whet

1 of 2

verb

whetted; whetting

transitive verb

1
: to sharpen by rubbing on or with something (such as a stone)
whet a knife
2
: to make keen or more acute : excite, stimulate
whet the appetite
whetted her curiosity
whetter noun

whet

2 of 2

noun

1
dialect
a
: a spell of work done with a scythe between the time it is sharpened and the time it needs to be sharpened again
b
: time, while
2
: something that sharpens or makes keen:
b
: appetizer
also : a drink of liquor

Examples of whet in a Sentence

Verb We had some wine to whet our appetites. The ads are trying to whet booksellers' interest.
Recent Examples on the Web
Verb
Pro tip: There are plenty of daily drink specials to whet the appetite. Katie Toussaint, Charlotte Observer, 31 Jan. 2024 Consumers will whet their curiosity at Apple Store demos, but the target audience for this rollout is largely Apple loyalists, power users and developers. Ryan Faughnder, Los Angeles Times, 30 Jan. 2024 Awards shows tend to be mildly entertaining at best and painful at worst, and this likely didn’t whet anyone’s appetite for more. Ryan Faughnder, Los Angeles Times, 9 Jan. 2024 Add to that the chance to catch an extremely rare meteor shower, and December promises to whet your appetite for what’s anticipated to be an even more exciting year of astronomy come 2024. Stephanie Vermillion, Travel + Leisure, 1 Dec. 2023 Despite the detractors, Peltola said the Willow decision has whetted her appetite for more successes. Iris Samuels, Anchorage Daily News, 12 Sep. 2023 Here’s a clip of the mackerel being cooked to the sounds of the show’s unforgettable theme song to whet your appetite. Los Angeles Times, 4 Mar. 2023 Domestic turmoil in both the United States and Israel likely also whet the appetites of Iranian leaders, who have long been convinced that the West was decaying from within. Suzanne Maloney, Foreign Affairs, 10 Oct. 2023 Once you're worked up an appetite, whet your barbecue whistle at nearby Slow Groovin' BBQ. Perri Ormont Blumberg, Travel + Leisure, 28 Sep. 2023
Noun
Geico has been for years one of TV’s biggest advertisers, but, in a twist, its recent TV commercials have tried to whet appetites for the documentary, which will run on YouTube, with shorter versions on TikTok. Brian Steinberg, Variety, 8 Feb. 2024 In refusing to tie up loose ends or even explain exactly what our protagonists are up against, the writer-director doesn’t frustrate expectations so much as whet appetite for future installments where those concerns will presumably be addressed. Dennis Harvey, Variety, 5 Oct. 2023 You guys get to watch it tonight, or at least two episodes (to) sort of whet the appetite for the rest of it. Jenny Haward, Peoplemag, 30 Aug. 2023 The question remains: How can the party best capitalize on their work to date, using it to whet appetites for the even bigger changes that are needed? Kate Aronoff, The New Republic, 15 Aug. 2023 If this story has whet your appetite for a glass of the stuff, try this modern version made with water, sugar, lots of fresh lemon juice and a splash of grenadine syrup. Allison Robicelli, Washington Post, 21 June 2023 Decked out with a vintage French chandelier, chic hanging lanterns, and a Peter Dunham Textiles tablecloth, there’s surely something here to whet everyone’s appetite. Rachel Silva, ELLE Decor, 28 Apr. 2023 The event, which began Tuesday and runs until Sunday, features 18 eateries that offer an eclectic array of foods to whet anyone’s palate. La Risa R. Lynch, Journal Sentinel, 25 Apr. 2023 If austerity is the name of the game, the local rosé and house brut prosecco whet the old whistle particularly well. James Max, Harper's Magazine, 21 Apr. 2022 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'whet.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

Verb

Middle English whetten, from Old English hwettan; akin to Old High German wezzen to whet, waz sharp

First Known Use

Verb

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

Noun

circa 1628, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of whet was before the 12th century

Dictionary Entries Near whet

Cite this Entry

“Whet.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/whet. Accessed 28 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition

whet

verb
ˈhwet,
ˈwet
whetted; whetting
1
: to sharpen by rubbing on or with something (as a stone)
whet a knife
2
: to make keen : stimulate
whet the appetite

More from Merriam-Webster on whet

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