of the fast-money types had recently been trying to catch a falling knife, and some of these stocks started to look OK. But today looks like a complete capitulation, where guys can’t stomach the pain of regulatory uncertainty. People have just given up.

  2. Interior Minister Joachim Herrmann:

    The attacker appears to have been a 17-year-old Afghan who has been living in Ochsenfurt for some time, he suddenly attacked passengers with a knife and an ax, critically injuring several. Some of them may now be fighting for their lives.

  3. Robert Long:

    I pull over, they get in, I drive a little ways, stop, pull a knife, a gun, whatever, tie them up, take them out. And that would be it.

  4. L.F. Magister:

    Deposit hope in people is like punching against the edge of a sharp knife.

  5. Barbara Hall:

    Being plied with fine food always puts me in mind of the slammer, cause the food was jumpin' in there too--high in fat but nice and salty. You know what the worst deprivation in there was My music. Radio belonged to my cell mate, the Blonde Hammer. He was into that jazz-fusion thing at the time. I tell you what, enough Spyro Gyra and you're hoping you'll get killed in a knife fight.

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for Knife

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"Knife." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 5 Mar. 2024. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/Knife>.

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    (used especially of glances) directed to one side with or as if with doubt or suspicion or envy
    • A. askant
    • B. naiant
    • C. irascible
    • D. ostensive

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