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
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 sharpNoun
the computer sharp that the rest of the staff turns to whenever their PCs act up See More
Recent Examples on the Web
Sources told the Post that the sharp object used in the stabbing was not an axe.—Kimberlee Speakman, Peoplemag, 24 Nov. 2023 Old Joe’s memories become sharp or fuzzy depending on whether time is about to be altered.—Jennifer Ouellette and Sean M. Carroll, Ars Technica, 24 Nov. 2023 About 700 have arrived in November, a sharp increase from previous months, the Finnish authorities said.—Emma Bubola, New York Times, 23 Nov. 2023 Check the doneness by poking the tip of a sharp knife or metal skewer into thickest part of the leg and using a spoon to collect the juice.—The Editors, Field & Stream, 23 Nov. 2023 The Scandinavian aesthetic for me is clean cuts and sharp lines.—Laird Borrelli-Persson, Vogue, 21 Nov. 2023 Other bills failed because Republicans representing districts Biden won in 2020 rejected the sharp cuts.—Jacob Bogage, Washington Post, 21 Nov. 2023 The incentives for construction of new single-room-occupancy hotels, widely considered the lowest rung on the housing ladder above homelessness, are intended to help reverse a sharp drop in such housing units.—David Garrick, San Diego Union-Tribune, 21 Nov. 2023 It’s designed to eliminate smudges and mistakes, ensuring sharp, precise lines for a flawless makeup look.—Kathy Barr, Rolling Stone, 21 Nov. 2023
Dressed sharp in a suit with a baseball hat, Stranger performs his duets with the phenomenal Dunia Best, backed by Eastern Standard Time.—Heather Augustyn, Spin, 10 Oct. 2023 The interplay of forms linear, zigzagged and curved (including decorative finials), smooth and sharp edged, in Dawn’s Wedding Chapel II can keep eye and mind occupied for quite a while.—Scott Cantrell, Dallas News, 6 Sep. 2023 The 911's steering is as sharp edged as the flat-six, with immediate on-center action and a rear end that's more playful at the limit.—Dave Vanderwerp, Car and Driver, 5 July 2023 In 2021, prior to BTS temporarily splitting off into individual sectors while some members pursue solo projects and others complete their mandatory military service, Jung Kook spoke to Rolling Stone about keeping his skillset sharp across the board.—Larisha Paul, Rolling Stone, 3 July 2023 The 27-year-old didn’t come out sharp, allowing three hits, including an RBI single to Royce Lewis, in a 27-pitch first inning.—Jacob Calvin Meyer, Baltimore Sun, 1 July 2023 Davin Cosby, a sharp-shooting guard that enrolled early to watch the Tide’s postseason run from the bench, will also be eligible.—Nick Alvarez | Nalvarez@al.com, al, 6 Apr. 2023 The concept has a sharp-looking interior, with a sporty steering wheel shape, a prominent center console, and dual screens serving as a digital gauge cluster and a large central screen.—Joey Capparella, Car and Driver, 15 Mar. 2023 Carry your cat in style in this sharp-looking pet carrier from the travel experts at Away.—Lois Alter Mark, Forbes, 10 Nov. 2022
The event is free and anonymous; liquids, needles or sharps are not accepted, only pills or patches.—Linda McIntosh, San Diego Union-Tribune, 20 Oct. 2023 More:Michigan health care systems ease mask rules The Dearborn, Taylor, and Sterling Heights Medical Park locations will accept prescribed and over-the-counter pills, medical sharps, needles, and empty syringes in puncture-proof containers, stated the release.—Nour Rahal, Detroit Free Press, 15 Apr. 2023 The black keys represent sharps and flats.—Clare Mulroy, USA TODAY, 1 Mar. 2023 Is Love, an extra-aged sharp, cheddar in which all proceeds are donated to help Southern Oregonians in need.—oregonlive, 8 Nov. 2022 The Ghibli’s chassis is tuned for fun, with handling that's sports-car sharp balanced with a refined enough ride to satisfy luxury buyers who might otherwise go for an Audi A6 or a Mercedes-Benz E-class.—Drew Dorian, Car and Driver, 7 Jan. 2023 Korngold completed his Symphony in F sharp in 1952.—Alex Ross, The New Yorker, 30 Nov. 2022 In the depths of the first movement, immediately before Tchaikovsky’s most consuming cry of desolation, the bassoons, basses and timpani hold a low F sharp, for just a beat and a half.—David Allen, New York Times, 5 Oct. 2022 Two minutes later, Ruiz put Juan Pablo Torres in on goal with a sharp through ball.—Azcentral Sports, The Arizona Republic, 10 Oct. 2022
That included everything from off-center parts at Simone Rocha to sharp, contrasting textures at KNWLS.—India Espy-Jones, Essence, 21 Sep. 2023 President Barack Obama agreed to sharp spending curbs that only recently expired.—Matthew Brown, BostonGlobe.com, 9 May 2023 That could require Republicans to identify even steeper reductions, perhaps totaling $16 trillion, in a move that could expose the party to sharp political attacks.—Tony Romm, Jeff Stein and Marianna Sotomayor, Anchorage Daily News, 10 Mar. 2023 Investors are reassessing their outlook for economic growth amid these massive policy risks, leading to sharp down and up movements in stock markets.—Christian Weller, Forbes, 25 Jan. 2023 The mood of the night was high glam, from flowing gowns to sharp tailoring.—Essence Fashion Editors, Essence, 7 Nov. 2022 Additionally, a period of rapid growth is the time to bring in experts to sharp shoot any growth barriers.—Kelly O'Neil, Forbes, 7 July 2022 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 See More
These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'sharp.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.
Middle English, from Old English scearp; akin to Old High German scarf sharp and perhaps to Old English scrapian to scrape — more at scrape
First Known Use
before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1
before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1
: 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
—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