Definition of dagger in English:

dagger

noun

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

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

Phrases

  • at daggers drawn

    • In bitter enmity.

      • ‘The Hunting Bill is before the House of Lords, and the metropolitan middle classes and the rural population are at daggers drawn.’
      • ‘The ombudsman is already at daggers drawn with the former chief constable over the handling of the bomb inquiry.’
      • ‘You know that two people are at daggers drawn when they make a direct statement claiming to be united.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘His two most loyal cabinet ministers are now at daggers drawn.’
      • ‘They can obviously smell the fact that we're at daggers drawn with the Treasury.’
      • ‘For some reason, right throughout that tour, Alexander and Gilchrist were at daggers drawn.’
      opposing, conflicting, clashing, at war, contending, fighting, battling, quarrelling
      View synonyms
  • look (or glare) daggers at

    • Glare angrily or venomously at.

      • ‘She clenches her teeth and looks daggers at any man who dares engage in eye contact.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Henry is also puzzled about Matilda's attitude until he sees her looking daggers at Cassie and Ric as they flirt together.’
      • ‘Lily let out a gasp of disgust, and looked daggers at them.’
      • ‘‘Go on,’ said Kassie, still looking daggers at Mike.’
      • ‘She looks daggers at him, but continues her conversation with her sister, turning every few words to fix him with a steely glare.’
      • ‘What a sight, my dad standing there looking daggers at my mom, who was enjoying his moment of discomfort.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘‘Ruby was looking daggers at her this morning,’ Nadine said, smiling a little.’
      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

/ˈdæɡər//ˈdaɡər/