\ 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 The foursquare drill is meant to hone pitchers’ reaction time fielding comebackers and making awkward throws. Henry Schulman, SFChronicle.com, "Giants pitchers go back to second grade to become A-grade fielders," 16 Feb. 2020 Last season Pearson began pitching exclusively out of the stretch, which allowed him to hone his control and led to a 119:27 K:BB ratio. 23. USA TODAY, "MLB's Top 100: Ranking the names you need to know for the 2020 season," 14 Feb. 2020 Jonathan Cohen has been quietly, methodically working to hone his vision and his skill. Robin Givhan, Washington Post, "Fashion Week celebrated what it means to dream — culminating in this one moving Marc Jacobs moment," 13 Feb. 2020 Today’s young leaders thus need to hone their soft skills, contextual and systems thinking, and attitudes to embrace the unknown. Quartz India, "Suresh Narayanan on the jobs that will define India’s future," 11 Feb. 2020 Taking the time to hone those habits can be fitness game-changers, allowing you to get the most out of the workout. Elizabeth Millard, SELF, "5 Simple Ways to Make Your Workout More Efficient," 6 Feb. 2020 Grab an Epic Day Pass or sign up for a lesson to hone your skills. Sara Holzman, Marie Claire, "The Agenda: What to Do and How to Pack for a Ski Vacation in Park City," 23 Jan. 2020 At the same time, climate modelers are also working to hone their projections in other ways. Chelsea Harvey, Scientific American, "These Are the Biggest Climate Questions for the New Decade," 4 Jan. 2020 Their work reflects the depth that comes from experience and a precision from a lifetime of honing their skills. Karina Bland, azcentral, "Jennifer Lopez and Shakira put on a show for the ages. Our ages," 4 Feb. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Harris-Moore was a skilled outdoorsman who honed his abilities growing up in the woods of Camano Island in Puget Sound about 30 miles north of Seattle. Fox News, "What happened to 'Barefoot Bandit' Colton Harris-Moore?," 14 Feb. 2020 Unlike Sharapova, who also honed her game at Florida tennis academies under a father’s watchful eye, Kenin has always represented the United States. Ben Rothenberg, New York Times, "Australian Open: Sofia Kenin Defeats Garbiñe Muguruza for Her First Major Title," 1 Feb. 2020 The actress — who honed the art of pained motherhood on Mad Men — plays a woman beaten down by life, driven out of competitive skating thanks to a teen pregnancy and forced to contend with psychosis only barely managed by medication. Robyn Bahr, The Hollywood Reporter, "'Spinning Out': TV Review," 31 Dec. 2019 Many manual sharpeners also have more than one stage—again, an early abrasive stage for removing the old edge, followed by stages that hone and polish the blade. The Editors, Field & Stream, "Three Ways to Sharpen a Knife," 7 Dec. 2019 Staying humble isn’t hard for Swindell, who spent three years selling T-shirts on tours with Luke Bryan and every bit of his free time honing his songwriting craft. Andrew Jensen, Anchorage Daily News, "How State Fair headliner Cole Swindell went from selling T-shirts to hit country songs," 29 Aug. 2019 Every morning on a sales call with top executives, Kapoor reviewed doctors’ prescribing data and honed marketing strategies, Babich said. Jef Feeley, Bloomberg.com, "How the ‘Worst’ Launch in Pharma History Spurred Opioid Surge," 13 Feb. 2019 The photographic memory that allows Mahomes to dissect defenses in the blink of an eye has been honed by hundreds of hours of film study. Dave Skretta, SFChronicle.com, "Chiefs’ Patrick Mahomes still starring with big money on horizon," 17 Jan. 2020 Colbert, at 55, is by contrast exceptionally comfortable in his own skin, each weeknight demonstrating an intellectual and physical skill honed by years of comedy improv and empathetic interviewing. Hank Stuever, Washington Post, "2019’s best TV moment? It was Stephen Colbert answering Anderson Cooper’s question about grief.," 23 Dec. 2019

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

24 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Hone.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hone. Accessed 25 Feb. 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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