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Collins Cobuild Advanced Learner’s English Dictionary
  • Collins COBUILD Advanced Learner’s English Dictionary offers learners of English detailed coverage of today’s language. Written in simple, natural English, this dictionary is exceptionally easy to use and understand. The examples, which have all been taken from the Bank of English®, part of the prestigious Collins Word Web, are invaluable in providing context for words and phrases. The user will also have quick and easy access to grammatical information and additional information on synonyms, pragmatics and frequency. Collins COBUILD Advanced Learner’s English Dictionary - the complete reference tool for learners of English. Bank of English® is a registered trademark of HarperCollins Publishers Ltd.




knives, knifes, knifing, knifed

(knives is the plural form of the noun and knifes is the third person singular of the present tense of the verb.)

  1. N-COUNT A knife is a tool for cutting or a weapon and consists of a flat piece of metal with a sharp edge on the end of a handle.

  2. VERB To knife someone means to attack and injure them with a knife.

  3. N-COUNT A surgeon's knife is a piece of equipment used to cut flesh and organs during operations. It is made of metal and has a very thin sharp edge.

    PHRASE: PHR after v If you go under the knife, you have an operation in a hospital.

  4. See also carving knife, fish knife, flick knife, palette knife, paper knife, pocket knife, Stanley knife

  5. PHRASE: knife inflects, PHR after v If someone does something like a knife through butter or like a hot knife through butter, they do it very easily.

  6. PHRASE If you have been in a place where there was a very tense atmosphere, you can say that you could have cut the atmosphere with a knife. [mainly BRIT]

  7. PHRASE: V inflects, usu PHR for n If a lot of people want something unpleasant to happen to someone, for example if they want them to lose their job, you can say that the knives are out for that person. [mainly BRIT]

  8. PHRASE: V inflects If you twist the knife or if you turn the knife in someone's wound, you do or say something to make an unpleasant situation they are in even more unpleasant.

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na͟ɪfknives is the plural form of the noun and knifes is the third person singular of the present tense of the verb.

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Word forms


Common caseknifeknives
Possessive caseknife'sknives'


Basic forms
Present Participle (Participle I)knifing
Past Participle (Participle II)knifed
Present Indefinite, Active Voice
I knifewe knife
you knifeyou knife
he/she/it knifesthey knife
Present Continuous, Active Voice
I am knifingwe are knifing
you are knifingyou are knifing
he/she/it is knifingthey are knifing
Present Perfect, Active Voice
I have knifedwe have knifed
you have knifedyou have knifed
he/she/it has knifedthey have knifed
Present Perfect Continuous, Active Voice
I have been knifingwe have been knifing
you have been knifingyou have been knifing
he/she/it has been knifingthey have been knifing
Past Indefinite, Active Voice
I knifedwe knifed
you knifedyou knifed
he/she/it knifedthey knifed
Past Continuous, Active Voice
I was knifingwe were knifing
you were knifingyou were knifing
he/she/it was knifingthey were knifing
Past Perfect, Active Voice
I had knifedwe had knifed
you had knifedyou had knifed
he/she/it had knifedthey had knifed
Past Perfect Continuous, Active Voice
I had been knifingwe had been knifing
you had been knifingyou had been knifing
he/she/it had been knifingthey had been knifing
Future Indefinite, Active Voice
I shall/will knifewe shall/will knife
you will knifeyou will knife
he/she/it will knifethey will knife
Future Continuous, Active Voice
I shall/will be knifingwe shall/will be knifing
you will be knifingyou will be knifing
he/she/it will be knifingthey will be knifing
Future Perfect, Active Voice
I shall/will have knifedwe shall/will have knifed
you will have knifedyou will have knifed
he/she/it will have knifedthey will have knifed
Future Perfect Continuous, Active Voice
I shall/will have been knifingwe shall/will have been knifing
you will have been knifingyou will have been knifing
he/she/it will have been knifingthey will have been knifing
Future in the Past Indefinite, Active Voice
I should/would knifewe should/would knife
you would knifeyou would knife
he/she/it would knifethey would knife
Future in the Past Continuous, Active Voice
I should/would be knifingwe should/would be knifing
you would be knifingyou would be knifing
he/she/it would be knifingthey would be knifing
Future in the Past Perfect, Active Voice
I should/would have knifedwe should/would have knifed
you would have knifedyou would have knifed
he/she/it would have knifedthey would have knifed
Future in the Past Perfect Continuous, Active Voice
I should/would have been knifingwe should/would have been knifing
you would have been knifingyou would have been knifing
he/she/it would have been knifingthey would have been knifing
Present Indefinite, Passive Voice
I am knifedwe are knifed
you are knifedyou are knifed
he/she/it is knifedthey are knifed
Present Continuous, Passive Voice
I am being knifedwe are being knifed
you are being knifedyou are being knifed
he/she/it is being knifedthey are being knifed
Present Perfect, Passive Voice
I have been knifedwe have been knifed
you have been knifedyou have been knifed
he/she/it has been knifedthey have been knifed
Past Indefinite, Passive Voice
I was knifedwe were knifed
you were knifedyou were knifed
he/she/it was knifedthey were knifed
Past Continuous, Passive Voice
I was being knifedwe were being knifed
you were being knifedyou were being knifed
he/she/it was being knifedthey were being knifed
Past Perfect, Passive Voice
I had been knifedwe had been knifed
you had been knifedyou had been knifed
he/she/it had been knifedthey had been knifed
Future Indefinite, Passive Voice
I shall/will be knifedwe shall/will be knifed
you will be knifedyou will be knifed
he/she/it will be knifedthey will be knifed
Future Perfect, Passive Voice
I shall/will have been knifedwe shall/will have been knifed
you will have been knifedyou will have been knifed
he/she/it will have been knifedthey will have been knifed