stab

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stab / stab/ • v. (stabbed , stab·bing ) [tr.] (of a person) thrust a knife or other pointed weapon into (someone) so as to wound or kill: he stabbed him in the stomach | [as n.] (stabbing) the fatal stabbings of four rival gang members. ∎  [intr.] make a thrusting gesture or movement at something with a pointed object: she stabbed at the earth with the fork | [tr.] she stabbed the air with her forefinger ∎  [intr.] (stab into/through) (of a sharp or pointed object) violently pierce: a sharp end of wicker stabbed into his sole. ∎  [intr.] (stab at) (of a pain or painful thing) cause a sudden sharp sensation: [as adj.] (stabbing) I felt a stabbing pain in my chest. • n. 1. a thrust with a knife or other pointed weapon: [as adj.] multiple stab wounds. ∎  a wound made in such a way: she had a deep stab in the back. ∎  a thrusting movement with a finger or other pointed object: impatient stabs of his finger. ∎  Tennis a shot made with a thrusting motion. ∎  a sudden sharp feeling or pain: she felt a stab of jealousy. 2. (stab at) inf. an attempt to do (something): Meredith made a feeble stab at joining in. PHRASES: a stab in the back a treacherous act or statement. stab someone in the back betray someone. a stab in the darksee dark.DERIVATIVES: stab·ber n.

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