adjective \ˈshärp\

: having a thin edge that is able to cut things or a fine point that is able to make a hole in things

: sudden and quick

: involving a sudden change in direction

Full Definition of SHARP

:  adapted to cutting or piercing: as
a :  having a thin keen edge or fine point
b :  briskly or bitingly cold :  nipping <a sharp wind>
a :  keen in intellect :  quick-witted
b :  keen in perception :  acute <sharp sight>
c :  keen in attention :  vigilant <keep a sharp lookout>
d :  keen in attention to one's own interest sometimes to the point of being unethical <a sharp trader>; also :  corrupt, unethical <sharp business practices>
:  keen in spirit or action: as
a :  full of activity or energy :  brisk <sharp blows>
b :  capable of acting or reacting strongly; especially :  caustic
:  severe, harsh: as
a :  inclined to or marked by irritability or anger <a sharp temper>
b :  causing intense mental or physical distress <a sharp pain>
c :  cutting in language or import <a sharp rebuke>
:  affecting the senses or sense organs intensely: as
a (1) :  having a strong odor or flavor <sharp cheese>
(2) :  acrid
b :  having a strong piercing sound
c :  having the effect of or involving a sudden brilliant display of light <a sharp flash>
a :  terminating in a point or edge <sharp features>
b :  involving an abrupt or marked change especially in direction <a sharp turn>
c :  clear in outline or detail :  distinct <a sharp image>
d :  set forth with clarity and distinctness <sharp contrast>
a of a tone :  raised a half step in pitch
b :  higher than the proper pitch
c :  major, augmented —used of an interval in music
sharp·ly adverb
sharp·ness noun

Examples of SHARP

  1. a sharp drop in temperature
  2. He took a sharp left turn.
  3. a sharp curve in the road
  4. Her cheerful mood stands in sharp contrast to her dreary surroundings.

Origin of SHARP

Middle English, from Old English scearp; akin to Old High German scarf sharp and perhaps to Old English scrapian to scrape — more at scrape
First Known Use: before 12th century

Synonym Discussion of SHARP

sharp, keen, acute mean having or showing alert competence and clear understanding. sharp implies quick perception, clever resourcefulness, or sometimes questionable trickiness <sharp enough to spot a confidence game>. keen suggests quickness, enthusiasm, and a penetrating mind <a keen observer of the political scene>. acute implies a power to penetrate and may suggest subtlety and sharpness of discrimination <an acute sense of style>.

Rhymes with SHARP



: above the correct musical pitch

Full Definition of SHARP

:  in a sharp manner
:  exactly <1:15 sharp>

Examples of SHARP

  1. <be there at four o'clock sharp>

First Known Use of SHARP

before 12th century

Related to SHARP



: a musical note that is one semitone higher than a specified note; also : a written symbol ♯ that is placed before a note to show that it should be played a semitone higher

Full Definition of SHARP

:  one that is sharp: as
a :  a sharp edge or point
b (1) :  a musical note or tone one half step higher than a note or tone named
(2) :  a character on a line or space of the musical staff indicating a pitch a half step higher than the degree would indicate without it
c :  a needle with a small eye for sewing by hand
d :  a real or self-proclaimed expert; also :  sharper

Examples of SHARP

  1. <the computer sharp that the rest of the staff turns to whenever their PCs act up>

First Known Use of SHARP

14th century



Definition of SHARP

transitive verb
:  to raise (as a musical tone) in pitch; especially :  to raise in pitch by a half step
intransitive verb
:  to sing or play above the proper pitch

First Known Use of SHARP


Other Music Terms

cacophony, chorister, concerto, counterpoint, madrigal, obbligato, presto, presto, refrain, riff, segue


biographical name \ˈshärp\

Definition of SHARP

Phillip Allen 1944– Am. biol.


noun \ˈshärp\   (Medical Dictionary)

Medical Definition of SHARP

:  a medical instrument (as a scalpel, hypodermic needle, or breakable culture dish) that is sharp or may produce sharp pieces by shattering <stuck by a sharp left in the workplace>—usually used in plural <a container for sharps>


Next Word in the Dictionary: sharp–beakedPrevious Word in the Dictionary: sharnyAll Words Near: sharp
May 23, 2015
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