hone in

honed in; honing in; hones in

Definition of hone in

intransitive verb

: 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: Usage Guide

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.

First Known Use of hone in

1965, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for hone in

alteration of home in

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Time Traveler for hone in

Time Traveler

The first known use of hone in was in 1965

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Dictionary Entries Near hone in


hone in

hone in on

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Statistics for hone in

Cite this Entry

“Hone in.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hone%20in. Accessed 27 Jan. 2022.

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