verb (1)
\ ˈhōn \
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)


verb (2)
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

Examples of hone in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

In her writing since 2014, Lewinsky has honed a particular style that’s all her own. Anna North, Vox, "Monica Lewinsky is finally having her moment," 15 Nov. 2018 Gary Janetti honed his comedy chops writing and producing for shows like Will & Grace and Family Guy, but he's become known for something a little different in the internet age. Chloe Foussianes, Town & Country, "Instagram's Favorite Prince George Meme-maker, Gary Janetti, Is Releasing a Book," 5 Nov. 2018 The administration is still honing a precise strategy for how the new pact—rebranded the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement—will apply to other trade partners. Josh Zumbrun, WSJ, "Trump Aims to Model New Trade Deals on Revised Nafta," 4 Oct. 2018 From a farming perspective, quality is not an issue: This is a region of family farmers who have been honing their craft for generations. Esther Mobley, San Francisco Chronicle, "Why is star winemaker Tegan Passalacqua building a winery in Lodi?," 20 May 2018 Brady, after all, is still honing his after decades playing quarterback. Rachel G. Bowers, BostonGlobe.com, "Meet the Patriots’ 2018 NFL Draft class," 30 Apr. 2018 Babysitting can be a great way to hone your *adulting* skills, find flexible work that fits into your schedule, and earn some extra cash along the way. Alison Caporimo, Seventeen, "6 Tips For Teen Babysitters That Are Totally Life-Changing," 21 Dec. 2018 But just as important as adding probiotics to your diet is knowing how the rest of your lifestyle comes into play in order to truly hone their benefits. Lauren Valenti, Vogue, "From CBD to Sex-Positivity, the 8 Biggest Wellness Trends of 2018," 10 Dec. 2018 This experience can be a bit frustrating, but a subtle shift in perspective can inspire incredible growth, enabling you to hone your skills even further. Aliza Kelly Faragher, Allure, "What September's Sagittarius Horoscope Means for You," 30 Aug. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

On the first Tuesday of every month a room at Generator, a business incubator and collection of artist studios in Burlington, is outfitted with a glowing obstacle course so pilots can hone their skills. Fox News, "Vermont city features drone racing obstacle course," 8 Aug. 2018 After five years of honing his skills in Atlanta, the pro transferred to the Big Apple with M.A.C. Amber Kallor, Allure, "How Frankie Boyd Went From Being a M.A.C. Counter Cashier to an A-List Makeup Artist," 30 July 2018 The beginners can focus on many of the basic fundamentals and the advanced players can continue honing their skills. Charles Rich, latimes.com, "Skills get sharpened at Spartan Basketball Camp," 27 June 2018 As money flooded into U.K. football, players were able to elevate their public profiles (and snag lucrative endorsement deals) by honing their sense of style. Sophie Gilbert, The Atlantic, "The Glorious, Bizarre History of Soccer and Fashion," 18 June 2018 Futsal, a five-a-side game with a small ball requiring nifty technique, honed the skills of great Iberian and Latin American players—from Pelé and Diego Maradona to Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi, Neymar and Andrés Iniesta. The Economist, "What makes a country good at football?," 9 June 2018 Born in Ivorian city of Abidjan, Zaha moved to Thornton Heath in 1997 at age four with his eight siblings, honing his extravagant skills in the parks of Greater London. Henry Young, CNN, "Your Country Needs You! What nationality means to the modern-day footballer," 4 June 2018 The announcement didn't clarify exactly how often fights against trainers will happen, nor whether other modes or requirements will keep players honing their creatures' fighting skills. Sam Machkovech, Ars Technica, "Pokémon’s first Switch game launches in November, connects to Pokémon Go," 30 May 2018 Hawley-Weld first began studying Portuguese while a student at Brown, and later honed her skills during a six-month stint in Brazil. Zack Ruskin, San Francisco Chronicle, "Sofi Tukker on ascension to dance pop stardom," 9 May 2018

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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Statistics for hone

Last Updated

13 Jan 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for hone

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

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More Definitions for hone


\ ˈhōn \
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

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with hone

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for hone

Spanish Central: Translation of hone

Nglish: Translation of hone for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of hone for Arabic Speakers

Comments on hone

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


a complex dispute or argument

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