hone in


Definition of hone in

  1. intransitive verb
  2. :  to move toward or focus attention on an objective looking back for the ball honing in — George Plimpton a missile honing in on its target — Bob Greene hones in on the plights and victories of the common man — Lisa Russell

hone in vs. home in

Most usage commentators consider hone in to be a mistake for home in. The use may have arisen from home in by the weakening of the \m\ sound to \n\ or it may have developed simply because of the influence of hone, with perhaps an underlying sense that “honing” figuratively involves a narrowing or sharpening of focus. Whatever the explanation of its origins, it has established itself in American English and has begun to make a few inroads into British English as well. Even so, your use of it especially in writing is likely to be called a mistake. Home in or in figurative use zero in is an easy alternative.

Origin and Etymology of hone in

alteration of home in

First Known Use: 1965

Seen and Heard

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


feeling or affected by lethargy

Get Word of the Day daily email!