\ 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)

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 Since passing their crazy gauntlet to join their group, Angelica has gotten a major support system and a place to hone her survival skills. Tamara Fuentes, Seventeen, "All the Questions We Need Answered in "Daybreak" Season 2," 1 Nov. 2019 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 The leagues will experiment with new ways to coach fundamentals in practice, aiming to hone skills while cutting down on full-speed contract that ends with players going to the ground. Larry Lage, The Denver Post, "USA Football pilots development model to reimagine the sport," 15 Aug. 2019 Commanders honed their ability to coordinate rapidly developing, simultaneous stealthy activities across several countries. Eric Schmitt, New York Times, "American Commandos Gear Up for New Shadow War With Russia," 12 July 2019 In that time, scientists also honed their ability to estimate how much radiation each organ absorbed, the authors said. Michael Nedelman, CNN, "Treatment for overactive thyroid linked to increased risk of dying from cancer," 1 July 2019 The majority of Morgan’s personal workouts have been based around honing his shooting ability. Tyler Kraft, Indianapolis Star, "Juwan Morgan faces questions about 3-point ability at Pacers workout," 5 June 2019 The atlas also honed his ability to find countries on the map. Allie Caren, Washington Post, "Meet the 6-year-old who can name every country — in alphabetical order," 5 July 2018 As music festivals have become overwhelmingly corporatized and have honed their ability to extract cash from young and old folks alike, the festival-going experience has become homogenous. Jonny Coleman, Los Angeles Magazine, "Why the Hell Can’t Hollywood Make a Decent Music Festival Movie?," 11 Apr. 2018 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Unlike apprenticed or employed Affinites who had honed their abilities for years, Ana had only a basic and crude control over hers. David Canfield, EW.com, "Read an excerpt from Blood Heir, the year's most controversial YA novel," 17 Oct. 2019 Rising through the Barça academy, the Guinea-Bissau born forward - who honed his technique with rolled-up socks - has taken to first-team football with incredible ease, netting twice in his opening five La Liga games. SI.com, "Ranking the Top 10 Players in the Running for the Golden Boy Award 2019," 15 Oct. 2019 But the two-story dining room’s DNA was all Fortgang, the Le Pigeon general manager who honed his trade under chef Tom Colicchio at New York’s Gramercy Tavern. Michael Russell, oregonlive, "Little Bird Bistro will close Oct. 27," 8 Oct. 2019 Not bad for a guy who honed his craft during six years behind bars on a fifteen-year sentence for cocaine trafficking. Chris Vognar, Houston Chronicle, "Houston comedian and former prisoner Ali Siddiq makes it to semi-finals on ‘Bring The Funny’," 28 Aug. 2019 Jung developed the concept in the early 1930s after discussions with frequent dinner guest Albert Einstein, who was still honing his Theory of Relativity. Margaret Wappler, latimes.com, "The Happy Foot Sad Foot sign is moving. These books may fill the foot-shaped void in your heart," 12 July 2019 This year the annual shindig was hosted by Zachary Levi, a first-time awards show host, best known as an actor who honed his comedic chops on the set of Chuck and as the star of Shazam!. Melissa Locker, Time, "2019 MTV Movie & TV Awards: All the Wildest, Wackiest, Weirdest Moments," 18 June 2019 Costanza honed his technique in Singapore, Korea and Japan and worked at Lukshon, L.A.'s revered Southeast Asian restaurant. San Diego Union-Tribune, "We hate brunch. But we love these 10 brunch spots," 8 Aug. 2019 Try your hand at trimming the sails while honing your nautical skills, and drop anchor to swim in crystal-clear waters. National Geographic, "Greek Islands Adventure," 12 June 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

17 Nov 2019

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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for hone

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with 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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