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adjective \ˈshärp\

Simple Definition of sharp

  • : 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

  1. 1 :  adapted to cutting or piercing: asa :  having a thin keen edge or fine pointb :  briskly or bitingly cold :  nipping <a sharp wind>

  2. 2a :  keen in intellect :  quick-wittedb :  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>

  3. 3 :  keen in spirit or action: asa :  full of activity or energy :  brisk <sharp blows>b :  capable of acting or reacting strongly; especially :  caustic

  4. 4 :  severe, harsh: asa :  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>

  5. 5 :  affecting the senses or sense organs intensely: asa (1) :  having a strong odor or flavor <sharp cheese> (2) :  acridb :  having a strong piercing soundc :  having the effect of or involving a sudden brilliant display of light <a sharp flash>

  6. 6a :  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>

  7. 7a of a tone :  raised a half step in pitchb :  higher than the proper pitchc :  major, augmented —used of an interval in music

  8. 8 :  stylish, dressy

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




Simple Definition of sharp

  • : above the correct musical pitch

Full Definition of sharp

  1. 1 :  in a sharp manner

  2. 2 :  exactly <1:15 sharp>

Examples of sharp

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

Before 12th Century

First Known Use of sharp

before 12th century




Simple Definition of 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

  1. :  one that is sharp: asa :  a sharp edge or pointb (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 itc :  a needle with a small eye for sewing by handd :  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>

14th Century

First Known Use of sharp

14th century




Definition of sharp

  • transitive verb
    1. :  to raise (as a musical tone) in pitch; especially :  to raise in pitch by a half step

    2. intransitive verb
    3. :  to sing or play above the proper pitch


    First Known Use of sharp



    biographical name \ˈshärp\

    Definition of Sharp

    1. Phillip Allen 1944–     Am. biol.

    Medical Dictionary


    noun \ˈshärp\

    Medical Definition of sharp

    1. :  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>

    Seen and Heard

    What made you want to look up sharp? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


    February 11, 2016

    the holder of an office

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