sharpen

verb sharp·en \ ˈshär-pən \
Updated on: 19 Nov 2017

Definition of sharpen

sharpened; sharpening play \ˈshärp-niŋ, ˈshär-pə-\
transitive verb
: to make sharp or sharper; especially : hone
intransitive verb
: to become sharp or sharper

sharpener

play \ˈshärp-nər, ˈshär-pə-\ noun

Examples of sharpen in a Sentence

  1. Can you sharpen the image?

  2. The lecture sharpened my understanding of the topic.

  3. The outlines of the mountains sharpened as we got closer.

Recent Examples of sharpen from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'sharpen.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of sharpen

15th century

sharpen Synonyms

Synonyms
edge, grind, hone, stone, strop, whet
Antonyms
blunt, dull
Related Words
file
Near Antonyms
buff, burnish, gloss, polish, round, smooth


SHARPEN Defined for English Language Learners

sharpen

verb

Definition of sharpen for English Language Learners

  • : to make (something) sharp or sharper

  • : to make (something) clearer or more distinct

  • : to become clearer or more distinct


SHARPEN Defined for Kids

sharpen

verb sharp·en \ ˈshär-pən \

Definition of sharpen for Students

sharpened; sharpening
: to make or become sharp or sharper I sharpened the pencil's point.

sharpener

noun


Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up sharpen? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!

WORD OF THE DAY

ditzy

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Find the Cousins

  • a-large-tree-with-many-branches
  • Which pair shares a common word ancestor?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Dictionary Devil

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!