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 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

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

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from sharp

Adjective

sharply adverb
sharpness noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for sharp

Synonyms: Adjective

Synonyms: Adverb

Synonyms: Noun

Antonyms: Adjective

Antonyms: Noun

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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
See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective The organization is bracing for 14,000 returnees from the United States, Mexico and elsewhere, a sharp increase from the 6,000 Haitians who had been sent back since mid-March of 2018. Washington Post, 19 Sep. 2021 Border Patrol transported 2,000 migrants in Del Rio to other locations on Friday to process them for deportation, DHS said in a statement outlining its approach to the sharp increase in border arrivals. Camilo Montoya-galvez, CBS News, 18 Sep. 2021 Detroit was among cities across the nation last year that saw a sharp increase in shootings, with Motor City notching a 19% increase in homicides in 2020 over 2019, and a 53% increase in nonfatal shootings. Fox News, 18 Sep. 2021 And this week the state reported 443 deaths, a sharp increase over last week’s 211, and the most in a week since Feb. 12. Ramsey Archibald | Rarchibald@al.com, al, 18 Sep. 2021 Despite high levels of vaccinations, countries such as the U.K and Israel are seeing a sharp increase in Covid-19 cases. Trefis Team, Forbes, 14 Sep. 2021 Pandemic restrictions have brought a sharp increase in drivers letting off some automotive steam in dangerous exhibitions fueled by social media. Los Angeles Times, 13 Sep. 2021 August saw several significant challenges for the Biden administration, including a sharp increase in coronavirus cases in the US and a chaotic withdrawal from Afghanistan as the Taliban speedily took control of the country. Jennifer Agiesta, CNN, 10 Sep. 2021 But data released in May by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health showed a sharp increase in fatal overdoses among Black people. BostonGlobe.com, 9 Sep. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb It’s the kind of typically sharp-tongued retort the family knew to expect from Philip. Marie Claire, 18 Sep. 2021 Police said the woman had multiple wounds from a sharp-edged object. Rose Wagner, baltimoresun.com, 13 Sep. 2021 Twenty years have passed but his memories remain sharp-edged. Washington Post, 11 Sep. 2021 But DaCosta’s sharp-edged and inventive direction doesn’t cut loose with the furious subjectivity and specificity that her mighty subjects demand. Richard Brod, The New Yorker, 26 Aug. 2021 The lawyer and media personality is a sharp-tongued provocateur, for sure. Steve Lopez Columnist, Los Angeles Times, 14 Aug. 2021 That coalition rallied against Turner, an unapologetically sharp-tongued progressive activist and former state senator who campaigned as a disrupter of the political status quo. BostonGlobe.com, 4 Aug. 2021 Elegant, sharp-tongued Audrey (Emily Lind), whose mother (Laura Benanti) is also a big-time fashion designer, seems like Blair’s heir apparent. Fawnia Soo Hoo, refinery29.com, 7 July 2021 The Rise of Skywalker director J.J. Abrams had seen Comer's work as chic, sharp-tongued assassin Villanelle and had to have her for a small but splashy role in his 2019 film, that of the mysterious mother of rising Jedi Rey (Daisy Ridley). Nick Romano, EW.com, 21 June 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun As a heavy fog rolled in on the first of two nights of performances in Coos Bay, the F sharp went flat. oregonlive, 24 Aug. 2021 At 9:00 sharp on a recent June morning, Peter Campbell stood at the entrance to Naples’ famed National Archaeology Museum. National Geographic, 24 June 2020 Medical sharps are instruments used to administer medications to individuals or pets. Madeline Mitchell, Cincinnati.com, 17 Mar. 2020 Will additional big bets from sharps push the odds before Sunday? Ryan R. Bonini, USA TODAY Sportsbook Wire, 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, 14 Nov. 2019 But getting dressed casket sharp and howling the night away is only part of the fun. Danielle Pointdujour, Essence, 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, 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, 12 Aug. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Torres-Rosario still gets laughs, thanks to sharp comic timing in her accented line delivery, but those laughs come in appreciation for her character’s sincerity. Matthew J. Palm, orlandosentinel.com, 15 May 2021 Tuukka Rask, sharp down the stretch after recovering from a late-season back strain, will be making his 94th playoff appearance. BostonGlobe.com, 15 May 2021 Pick one that’s medium to sharp for a good melt-to-flavor ratio. Catherine Lo, Good Housekeeping, 12 May 2021 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, 3 Apr. 2020 Leaders agreed to sharp austerity measures in return for bailouts from the Union and the International Monetary Fund. NBC News, 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, 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, 15 July 2019 It was followed the following year by the Harvard business case program, where students sharped business skills. Staff Report, chicagotribune.com, 21 June 2018

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More About sharp

Time Traveler for sharp

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Dictionary Entries Near sharp

Sharon, Plain of

sharp

Sharp

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for sharp

Last Updated

22 Sep 2021

Cite this Entry

“Sharp.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/sharp. Accessed 24 Sep. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for sharp

sharp

adjective

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

More from Merriam-Webster on sharp

Nglish: Translation of sharp for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of sharp for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about sharp

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Difficult Spelling Words Quiz

  • alphabet pasta spelling help
  • Which is the correct spelling?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Typeshift

Anagram puzzles meet word search.

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!