sharp

adjective
\ ˈshärp How to pronounce sharp (audio) \

Definition of sharp

 (Entry 1 of 5)

1 : adapted to cutting or piercing: such as
a : having a thin keen edge or fine point
b : briskly or bitingly cold : nipping a sharp wind
2a : keen in intellect : quick-witted
b : keen in perception : acute sharp sight
c : keen in attention : vigilant keep a sharp lookout
d : keen in attention to one's own interest sometimes to the point of being unethical a sharp trader also : corrupt, unethical sharp business practices
3 : keen in spirit or action: such as
a : full of activity or energy : brisk sharp blows
b : capable of acting or reacting strongly especially : caustic
4 : severe, harsh: such as
a : inclined to or marked by irritability or anger a sharp temper
b : causing intense mental or physical distress a sharp pain
c : cutting in language or import a sharp rebuke
5 : affecting the senses or sense organs intensely: such as
a(1) : having a strong odor or flavor sharp cheese
(2) : acrid
b : having a strong piercing sound
c : having the effect of or involving a sudden brilliant display of light a sharp flash
6a : terminating in a point or edge sharp features
b : involving an abrupt or marked change especially in direction a sharp turn
c : clear in outline or detail : distinct a sharp image
d : set forth with clarity and distinctness sharp contrast
7a of a tone : raised a half step in pitch
b : higher than the proper pitch
c : major, augmented used of an interval in music

sharp

adverb

Definition of sharp (Entry 2 of 5)

1 : in a sharp manner
2 : exactly 1:15 sharp

sharp

noun
plural sharps

Definition of sharp (Entry 3 of 5)

: one that is sharp: such as
a : a sharp edge or point
b(1) : a musical note or tone one half step higher than a note or tone named
(2) : a character ♯ on a line or space of the musical staff indicating a pitch a half step higher than the degree would indicate without it
c : a needle with a small eye for sewing by hand
d : a real or self-proclaimed expert also : sharper
e : a medical instrument (such as a scalpel, lancet, or syringe needle) that is sharp or may produce sharp pieces by shattering usually pluralIt is no longer legal to dispose of sharps in the regular trash, Health Director Jeanne M. Galloway said in announcing the new collection station.— Angela Carbone

sharp

verb
sharped; sharping; sharps

Definition of sharp (Entry 4 of 5)

transitive verb

: to raise (a musical tone) in pitch especially : to raise in pitch by a half step

intransitive verb

: to sing or play above the proper pitch

Sharp

biographical name
\ ˈshärp How to pronounce Sharp (audio) \

Definition of Sharp (Entry 5 of 5)

Phillip Allen 1944–     American biologist

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Other Words from sharp

Adjective

sharply adverb
sharpness noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for sharp

Synonyms: Adjective

Synonyms: Adverb

Synonyms: Noun

Antonyms: Adjective

Antonyms: Noun

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Choose the Right Synonym for sharp

Adjective

sharp, keen, acute mean having or showing alert competence and clear understanding. sharp implies quick perception, clever resourcefulness, or sometimes questionable trickiness. sharp enough to spot a confidence game keen suggests quickness, enthusiasm, and a penetrating mind. a keen observer of the political scene acute implies a power to penetrate and may suggest subtlety and sharpness of discrimination. an acute sense of style

Examples of sharp in a Sentence

Adjective a sharp drop in temperature He took a sharp left turn. a sharp curve in the road Her cheerful mood stands in sharp contrast to her dreary surroundings. Adverb be there at four o'clock sharp Noun the computer sharp that the rest of the staff turns to whenever their PCs act up
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective To roast sweet potatoes: Cut an X in the sweet potatoes with a sharp knife and set on a baking sheet. Beth Dooley Special To The Star Tribune, Star Tribune, "3 sauces and a soup that will revamp your Thanksgiving leftovers," 25 Nov. 2020 The efforts are in sharp contrast to how South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem has overseen the pandemic in her state of nearly 885,000 residents. NBC News, "As South Dakota takes hands-off approach to coronavirus, Native Americans feel vulnerable," 25 Nov. 2020 This is easily done with a sharp knife and a little basic anatomy knowledge. Will Brantley, Field & Stream, "How to Clean Big Game with the Gutless Method," 20 Nov. 2020 If working with a 12-inch loaf, slice the sandwich in half with a sharp, serrated knife and serve. Washington Post, "This New Orleans-style Thanksgiving po’ boy is the answer to all your holiday leftovers," 17 Nov. 2020 At the end, the whole thing was misted with yuzu juice and toasted sesame oil — and ultimately crowned with a smiley-face carrot, its eyes painstakingly carved with a Dremel and its mouth sculpted with a very sharp knife. Jenn Harris Senior Food Writer, Los Angeles Times, "Is this the world’s cheffiest fried chicken sandwich?," 7 Nov. 2020 Using a sharp knife, halve the pork crosswise and slice it into thin pieces, about ⅛-inch thick. Tara Duggan, SFChronicle.com, "Recipe for twice-cooked pork is part of late SF restaurateur Cecilia Chiang’s legacy," 6 Nov. 2020 The most common artichoke preparations only require a few common kitchen items: a sharp knife, scissors, and a spoon. Audrey Bruno, SELF, "27 Artichoke Recipes You'll Want to Make Over and Over," 29 Oct. 2020 Use a sharp knife to release edges and use parchment paper to carefully lift cheesecake from pan. Tribune News Service, cleveland, "A pumpkin spice celebration for cheesecake lovers," 27 Oct. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb Like Jenny, MacGraw was a sharp-tongued smarty pants who’d attended Wellesleyon a scholarship. Amy Nicholson, Town & Country, "Ali MacGraw and Ryan O'Neal on Love Story at 50," 1 Dec. 2020 Even if Shackelford, a sharp-shooting three-point threat, comes off the bench, Oats has cautioned not to read too much into that. Mike Rodak | Mrodak@al.com, al, "‘Ceiling is very high’ for Alabama basketball, which opens season Wednesday night," 25 Nov. 2020 Hobos scrawled the secret language with whatever writing implements were available—a lump of coal, chalk, a nail, or even a sharp-edged rock. Roy Berendsohn, Popular Mechanics, "The Hobo Hieroglyphs: Their Secret Symbols, Explained," 17 Nov. 2020 Loyer came out of high school a sharp-shooting, highly touted scoring guard despite his smallish frame. Chris Solari, Detroit Free Press, "Michigan State basketball's Foster Loyer ready to emerge from Cassius Winston's shadow," 27 Oct. 2020 The Bearcats only allowed 19 passing yards on SMU's first possession and looked sharp early against one of the ten best offenses in college football. Charlie Goldsmith, The Enquirer, "No. 9 Cincinnati Bearcats dominate No. 16 SMU Mustangs in AAC showdown," 25 Oct. 2020 Harris, a sharp-tongued former prosecutor whose appointment to the ticket this summer immediately raised expectations for this debate with Pence, proved to be an agile and at times eloquent opponent. Susan B. Glasser, The New Yorker, "Mike Pence’s Trumpian Makeover," 8 Oct. 2020 The Trump-era liberal comedy show, on the other hand, casts its host not as a sharp-tongued outsider but as the leader of a righteous movement. Dan Brooks, New York Times, "How President Trump Ruined Political Comedy," 7 Oct. 2020 Officials estimate the flames have also killed 30% to 70% of the state’s sage grouse and sharp-tailed grouse, birds that also depend on sagebrush. Elizabeth Pennisi, Science | AAAS, "As wildfires continue in western United States, biologists fear for vulnerable species," 30 Sep. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun At 9:00 sharp on a recent June morning, Peter Campbell stood at the entrance to Naples’ famed National Archaeology Museum. National Geographic, "Museums' treasures endure, but how we see them may change," 24 June 2020 Medical sharps are instruments used to administer medications to individuals or pets. Madeline Mitchell, Cincinnati.com, "Stopping the spread of COVID-19: Rumpke employees need your help," 17 Mar. 2020 Will additional big bets from sharps push the odds before Sunday? Ryan R. Bonini, USA TODAY Sportsbook Wire, "2020 Super Bowl odds and betting trends," 30 Jan. 2020 The sharps realize Navy’s defense has gone from allowing 34 points per game in 2018 to just 18 points per game this season. Joseph Goodman, al, "Ailing Alabama being doubted; Auburn needs some magic," 14 Nov. 2019 But getting dressed casket sharp and howling the night away is only part of the fun. Danielle Pointdujour, Essence, "5 BOO-zy Halloween Cocktails That Are Ghoulishly Delicious," 31 Oct. 2019 Inspired by the '90s, hair legend Adir Abergel gave The Good Place star a razor-sharp blunt cut that falls just underneath her chin. Kaleigh Fasanella, Allure, "Kristen Bell Just Debuted a Super-Blunt, ‘90s-Inspired Bob," 22 Oct. 2019 In the brief, demonic finale, a test of any violinist's abilities, Lee was confident and fiery throughout, and Fisch kept the orchestra razor-sharp through Barber's tricky rhythmic twists. cleveland.com, "Familiar works enjoy new life on revelatory night with Cleveland Orchestra," 12 Aug. 2019 Sometimes that nervousness and those butterflies get you extra-sharp. George Ramsay, CNN, "Mind game: When rugby stars are 'too nervous to take the field'," 1 June 2018 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb In the new crisis, the FT argues, dividends are sharping up to be the target that bankers’ bonus pay was the last time around. Alan Murray, Fortune, "Big pharma’s big chance," 3 Apr. 2020 Leaders agreed to sharp austerity measures in return for bailouts from the Union and the International Monetary Fund. NBC News, "From bankruptcies to stock market highs, this was a decade of turnarounds," 27 Dec. 2019 May’s sharp rebuke of the president has put pressure on other lawmakers, especially Johnson and Jeremy Hunt, who is also vying for her job, to condemn the tweets. Jennifer Hassan, Washington Post, "‘1950s racism straight from the White House’: Trump’s tweets revolt politicians around the world," 15 July 2019 May’s sharp rebuke of the president has put pressure on other lawmakers, especially Johnson and Jeremy Hunt, who is also vying for her job, to condemn the tweets. Jennifer Hassan, BostonGlobe.com, "‘1950s racism straight from the White House’: Trump’s tweets revolt politicians around the world," 15 July 2019 It was followed the following year by the Harvard business case program, where students sharped business skills. Staff Report, chicagotribune.com, "Giving back: Ridgewood students recognized for their mentoring work," 21 June 2018 But strong pitching was the order of the day Friday, with Tanaka looking sharp himself. Jorge L. Ortiz, USA TODAY, "Dallas Keuchel in command: Astros cruise to Game 1 ALCS win over Yankees," 13 Oct. 2017 North Korea if America or its allies come under attack is, in fact, not all that sharp a break from existing U.S. policy. Ankit Panda, The Atlantic, "A Presidential Misunderstanding of Deterrence," 20 Sep. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'sharp.' 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 sharp

Adjective

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Adverb

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Noun

14th century, in the meaning defined above

Verb

1662, in the meaning defined at transitive sense

History and Etymology for sharp

Adjective

Middle English, from Old English scearp; akin to Old High German scarf sharp and perhaps to Old English scrapian to scrape — more at scrape

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Time Traveler for sharp

Time Traveler

The first known use of sharp was before the 12th century

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Statistics for sharp

Last Updated

2 Dec 2020

Cite this Entry

“Sharp.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/sharp. Accessed 4 Dec. 2020.

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More Definitions for sharp

sharp

adjective
How to pronounce Sharp (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of sharp

 (Entry 1 of 3)

: having a thin edge that is able to cut things or a fine point that is able to make a hole in things
: sudden and quick
: involving a sudden change in direction

sharp

adverb

English Language Learners Definition of sharp (Entry 2 of 3)

: above the correct musical pitch

sharp

noun

English Language Learners Definition of sharp (Entry 3 of 3)

: a musical note that is one semitone higher than a specified note also : a written symbol ♯ that is placed before a note to show that it should be played a semitone higher

sharp

adjective
\ ˈshärp How to pronounce sharp (audio) \
sharper; sharpest

Kids Definition of sharp

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1 : having a thin edge or fine point (as for cutting or piercing) a sharp knife
2 : brisk and cold a sharp wind
3 : very smart a sharp student
4 : attentive sense 1 He kept a sharp watch.
5 : having very good ability to see or hear You have sharp eyes.
6 : energetic, brisk We kept up a sharp pace.
7 : showing anger or disapproval a sharp reply
8 : causing distress : severe a sharp pain sharp criticism
9 : strongly affecting the senses The workshop … had the sharp, warm scent of wood shavings and sawdust.— Lloyd Alexander, Time Cat
10 : ending in a point or edge a sharp mountain peak
11 : involving a sudden and quick change a sharp drop in the temperature a sharp turn
12 : clear in outline or detail : distinct a sharp image
13 : raised in pitch by a half step F sharp
14 : higher than true pitch Her singing was slightly sharp.
15 : stylish a sharp outfit

Other Words from sharp

sharply adverb
sharpness noun

sharp

adverb

Kids Definition of sharp (Entry 2 of 3)

1 : at an exact time four o'clock sharp
2 : at a higher than true pitch He sang sharp.

sharp

noun

Kids Definition of sharp (Entry 3 of 3)

1 : a musical note or tone that is a half step higher than the note named
2 : a sign ♯ that tells that a note is to be made higher by a half step

sharp

noun
\ ˈshärp How to pronounce sharp (audio) \

Medical Definition of sharp

: a medical instrument (as a scalpel, lancet, or syringe needle) that is sharp or may produce sharp pieces by shattering As I passed the hemostat, the needle clipped my glove and my skin … I then disposed of the sharp and tried to force bleeding.The Journal of the American Medical Association, 4 Jan. 2012 usually used in plural It is no longer legal to dispose of sharps in the regular trash, Health Director Jeanne M. Galloway said in announcing the new collection station.— Angela Carbone, The Springfield (Massachusetts) Republican, 18 Oct. 2008

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