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 Here are three reasons why: Hoosiers fumble first half Indiana (12-3, 2-2) looked sharp early, offensively if not defensively. Zach Osterman, Indianapolis Star, "IU defense slams door on Northwestern. Is this a turning point for the Hoosiers?," 9 Jan. 2020 Dylan is an actor, a singer in the band Raspberry Blonde, and a model for Saint Laurent who looked pretty sharp accompanying his father to the Once Upon a Time in Hollywood premiere. Emma Specter, Vogue, "All About Paris and Dylan Brosnan, This Year's Golden Globe Ambassadors," 3 Jan. 2020 The men of the family, Mark, Michael, and Joaquin, all looked sharp in suit jackets. Eric Todisco, PEOPLE.com, "Kelly Ripa and Mark Consuelos Celebrate Christmas on the Slopes — and Share Gift from 'Favorite' Kid," 26 Dec. 2019 The needles of a fir tree do not have sharp pointed tips, and their needles tend to grow on each side of the twig, giving the greenery a flat feather-like appearance. Tim Macwelch, Outdoor Life, "8 Ways to Use Evergreen Trees in a Survival Situation," 23 Dec. 2019 Anim hit two threes in the first three minutes as MU looked sharp in the early going after not playing for 10 days. Ben Steele, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Marquette 93, Grambling State 72: Golden Eagles return from 10-day break with victory," 17 Dec. 2019 At the junior college, athletes can keep their skills sharp, competing at the lower level while completing at least a semester or associate degree. Kenny Jacoby, USA Today, "Jay Hopson Blake Anderson Rod Reed Charlie Strong Seth Littrell Eric Dooley Rocky Long Craig Schurig Wes Kittley Nick Bobeck Shawn Lutz Terry Bowden Sean Kugler Roman Banks Buzz Peterson Jon Harris Mike Sanford Sr. Clarence McKinney Chuck Priore Terry Sims Matt Viator Mel Tucker Kirby Cannon Larry Kennan Hannah Weiss John Grass Doc Holliday Doug Martin Mitch Stewart Tim Beck Kelvin Sampson Tim Flo," 12 Dec. 2019 The Ravens offense put up 42 points, but at times did not look sharp. Baltimore Sun Staff, baltimoresun.com, "Instant analysis: Ravens roll past Jets, 42-21, for 10th straight victory, secure second straight AFC North title," 12 Dec. 2019 Boston was much sharper in the second, with Tatum making four 3-pointers, including one that cut it to 58-55 at halftime. Brian Mahoney, courant.com, "Dinwiddie, playing in place of Irving, scores 32 as Nets beat Celtics," 29 Nov. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb Simple, sharp, speaking truth to power, and nailing an obvious hypocrisy: check, check, check, check. Spencer Kornhaber, The Atlantic, "Ricky Gervais Almost Got It Right on Hollywood Hypocrisy," 6 Jan. 2020 Ide’s ear for dialogue and vernacular is crystal sharp, turning conversations with rappers and opportunists into hilarious and affecting scenes across a diverse landscape. Los Angeles Times, "The 20 essential L.A. crime books," 17 Oct. 2019 Tennessee’s defense has been sharp, ranking ninth in the NFL in total yards allowed (335.6), 12th in rushing yards allowed (239.1) and fourth in points per game allowed (16.9). Joe Williams, USA TODAY Sportsbook Wire, "Titans-Panthers odds: Carolina given edge at home over Tennessee," 31 Oct. 2019 While most of the area’s top athletes run for clubs and compete in regional and national meets during the off-season, Romero was busy staying sharp as a gymnast. Mark Stewart, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Success in golf and gymnastics set the stage for Brookfield Central's Lexi Romero to shine on the track," 17 May 2018 Ross’ stuff has been sharp more often than not since arriving in Arizona. Kevin Acee, sandiegouniontribune.com, "Tyson Ross making healthy run at Padres' rotation spot," 6 Mar. 2018 But he's picked it up real sharp, real quick with that. Nick Baumgardner, Detroit Free Press, "Jim Harbaugh: Michigan football's quarterback battle still wide open," 28 Apr. 2018 The two-time Oscar-winning actress took a 23-year detour into politics, and clearly her blistering broadsides as a member of Parliament against the Conservative opposition have kept her histrionic powers sharp within a certain range. Charles Mcnulty, latimes.com, "Glenda Jackson steals the show in a thrilling, emotionally affecting 'Three Tall Women' on Broadway," 30 Mar. 2018 Kentucky hasn’t looked particularly sharp through the first two weeks of the 2017 season, but the Wildcats have an all-important 2-0 record on their resume. Joe Mussatto, ajc, "2017 SEC Country Power Poll: Where Kentucky is ranked (Week 2)," 10 Sep. 2017 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun 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 LONDON—European airlines are flying into smoother air with ticket prices, bolstered by improving corporate bookings and steadily growing economies, showing signs of recovery after years of sharp falls. Robert Wall, WSJ, "European Airlines Set for Lift From Rising Ticket Prices," 5 May 2017 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb 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

17 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Sharp.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/sharpness. Accessed 28 January 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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More from Merriam-Webster on sharp

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for sharp

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with sharp

Spanish Central: Translation of sharp

Nglish: Translation of sharp for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of sharp for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about sharp

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