stab at (someone or something)
1. noun An attempt at or turn doing something, especially when one is uncertain of one's ability to succeed. Well, I haven't fixed a motor in nearly 10 years, but I'll certainly take a stab at it. You had your chance, now let your sister have a stab at breaking the piñata.
2. verb To thrust some sharp, pointed instrument in one's hand in the direction of someone or something. A noun or pronoun can be used between "stab" and "at" to specify what is being used to stab. The fencer stabbed at her opponent, but left herself open to attack in the process. He was stabbing a fork at the seal on the package when he slipped and accidentally pierced his hand.
stab something at someone or something
to thrust something at someone or something. The hunter stabbed a stick at the bear to see if there was any life at all left in it. The stork tried to stab its beak at me as I held it, but I held tight while the vet examined it.
stab at someone or something
to thrust at someone or something with something sharp, such as a knife. The horrid man stabbed at me and missed. The stork stabbed at the frog with its beak.