Etymology
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stab (v.)

late 14c., "thrust with a pointed weapon," first in Scottish English, apparently a dialectal variant of Scottish stob "to pierce, stab," from stob (n.), perhaps a variant of stub (n.) "stake, nail," but Barnhart finds this "doubtful." Figurative use, of emotions, etc., is from 1590s. Related: Stabbed; stabbing.

stab (n.)

"wound produced by stabbing," mid-15c., from stab (v.). Meaning "act of stabbing" is from 1520s. Meaning "a try" first recorded 1895, American English. Stab in the back in the figurative sense "treacherous deed" is first attested 1881; the verbal phrase in the figurative sense is from 1888.

updated on November 20, 2013

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Definitions of stab from WordNet
1
stab (v.)
use a knife on;
Synonyms: knife
stab (v.)
stab or pierce;
Synonyms: jab
stab (v.)
poke or thrust abruptly;
Synonyms: jab / prod / poke / dig
2
stab (n.)
a sudden sharp feeling;
she felt a stab of excitement
Synonyms: pang / twinge
stab (n.)
a strong blow with a knife or other sharp pointed instrument;
one strong stab to the heart killed him
Synonyms: thrust / knife thrust
stab (n.)
informal words for any attempt or effort;
he took a stab at forecasting
Synonyms: shot
Etymologies are not definitions. From wordnet.princeton.edu, not affiliated with etymonline.