See also: Stab, STAB, and stáb


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First attested in Scottish English (compare Scots stob, stobbe, stabb ‎(a pointed stick or stake; a thrust with a pointed weapon)), from Middle English stabbe ‎(a stab), probably a variant of Middle English stob, stub, stubbe ‎(pointed stick, stake, thorn, stub, stump), from Old Norse stobbi, stubbi or Old English stybb. Cognate with Middle Dutch stobbe.

Supposed by some to derive from Scottish Gaelic stob ‎(to prick, to prod, to push, to thrust); supposed by others to be from a Scots word.



stab ‎(plural stabs)

  1. An act of stabbing or thrusting with an object.
  2. A wound made by stabbing.
  3. Pain inflicted on a person's feelings.
  4. (informal) An attempt.
    I'll give this thankless task a stab.
  5. Criticism.
  6. (music) A single staccato chord that adds dramatic impact to a composition.
    a horn stab
  7. A bacterial culture made by inoculating a solid medium, such as gelatin, with the puncture of a needle or wire.

Derived termsEdit



a man about to be stabbed

stab ‎(third-person singular simple present stabs, present participle stabbing, simple past and past participle stabbed)

  1. (transitive) To pierce or to wound (somebody) with a pointed tool or weapon, especially a knife or dagger.
    • 1905, Baroness Emmuska Orczy, chapter 1, The Tremarn Case[1]:
      “There the cause of death was soon ascertained ; the victim of this daring outrage had been stabbed to death from ear to ear with a long, sharp instrument, in shape like an antique stiletto, which […] was subsequently found under the cushions of the hansom. […]”
    If you stab him in the heart he won't live long enough to retaliate.
  2. (transitive) To thrust in a stabbing motion.
    to stab a dagger into a person
  3. (intransitive) To recklessly hit with the tip of a pointed object, such as a weapon or finger (often used with at).
    • John Dryden
      None shall dare / With shortened sword to stab in closer war.
    He stabbed at my face with the twig but luckily kept missing my eyes.
  4. (intransitive) To cause a sharp, painful sensation (often used with at).
    The snow from the blizzard was stabbing at my face as I skied down the mountain.
  5. (transitive, figuratively) To injure secretly or by malicious falsehood or slander.
    to stab a person's reputation

Derived termsEdit





From German Stab.


stab c (singular definite staben, plural indefinite stabe)

  1. staff



Swedish Wikipedia has an article on:

Wikipedia sv



From German Stab.[1]


stab c

  1. a staff



  1. ^ stab in Elof Hellquist, Svensk etymologisk ordbok (1st ed., 1922)
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