Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.
Related to knives: Kitchen knives
get (one's)/the knife into (someone)
To be, do, or say something especially critical, unpleasant, or mean-spirited, especially to someone who is already vulnerable or weak. John seems genuinely remorseful for what happened. There doesn't seem to be any reason to get the knife into him at this point. And then he really got his knife into me by saying that he'd only pretended to like my writing.
have (one's) knife into (someone)
To make someone's life more difficult, usually due to dislike. Primarily heard in UK, Australia. Why do you have your knife into me? What did I ever do to you?
1. A person hired to murder someone. It looks like the mob sent a long knife over last night to silence the last surviving witness.
2. The power or intent to attack someone in order to force them to stop or change their actions. Lobbyist groups for the industry have already been sharpening their long knives in order to quash what little support such regulation has within Congress. The mainstream media has always had a long knife out for people like me who reveal the truth to the world!
night of the long knives
A series of ruthless or treacherous actions against others. The increasingly despotic president has begun what many are already calling his night of the long knives, imprisoning or killing scores of old rivals and opponents almost overnight.
the knives are out
The opponents of someone or something are now seeking every opportunity to criticize, call for the termination of, or impede someone or something. The knives are out for the senator after his recent remarks, and I wouldn't be surprised if he was forced to resign. Watch yourself. Now that people are allowed to comment anonymously, the knives are out.
the knives are outmainly BRITISH
COMMON If the knives are out for someone, people are criticizing and trying to cause problems for that person. The knives are out for me at the moment. Now that she's married to one of the world's most famous men, the knives are out. Note: You can also say that someone has their knives out if they are eager to criticize someone or cause problems for them. Arendt and Huber had their knives out, and they were being encouraged to stick them in me.
the knives are out (for someone)there is open hostility (towards someone). informal
night of the long knivesa treacherous betrayal or ruthless action.
Night of the long knives is especially associated with the massacre of the Brownshirts on Hitler's orders in 1934 . Traditionally, the phrase referred to the legendary massacre of the Britons by Hengist in 472 , described by Geoffrey of Monmouth in his Historia Regum Britanniae. In Britain it has been particularly used of the occasion in 1962 on which Harold Macmillan dismissed a third of his cabinet at the same time, of which the Liberal politician Jeremy Thorpe remarked ‘Greater love hath no man than this, that he lay down his friends for his life’.
the knives are ˈout (for somebody)the situation has become so bad that people are preparing to make one person take the blame, for example by taking away their job: The knives are out for the minister. People are calling for his resignation.
1. n. an assassin. (Underworld.) Some long knife showed up, but Marty took him out before he made his move.
2. n. a destroyer; a hatchet man. One of his long knives came over to pressure us into cooperating.