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



  • 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.
  • A weapon designed with the aforementioned specifications intended for slashing and/or stabbing and too short to be called a sword. A dagger.
  • Any blade-like part in a tool or a machine designed for cutting, such as that of a chipper.



  • From Middle English knyf, knif, from late Old English cnīf, from Old Norse knífr (compare Danish/Swedish/Norwegian kniv), North Frisian Knif from Proto-Germanic *knībaz (compare Low German Knief, Luxembourgish Knäip ("penknife")), from *knīpaną (compare Dutch knijpen, Low German kniepen, Old High German gniffen), from Proto-Indo-European *gneybʰ- (compare Lithuanian gnýbti, žnýbti, gnaibis). Replaced Middle English sax from Old English seax, and replaced Middle English coutel, qwetyll from Old French coutel.
  • The verb knife is attested since the mid 1800s; the variant knive is attested since 1733.

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