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’
    • ‘While a good percentage of them had guns or rifles, some also carried scimitars and daggers.’
    • ‘He ran his finger over the fine edge of the dagger's blade.’
    • ‘It's one of those stores that sells every kind of knife, dagger, and sword you can imagine.’
    • ‘He had a rifle slung over his right shoulder and a short sword or long dagger at his left hip.’
    • ‘He was helping the council pass out swords and daggers, weapons of every kind.’
    • ‘Sharp weapons, including knives, daggers and spears, were seized from the 46 people.’
    • ‘The dark man gave an evil grin as he produced a dagger from nowhere and raised it towards his chest.’
    • ‘They had their blades, ranging from daggers to swords, out and at the ready.’
    • ‘Men-at-arms and common soldiers carried daggers too and occasionally short, curved multi-purpose swords.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘She knew it was useless to use arrows so she pulled out a dagger and a small sword as she charged to the battle.’
    • ‘He clutched his throat as she reached into her belt and took out a silver dagger and a small glass bottle.’
    • ‘Captain Irving had threatened to hurt her, but not with a sword, or a dagger, or a pistol.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘He stared at all the weapons, swords, daggers, bows and arrows; some were even made of gold.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘She prepared to plunge her silver dagger down when Lucas kicked her from behind and sent her tumbling.’
    • ‘A dark figure swathed in shadows stood over her, a dagger gleaming in its raised hand.’
    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.

    Genus Acronicta, family Noctuidae: several species

Phrases

  • be at daggers drawn

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

      ‘they have been at daggers drawn for weeks over tactics’
      • ‘His two most loyal cabinet ministers are now 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.’
      • ‘It's been an open secret in media circles for some years that the two giants of Sydney commercial radio were at daggers drawn.’
      • ‘Jack and Jim, who's extended his trip to the States, are at daggers drawn.’
      • ‘For some reason, right throughout that tour, Alexander and Gilchrist 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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘They can obviously smell the fact that we're at daggers drawn with the Treasury.’
      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’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Lily let out a gasp of disgust, and looked daggers at them.’
      • ‘She looks daggers at him, but continues her conversation with her sister, turning every few words to fix him with a steely glare.’
      • ‘She clenches her teeth and looks daggers at any man who dares engage in eye contact.’
      • ‘‘Go on,’ said Kassie, still looking daggers at Mike.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘‘Ruby was looking daggers at her this morning,’ Nadine said, smiling a little.’
      • ‘Sarah plays with the keys on her laptop and looks daggers at the angelic figure in the pool as she swims.’
      • ‘Henry is also puzzled about Matilda's attitude until he sees her looking daggers at Cassie and Ric as they flirt together.’
      glower, frown, glare, lour, look daggers at, look angrily at, give someone a black look
      View synonyms

Origin

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

Pronunciation

dagger

/ˈdaɡə/