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verb (1)

honed; honing

transitive verb

: to sharpen or smooth with a whetstone
: to make more acute, intense, or effective : whet
helped her hone her comic timingPatricia Bosworth
honer noun


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verb (2)

honed; honing

intransitive verb

dialect : yearn
often used with for or after
dialect : grumble, moan

Examples of hone in a Sentence

Verb (1) honed the knife's blade to razor-like sharpness honed his crossword-puzzle skills by reading the dictionary as though it were a thrilling novel honed the edge of the axe until it was amazingly sharp
Recent Examples on the Web
Bre recently moved to Los Angeles to hone her screenwriting craft and use her academic experience to provide script consultation to industry professionals. Valerie Complex, Deadline, 13 July 2024 Volunteers from West Volusia Audubon Society lead this monthly program series, which includes in-class instruction and field opportunities to hone skills. Joe Rassel, Orlando Sentinel, 11 July 2024 The First Years Stack Up Cup Toys Buy on Amazon $8 Buy on Walmart $15 Endlessly fun, these affordable stacking cups help babies hone fine motor skills, learn about balance and cause and effect, colors, and much more. Ashley Ziegler, Parents, 11 July 2024 Hinds was drafted by the Reds in the second round with the 49th overall pick in 2019 and spent time honing his craft in the minor leagues. Sam Joseph, CNN, 10 July 2024 See all Example Sentences for hone 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'hone.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


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

First Known Use

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

Time Traveler
The first known use of hone was in the 14th century

Dictionary Entries Near hone

Cite this Entry

“Hone.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hone. Accessed 20 Jul. 2024.

Kids Definition


honed; honing
: to sharpen with or as if with a fine abrasive stone
: to make more intense or effective
top athletes honing their skills

More from Merriam-Webster on hone

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