A dagger is a knife with a very sharp point designed or capable of being used as a thrusting or stabbing weapon. The design dates to human prehistory, and daggers have been used throughout human experience to the modern day in close combat confrontations. Many ancient cultures used adorned daggers in ritual and ceremonial purposes, a trend which continues to the present time in the form of art knives. The distinctive shape and historic usage of the dagger have made it iconic and symbolic.
Over the years, the term has been used to describe a wide variety of thrusting knives, including knives that feature only a single cutting edge, such as the European rondel dagger or the Persian pesh-kabz, or, in some instances, no cutting edge at all, such as the stiletto of the Renaissance. However, over the last hundred years or so, authorities have recognized that the dagger, in its contemporary or mature form, has certain definable characteristics, including a short blade with a sharply tapered point, a central spine or fuller, and (usually) two cutting edges sharpened the full length of the blade, or nearly so.
Most daggers also feature a full crossguard to keep the hand from riding forwards onto the sharpened blade edges. Another distinctive feature of the modern dagger is that it is designed to position the blade horizontally when using a conventional palm grip, enabling the user to slash right or left as well as thrust the blade between an opponent's ribs. The twin full-length edges enable the user to make broad slashes (cuts) using either a forehand or backhand arm movement, while the sharp, acutely pointed tip makes the knife an effective thrusting or stabbing weapon. This versatility distinguishes the modern dagger from more specialized thrusting knives, like the stiletto.
Source: Dagger from Wikipedia
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