Definition of dagger in English:

dagger

noun

  • 1A short knife with a pointed and edged blade, used as a weapon:

    ‘he drew his dagger and stabbed the leader’
    • ‘Captain Irving had threatened to hurt her, but not with a sword, or a dagger, or a pistol.’
    • ‘The dark man gave an evil grin as he produced a dagger from nowhere and raised it towards his chest.’
    • ‘He had a rifle slung over his right shoulder and a short sword or long dagger at his left hip.’
    • ‘He ran his finger over the fine edge of the dagger's blade.’
    • ‘They had their blades, ranging from daggers to swords, out and at the ready.’
    • ‘He moved to plunge the dagger in but the weapon was wretched from his grip by a powerful hand as the other gripped his wrist and tore it away.’
    • ‘He stared at all the weapons, swords, daggers, bows and arrows; some were even made of gold.’
    • ‘She prepared to plunge her silver dagger down when Lucas kicked her from behind and sent her tumbling.’
    • ‘It's one of those stores that sells every kind of knife, dagger, and sword you can imagine.’
    • ‘While a good percentage of them had guns or rifles, some also carried scimitars and daggers.’
    • ‘Marrissa staggered down the dark empty hallway, clutching a dagger in her left hand and her journal in the other.’
    • ‘As he passed one of the men who was attempting to stab Alan with a short dagger, he killed him in mid-stride.’
    • ‘The hilt of the dagger had been colored silver, with gold markings on the lower end.’
    • ‘They were also both carrying the same weapon, a small dagger.’
    • ‘Sharp weapons, including knives, daggers and spears, were seized from the 46 people.’
    • ‘He clutched his throat as she reached into her belt and took out a silver dagger and a small glass bottle.’
    • ‘He was helping the council pass out swords and daggers, weapons of every kind.’
    • ‘A dark figure swathed in shadows stood over her, a dagger gleaming in its raised hand.’
    • ‘She knew it was useless to use arrows so she pulled out a dagger and a small sword as she charged to the battle.’
    • ‘Men-at-arms and common soldiers carried daggers too and occasionally short, curved multi-purpose swords.’
    1. 1.1Printing
      another term for obelus
      • ‘A dagger above an indel symbol shows that the indel is not shared among the sequences at a given locus.’
      • ‘Confusingly, the word obelus was later used for the printer's character we often call a dagger, another symbol with a point.’
  • 2A moth with a dark dagger-shaped marking on the forewing.

Phrases

  • be at daggers drawn

    • (of two people) be bitterly hostile towards each other:

      ‘they have been at daggers drawn for weeks over tactics’
      • ‘They can obviously smell the fact that we're at daggers drawn with the Treasury.’
      • ‘Jack and Jim, who's extended his trip to the States, are at daggers drawn.’
      • ‘The Hunting Bill is before the House of Lords, and the metropolitan middle classes and the rural population are at daggers drawn.’
      • ‘His two most loyal cabinet ministers are now at daggers drawn.’
      • ‘You know that two people are at daggers drawn when they make a direct statement claiming to be united.’
      • ‘The ombudsman is already at daggers drawn with the former chief constable over the handling of the bomb inquiry.’
      • ‘The British critics of The Times, Spectator and Observer were at daggers drawn.’
      • ‘The parties to contested actions are often at daggers drawn, and the litigious process serves to exacerbate the hostility between them.’
      • ‘For some reason, right throughout that tour, Alexander and Gilchrist were at daggers drawn.’
      • ‘It's been an open secret in media circles for some years that the two giants of Sydney commercial radio were at daggers drawn.’
      opposing, conflicting, clashing, at war, contending, fighting, battling, quarrelling
      View synonyms
  • look (or glare) daggers at

    • Glare very angrily at:

      ‘she flung the fork down, looking daggers at him’
      • ‘She clenches her teeth and looks daggers at any man who dares engage in eye contact.’
      • ‘Lily let out a gasp of disgust, and looked daggers at them.’
      • ‘‘Ruby was looking daggers at her this morning,’ Nadine said, smiling a little.’
      • ‘What a sight, my dad standing there looking daggers at my mom, who was enjoying his moment of discomfort.’
      • ‘Emma gave a short laugh of mockery but quickly turned it into a cough when Kathryn began looking daggers at her.’
      • ‘Sarah plays with the keys on her laptop and looks daggers at the angelic figure in the pool as she swims.’
      • ‘‘Go on,’ said Kassie, still looking daggers at Mike.’
      • ‘Then there's the floods and pestilences we've survived, and the famines, and so on, not to mention the other drivers on the roads these days, and the way some people keep looking daggers at you.’
      • ‘She looks daggers at him, but continues her conversation with her sister, turning every few words to fix him with a steely glare.’
      • ‘Henry is also puzzled about Matilda's attitude until he sees her looking daggers at Cassie and Ric as they flirt together.’

Origin

Late Middle English: perhaps from obsolete dag ‘pierce, stab’, influenced by Old French dague long dagger.

Pronunciation:

dagger

/ˈdaɡə/