Definition of the knives are out (for someone) in US English:

the knives are out (for someone)


  • There is open hostility (toward someone).

    • ‘To lose Fermanagh and South Tyrone, Strangford and East Londonderry is an incredible defeat and the knives are out.’
    • ‘There is already a sense in some quarters that the knives are out.’
    • ‘Less than 24 hours after announcing his retirement, the knives are out as many of Australia's most influential commentators set about trashing his legacy.’
    • ‘And if this did come, as reported, from his inner security circle, then that means the knives are out, the daggers are drawn, and he had better watch his back everywhere.’
    • ‘He is a non-executive director of a kitchen installation company, who feels that the knives are out for him.’
    • ‘One day you could have a bad game and the knives are out, but a couple of good games later, everybody's your friend again.’
    • ‘In some quarters the knives are out for Alan Greenspan, the US Federal Reserve chairman.’
    • ‘He admitted the knives are out for Eriksson and England if they fail to produce results.’
    • ‘He has not had the best of starts, losing twice to bitter rivals Kaizer Chiefs in two weeks and already the knives are out for the former Rangers coach.’
    • ‘Within military/intelligence circles, the knives are out.’