verb (1)
\ 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)


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

To pad what can otherwise be thin margins, Acela has honed a kind of exchange-rate arbitrage, hoarding gourdes from purchases at the depot until the dollar weakens. Rowan Moore Gerety, Harper's magazine, "Downstream," 10 June 2019 In this reboot, the adult Iceman will have largely given up on honing his powers and has instead dedicated himself to LGBTQIA+ rights. Richard Newby, The Hollywood Reporter, "Who Can Play the X-Men Now?," 7 June 2019 There were elements to his game that weren’t honed. Greg Moore, azcentral, "Andy Ruiz says he's the boss in Anthony Joshua rematch negotiation: 'I call the shots now'," 6 June 2019 The Perfect Room evolved from design boot camps Kathryn hosted during the recession, helping people hone their sense of style. Candace Braun Davison, House Beautiful, "You Can Now Get Designers' Most Iconic Looks in Your Own Home," 14 Mar. 2019 Certified trainer Samantha Campbell, C.S.C.S., who trains the Red Bull big wave surfers, says that honing the ability to hold one’s breath is an important part of surfers’ training. Amy Marturana, SELF, "I Tried Underwater Rock Running, the Endurance Workout Surfers Swear By," 28 Feb. 2019 Offered as a coupe or a sedan, the Civic Si delivers finely honed responses in a $25,195 package. Car and Driver, "2019 10Best Cars," 28 Nov. 2018 The actor who has spent the last decade honing his skills in indie fare with auteurs like Claire Denis and David Cronenberg may have moved past his broody vampire beginnings, but the internet never forgets. Janelle Okwodu, Vogue, "Can Robert Pattinson (or Nicholas Hoult) Save Batman?," 17 May 2019 Don has spent the last few decades honing an extraordinary theory about the nature of reality. Rob Reid, Ars Technica, "Ars on your lunch break: Have you ever questioned the nature of your reality?," 2 Oct. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Amy Schmaltz McLaughlin, who has honed her coaching skills at the high school and collegiate level, hopes to bring enhanced success to the Clear Brook softball team as its new head coach. Ted Dunnam, Houston Chronicle, "Softball: McLaughlin hired as Clear Brook head coach," 13 June 2019 One such contender is Carmen Rivera, 26, who honed her skills at The Row and Alexander Wang before teaming up with her mother’s college roommate, Dalia Stiller, a Puerto Rican architect with a problem. Zoe Ruffner, Vogue, "Introducing Usonia, a New Post-Philo Dress Label Inspired by Frank Lloyd Wright," 1 Feb. 2019 Image Doug Ford, who honed his golfing skills on a public course in the Bronx and went on to win the P.G.A. Championship and the Masters as a leading tour player of the 1950s, died on Monday in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla. Richard Goldstein, New York Times, "Doug Ford, Oldest Masters Champion, Dies at 95," 15 May 2018 Britt, who honed his skills with the East Brandywine Youth Association, mixes a fastball that sits in the high-80 mph range, a slider, and change-up. Rick O'brien, Philly.com, "Downingtown West's Drew Britt is a pitching and hitting force," 11 May 2018 Things on the menu seem simple, like shrimp and grits and bread pudding—but behind that simplicity is high-level execution from a chef who honed his skills in fine dining. Stephanie Burt, Condé Nast Traveler, "28 Best Restaurants in Charleston," 2 May 2018 Shows are more likely to feature thin non-models found through street casting than professional plus models who’ve been honing their skills for years. Nora Whelan, The Cut, "London Fashion Week Has a Body Diversity Problem," 22 Feb. 2018 Olmsted says that, earlier this decade, the two stations were known to attract deputies who’d honed their taste for violent confrontation by working in the Men’s Central Jail. Alexander Nazaryan, Newsweek, "Lie and Deny: Secrecy and Suspicion Surround the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department," 21 Apr. 2016 Certified trainer Samantha Campbell, C.S.C.S., who trains the Red Bull big wave surfers, says that honing the ability to hold one’s breath is an important part of surfers’ training. Amy Marturana, SELF, "I Tried Underwater Rock Running, the Endurance Workout Surfers Swear By," 28 Feb. 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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Statistics for hone

Last Updated

16 Jun 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 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

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

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