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

Mallmann, who had an early start in French kitchens, has been honing the primal technique for two decades — and now cooks by open flame for the likes of Gwyneth Paltrow and David Beckham. CBS News, "The Dish: Open fire cooking icon Francis Mallmann," 31 Aug. 2019 Stress, uncertainty, overwork, the volatility of the workplace, narcissism, competition — all these things play a part, honed to a fine art in the film and TV world. Stephen Galloway, The Hollywood Reporter, "Why Nobody in Hollywood Has Any Friends," 30 Aug. 2019 Indeed, Kosar, who led the Browns to three AFC Championship games in the late 1980s, is one of the most beloved Browns players ever and has honed his broadcasting chops in the booth and on the sidelines on Browns preseason telecasts. cleveland.com, "Bernie Kosar, Jim Donovan to host weekly Browns show ‘Dawg Pound Radio’ on SiriusXM," 29 Aug. 2019 Robotic envoys circling Jupiter and Saturn in recent decades have made startling discoveries that honed astrobiologists’ interest in Earth’s oceans. Eva Botkin-kowacki, The Christian Science Monitor, "NASA eyes the ocean: How the deep sea could unlock outer space," 23 Aug. 2019 But what really made Tucker exceptional was her voice: a husky alto that, from the beginning, had a knowingness to it, honed sharp. David Cantwell, The New Yorker, "Tanya Tucker’s New Album Might Be the Best of Her Long, Underrated Career," 23 Aug. 2019 Actual brother West — who lives on the West Coast with his mother but visited in July — is looking forward to bonding with Huckleberry, and is already honing his own vocal chops, Houser reported. Perri Ormont Blumberg, PEOPLE.com, "Randy Houser Talks New Film Magnolia and How Wife Tatiana Is 'Killing the Mom Thing' with Baby Huckleberry," 22 Aug. 2019 Coach Tucker has made sure we’re honed-in and very focused every day in walkthroughs, practices, meetings and other kinds of stuff. Mike Chambers, The Denver Post, "Hard-hitting safety Mikial Onu another one of CU’s likely starting grad transfers," 21 Aug. 2019 In recent years, Exxon has focused more on petrochemical and refining growth, while ConocoPhillips has focused more on downsizing and honing its portfolio to improve its bottom line and appease Wall Street. Jordan Blum, Houston Chronicle, "Gazprom, PetroChina, EQT lead oil and gas growth worldwide," 15 Aug. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

And then now with the advanced analysts program, even experienced analysts get additional opportunities to further hone their skills. CBS News, "Transcript: Kristin Wood talks with Michael Morell on "Intelligence Matters"," 4 Sep. 2019 In their early teens, both boys honed their skills at restaurants: Biniyam worked at a Canadian restaurant called Mother Tucker’s, while Michael took a shift at McDonald’s to help pay the bills, Habtemariam said. Hannah Natanson, Washington Post, "Forget Popeyes: A viral tweet has customers lining up outside this immigrant-owned chicken sandwich restaurant in D.C.," 2 Sep. 2019 Similarly, separatist politicians, all of whom are either in jail or under house detention, will have to hone their politics to the new reality. Riyaz Wani, Quartz India, "With Kashmir’s autonomy gone, its pro-India political parties have lost all credibility," 27 Aug. 2019 Hannah, who has an impressive four-octave singing voice and honed his vocal skills at the Royal College of Music in London, began working with George after his producer Benny D sent some of his tracks to him. Brianne Tracy, PEOPLE.com, "Jamie Hannah Says He 'Immediately Connected' with Mentor Boy George's Work — and Now Has a New Duet with Him!," 18 July 2019 Prior to starting Cult Gaia, Larian Hekmat honed her craft at FIT and interned with Narciso Rodriguez and Jason Wu. Marina Liao, Marie Claire, "What I Wear to Work: Jasmin Larian Hekmat, Founder and Creative Director of Cult Gaia," 15 July 2019 All the while, Granum has remained a persistent salesman, his pitch well-honed and confidence sky-high. oregonlive.com, "Lawmakers pump cash into Portland public market idea as backers say it’s do-or-die," 5 July 2019 Ulises Alvarez, a sourdough fanatic at the year-and-a-half-old Grano bakery, just off Main Street, honed his skills at Tabor Bread in Portland. Kathleen Squires, WSJ, "A Traveler’s Guide to Oregon City, aka ‘Portland Without the Weird’," 27 Sep. 2018 Players like de Beer strengthened the recruiting philosophy Michalczik honed at Montana State, finding players sometimes outside the four- or five-star range and identifying ones willing to push the limits of their work ethic. Danny Moran, OregonLive.com, "Jim Michalczik brings sterling reputation with him as Oregon State offensive line coach," 25 Apr. 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

8 Sep 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

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).


to make a temporary encampment

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