\ ˈhōn How to pronounce hone (audio) \
honed; honing

Definition of hone

 (Entry 1 of 3)

transitive verb

1 : to sharpen or smooth with a whetstone
2 : to make more acute, intense, or effective : whet helped her hone her comic timing— Patricia Bosworth



Definition of hone (Entry 2 of 3)

honed; honing

Definition of hone (Entry 3 of 3)

intransitive verb

1 dialect : yearn often used with for or after
2 dialect : grumble, moan

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Other Words from hone

Verb (1)

honer noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for hone

Synonyms: Verb (1)

Antonyms: Verb (1)

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Examples of hone in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb In the past year, Sands honed its focus on the area around the capital of Tokyo, especially the southern city of Yokohama -- which had raised its hand to host a casino despite vocal opposition from local residents. Christopher Palmeri, Bloomberg.com, "Las Vegas Sands Gives Up on $10 Billion Japan Casino Project," 12 May 2020 Tarik, 23, honed his competitive nature by trying to beat Tyler, who was three years older. Jeff Seidel, Detroit Free Press, "Why is Detroit Tigers prospect Tarik Skubal so dang competitive? Only a father knows," 21 Apr. 2020 Biden, shepherded by new campaign manager Jen O'Malley Dillon, is honing his overall message, as well as sharpening his tone toward Trump. Naomi Lim, Washington Examiner, "Biden can’t decide how much blood Trump has on his hands," 30 Mar. 2020 Feges honed his skills at Killen's Barbecue in Pearland before launching the original 2-year-old concept with Smith, who's long been an esteemed local chef in her own right. Darla Guillen Gilthorpe, Houston Chronicle, "Spring Branch restaurant guide: what's newly open, coming soon," 18 Feb. 2020 Her next critical step for shifting careers was honing into her new craft by learning everything possible about a new industry using free online materials as well as attending workshops. Brittney Oliver, Essence, "Career: 4 Black Women Share Their Advice for Creating An Exit Strategy," 24 Jan. 2020 The later stage, which is a less abrasive blade, hones the edge and polishes the blade to perfection. The Editors, Field & Stream, "Three Ways to Sharpen a Knife," 7 Dec. 2019 Allene Jeanes a chemist at the US Department of Agriculture, honed the process of deriving it in the 1940s. Daniel Wolfe, Quartzy, "The science of slushy drinks and how to make a good one," 9 Aug. 2019 Prior to starting Cult Gaia, Larian Hekmat honed her craft at FIT and interned with Narciso Rodriguez and Jason Wu. Marina Liao, Marie Claire, "What I Wear to Work: Jasmin Larian Hekmat, Founder and Creative Director of Cult Gaia," 15 July 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb News, by honing his social media skills and gaining visibility online. Kimi Robinson, azcentral, "Remember the Phoenix teen who asked Miley Cyrus to prom? Here's what he's up to on TikTok," 1 May 2020 Its large health research and disease-tracing machinery, honed by years of coping with its HIV epidemic, has swung into action, driving testing and surveillance. Sarah Wild, Quartz Africa, "South Africa is leading the continent’s coronavirus testing challenge boosted by private labs," 3 Apr. 2020 This is a list of the 10 best survival schools in the lower 48 states for outdoorsmen to hone their skills and take their knowledge of the wilderness to the next level. Tim Macwelch, Outdoor Life, "The 10 Best Survival Schools for Hunters and Anglers," 3 Mar. 2020 Kim Smith The kitchen was fitted with Sub-Zero and Wolf appliances and an island finished with dark green honed and brushed granite. Emily Nonko, WSJ, "House of the Year, Second Place: A Private Island Escape in South Carolina," 29 Jan. 2020 Modern airplane models are a great way to exercise patience, hone your tactical building skills, and are a fun way to pass the time. Popular Science, "Meet your new hobby: model airplane kits," 16 Jan. 2020 Rowe emphasizes quality over quantity, taking fewer reps to hone his focus and decrease physical strain. Julia Poe, Pro Soccer USA, "For Orlando City goalkeeper Brian Rowe, long wait to become a starter has been worth it," 19 Sep. 2019 Ultimately, Gilead focused on honing its efficacy against Ebola. Popular Science, "Everything to know about remdesivir, the most promising COVID-19 treatment yet," 1 May 2020 For Milligan, that summit is an essential part of honing his view of the world. Matt Bean, Sunset Magazine, "On the Cutting Edge: The Making of the West’s Best Knives," 27 Apr. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'hone.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of hone

Verb (1)

1788, in the meaning defined at sense 1


15th century, in the meaning defined above

Verb (2)

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for hone

Noun and Verb (1)

Middle English, from Old English hān stone; akin to Old Norse hein whetstone, Latin cot-, cos, Sanskrit śiśāti he whets

Verb (2)

Middle French hoigner to grumble

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Time Traveler for hone

Time Traveler

The first known use of hone was in the 14th century

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Statistics for hone

Last Updated

18 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Hone.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hone. Accessed 30 May. 2020.

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More Definitions for hone


\ ˈhōn How to pronounce hone (audio) \
honed; honing

Kids Definition of hone

: to sharpen with or as if with a fine abrasive stone

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More from Merriam-Webster on hone

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for hone

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with hone

Spanish Central: Translation of hone

Nglish: Translation of hone for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of hone for Arabic Speakers

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