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

Someone with Instagram-flawless contouring might have honed her craft using the finest from the drugstore aisles, and the utterly makeup-free type might be spending thousands on laser treatments and serums. Glamour, "I'm a Beauty Editor in London and My Entire Routine Costs $18,598 a Year," 30 Apr. 2019 Treating these proposals seriously now will help Republicans hone their arguments for the presidential contest. Karl Rove, WSJ, "Stopping the Socialist Resurgence," 28 Nov. 2018 Ward regularly corresponds with Rihanna’s two stylists Jahleel Weaver and Mel Ottenberg and has developed a close working relationship with Ottenberg in particular, who helps hone the singer's red carpet style. Liana Satenstein, Vogue, "Who Are the Anonymous Users Running Instagram’s Most Famous Celebrity Style Instagram Accounts?," 19 July 2018 The club team founded by Curtis Jackman 31 years ago helped Rollins hone her abilities, first as a sprinter, then as a hurdler. Matt Case, BostonGlobe.com, "Boosted by local clubs, young runners getting a leg up on life," 22 June 2018 Every star athlete has a coach to help hone their physical performance. Ryan Howes, SELF, "Why It's a Huge Deal When Male Athletes Like Kevin Love Talk About Therapy," 27 Mar. 2018 JumpStart, one of the competition's lead backers, in partnership with the Ohio Third Frontier, helped finalists hone their pitches for presentations to a panel of professional investors. Marcia Pledger, cleveland.com, "Young entrepreneurs to make pitches for $50K in prizes during Morgenthaler-Pavey competition," 14 Mar. 2018 On the first Tuesday of every month a room at Generator, a business incubator and collection of artist studios in Burlington, is outfitted with a glowing obstacle course so pilots can hone their skills. Fox News, "Vermont city features drone racing obstacle course," 8 Aug. 2018 After five years of honing his skills in Atlanta, the pro transferred to the Big Apple with M.A.C. Amber Kallor, Allure, "How Frankie Boyd Went From Being a M.A.C. Counter Cashier to an A-List Makeup Artist," 30 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Babysitting can be a great way to hone your *adulting* skills, find flexible work that fits into your schedule, and earn some extra cash along the way. Alison Caporimo, Seventeen, "6 Tips For Teen Babysitters That Are Totally Life-Changing," 21 Dec. 2018 This experience can be a bit frustrating, but a subtle shift in perspective can inspire incredible growth, enabling you to hone your skills even further. Aliza Kelly Faragher, Allure, "What September's Sagittarius Horoscope Means for You," 30 Aug. 2018 More than 150 people were injured in the riots and much of the business district was damaged or destroyed by fire, including some of the music venues where artists went to hone their craft on the west side. Asbury Park Press, "Read more from this Project," 15 June 2018 By 10 to 12 months old, Pérez says the cubs will be moved to an 80-acre pen to hone their hunting skills. Elaina Zachos, National Geographic, "These Are the First Jaguars Born in This Argentinian Wetland in Over a Century," 11 June 2018 While biding his time behind Lingner, Pisanic, a Towson resident and Boys’ Latin graduate, continued to hone his game and help his teammates. Edward Lee, baltimoresun.com, "David Pisanic used time wisely while waiting for chance to start again for UMBC men’s lacrosse," 19 Mar. 2018 But Wohl, director Chavkin and an expressive cast whose performances have been finely honed over months of touring are powerful communicators. Christine Dolen, miamiherald, "‘Small Mouth Sounds’ at Arsht Center connects through subtle, nonverbal communication | Miami Herald," 19 Feb. 2018 Seeking a way out of the deadlock, May has divided her ministers into two sub-groups tasked with examining and honing the two proposals. Alex Morales, Bloomberg.com, "U.K. Promises Brexit Clarity in Time for EU Summit in June," 16 May 2018 Regularly use a steel honing rod, and get knives sharpened when needed. Eric Velasco, AL.com, "The best kitchen tools and how to use them," 27 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

5 May 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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