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, pl.


(nīf, nīvz),
A cutting tool consisting of a relatively long, narrow blade with one edge sharpened and a handle. Various specialized knives are used in surgery and dissection. Knives may also be used as weapons to inflict injury or cause death.
[M.E. knif, fr. A.S. cnif, fr. O. Norse knīfr]


n. pl. knives (nīvz)
1. A cutting instrument consisting of a sharp blade attached to a handle.
2. A cutting edge; a blade.
v. knifed, knifing, knifes
To use a knife on, especially to stab; wound with a knife.

knif′er n.


A cutting instrument used in surgery and dissection.
[M.E. knif, fr. A.S. cnif, fr. O. Norse knīfr]


A cutting tool consisting of a relatively long, narrow blade with one edge sharpened and a handle. Various specialized types are used in surgery and dissection.
[M.E. knif, fr. A.S. cnif, fr. O. Norse knīfr]


n an instrument used for cutting that consists of a sharp-edged blade with a handle.
knife, amalgam,
n a bladed metal instrument used in the margination process to remove excess amalgam and overhangs.
knife, buck,
n a periodontal knife possessing spear-shaped cutting points; used for interdental incision during gingivectomy.
knife, electronic,
n an electrosurgical scalpel used to incise or shave tissue.
knife, gold,
n an instrument sometimes contraangled, with a blade or cutting edge; used to trim excess metal and develop contour in foil restorations.
knife, Goldman-Fox, a group of surgical instruments designed for the incision and contouring of gingival tissue.
knife, Kirkland, a heart-shaped knife, sharp on all edges, used for the primary gingivectomy incision.
knife, Merrifield's, a knife that has a long, narrow, triangular blade in a shank; used for gingivectomy incisions.


a single-bladed cutting instrument other than a scalpel and usually designed for a special purpose.

castrating knife
there are many straight bladed instruments available. A special hooked knife is popular for use with calves and lambs. It has a cutting edge which is bent down at right angles to form a shallow hook. The instrument is drawn towards the operator and provides much less risk to him/her. See also Newberry castrating knife (below).
drawing knife
see hoof knife (below).
finger knife
used in bovine obstetrics to cut the skin of a dead fetus. It consists of a flat palm-piece that lies flat against the palm of the hand and from which the hooked knife protrudes. The knife has a single finger ring on its spine, through which a finger is passed and over the front of the knife. The knife is passed into the uterus, and hooked into appropriate skin, which is cut by pulling backwards. Some knives have an eyelet to which a cord can be attached to facilitate this part of the task.
hoof knife
a strong, slightly curved knife with its tip turned laterally on itself to form a tunnel. The flat part of the blade is used to trim the bottom of the hoof wall and the curved part to make grooves or cut holes. The standard knife is the Hauptner. The blade in some knives is sharpened on both edges. Called also hoof parer, drawing knife.
The Swiss hoof knife is a large, flattened loop turned down at right angles to the handle. It is for paring the sole and is drawn towards the operator with the lower front-edge sharpened. Special grooving knives are also available. See also Hughes hoof groover.
Lichty's teat knife
a narrow, 0.1 inch wide blade about 0.4 inch long, sharpened on one edge and with a rounded blunt point, which is inserted into the teat canal. A cut is made laterally through the overtight sphincter or scar tissue.
Newberry castrating knife
a pincer-like instrument with a block at the end of one blade and a chisel-pointed knife on the other. When the sharp blade is closed on the exposed spermatic cord, it compresses the cord against the block.
palm knife
a small version of the Stanley hobby knife, which can be carried into the uterus in the palm of the hand and the concealed blade opened. Cuts are made in the fetal skin in a normal cutting manner.
tenotomy knife
has a blunt, rounded tip on the blade, which is curved slightly forward so that the knife can be inserted under the tendon without damage to local nerves and blood vessels and so that a cut can be made outwards without the tendon slipping off the knife. Called also a tenotome.
Wamberg spavin knife
used for transecting the cunean tendon in a horse affected by spavin. Has a 1.5 inch blade on a curved neck so that the blade can be inserted under the tendon without being obstructed by the knuckles of the hand holding the handle.

Patient discussion about knife

Q. Should I go for the knife? I have essential tremor for many years, and in the last few years it seems nothing helps it, and although I tried all the drugs my doctor could offer me, nothing helps. It really ruins my life, and recently I read about a surgery that suppose to treat it, called thalamotomy- does anyone know anything about it?

A. It's a possibility, and considered effective (reducing tremor in most of the patients). However, it has quite serious side effects, that can result even in weakness of some parts of your body. You should think really good before you opt for this treatment. Good luck!

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