1. a short, swordlike weapon with a pointed blade and a handle, used for stabbing.
  2. Also called obelisk. Printing. a mark (†) used especially for references.

verb (used with object)

  1. to stab with or as if with a dagger.
  2. Printing. to mark with a dagger.

  1. look daggers at, to look at angrily, threateningly, or with hate.


  1. a short stabbing weapon with a pointed blade
  2. Also called: obelisk a character (†) used in printing to indicate a cross reference, esp to a footnote
  3. at daggers drawn in a state of open hostility
  4. look daggers to glare with hostility; scowl

verb (tr)

  1. to mark with a dagger
  2. archaic to stab with a dagger

late 14c., apparently from Old French dague “dagger,” from Old Provençal dague or Italian daga, of uncertain origin; perhaps Celtic, perhaps from Vulgar Latin *daca “Dacian knife,” from the Roman province in modern Romania. The ending is possibly the faintly pejorative -ard suffix. Attested earlier (1279) as a surname (Dagard, presumably “one who carried a dagger”). Middle Dutch dagge, Danish daggert, German Degen also are from French.

In addition to the idiom beginning with daggers

  • daggers drawn, at

also see:

  • look daggers
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