Definition of stab noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//stæb//
    ; NAmE NAmE//stæb//
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  1. 1an act of stabbing or trying to stab somebody/something; a wound caused by stabbing He received several stabs in the chest. She died of a single stab wound to the heart.
  2. 2a sudden sharp pain or unpleasant feeling She felt a sudden stab of pain in the chest. a stab of guilt/fear/pity/jealousy, etc.
  3. 3[usually singular] (informal) an attempt to do something stab (at something) He found the test difficult but nevertheless made a good stab at it. stab (at doing something) Countless people have had a stab at solving the riddle. I’ve always enjoyed acting, but I’d like to have a stab at directing one day.
  4. Word Originlate Middle English: of unknown origin.Extra examples He felt a sharp stab of disappointment. He took his first stab at directing. I had a stab at answering the question. It was only a stab in the dark, but I hoped I could learn something. She made a half-hearted stab at medical school, and quickly withdrew. The boy made a stab at the pig. a stab of pain a stab to the chest I’ve always enjoyed acting, but I’d like to have a stab at directing one day.Idioms
    a shot/stab in the dark
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    a guess; something you do without knowing what the result will be The figure he came up with was really just a shot in the dark.
    (informal) an act that harms somebody, done by a person they thought was a friend Her refusal to support his campaign was a real stab in the back.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: stab