a stab at (someone or something)

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a stab at (someone or something)

1. A chance or opportunity to do or attempt something. Well, I haven't fixed a motor in nearly 10 years, but I'll certainly make a stab at it. You had your chance, now let your brother have a stab at breaking the piñata. Give Sarah a stab at the equation. I bet she can solve it!
2. An attempt to best, defeat, or assault someone. Watching him smile that smug, self-important smile, I thought to myself how much I'd love to have a stab at him—one on one, with nothing but our fists! A: "This doesn't seem like any ordinary thief. He's always one step ahead of us." B: "Give me a stab at him, Chief. I think I can bring him in." She made a name for herself as one of the best racers in the world in the span of just one year. Now, every professional worth their salt wants a stab at her.
See also: stab

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.
See also: stab

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.
See also: stab