\ ˈ(h)wet How to pronounce whet (audio) \
whetted; whetting

Definition of whet

 (Entry 1 of 2)

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



Definition of whet (Entry 2 of 2)

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

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Other Words from whet


whetter noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for whet

Synonyms: Verb

Antonyms: Verb

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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 Sony whet the appetite of gamers by unveiling further details about its upcoming PlayStation 5. Adam Lashinsky, Fortune, "How Garmin keeps pace with giant rivals such as Apple and Google," 19 Mar. 2020 With the opening of the Major League Baseball season pushed back, the docuseries could whet your appetite for America’s pastime. Adam Epstein, Quartz, "All the streaming services with coronavirus discounts and free trials," 18 Mar. 2020 And if no title was revealing itself as the pick of the night, an automatic preview might whet your binge-watching appetite. Julia Jacobs, New York Times, "Netflix Users Rejoice: Goodbye, Autoplay," 6 Feb. 2020 Iconic Big Lebowski character Jesus Quintana returns to the big screen later this year, and the first trailer for his upcoming spin-off The Jesus Rolls has a buzzy new trailer to whet your appetite. Joey Nolfi, EW.com, "Jesus Rolls a strike in John Turturro's first Big Lebowski spin-off teaser," 30 Jan. 2020 After a week of bowl games to whet the college football fan’s appetite, the games that matter most arrive this weekend. Cameron Dasilva, USA TODAY Sportsbook Wire, "Peach Bowl College Football Playoff semifinal: LSU vs. Oklahoma odds, picks and best bets," 28 Dec. 2019 Yet the audience gets barely enough of them to whet the appetite before the hyper, constantly shifting plot moves elsewhere. Brian Truitt, USA TODAY, "Review: 'Rise of Skywalker' concludes 'Star Wars' saga with splendor and disappointment," 18 Dec. 2019 The would-be hits are revealed in snippets in these studio scenes, as if to whet the public’s appetite. Naomi Fry, The New Yorker, "Justin Bieber’s “Seasons,” and the Promise of the Celebrity Tell-All," 1 Feb. 2020 These early voyages revealed how dangerous exploration of northern waters could be but whetted explorers’ appetite for discovery. National Geographic, "Arctic obsession drove explorers to seek the North Pole," 24 Jan. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The bird ecology program has a partial classroom lesson, albeit with examples of woodpeckers, red tailed hawks, saw whet owls, and other birds on permanent display. Denise Coffey, courant.com, "A Lesson Plan For The Birds," 4 Nov. 2019 Threatened and Endangered Raptors: Wednesday, April 11, at 6:30 p.m. Meet an American kestrel, a peregrine falcon, a whet owl and an eagle and learn what causes raptors to be threatened and endangered, with Horizon Wings. Courant Community, "Community News For The Enfield Edition," 3 Apr. 2018 The list includes three reds, five whites and four whet-your-palate 2017 pinks. Anne Schamberg, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "A dozen irresistible warm-weather wines for $20 or less - available in Milwaukee-area stores," 26 Apr. 2018 Your appetite is whet by watching the chef masterly slicing the succulent pork right off the spit; the resulting taco does not disappoint. Olivia Abel, Country Living, "Weekend Getaway Guide: What to Do In Columbus, Ohio," 22 June 2017 And a tiny northern saw-whet owl, blind in one eye after crashing into a window, will begin training to be an educational bird. Colorado Springs Gazette, The Denver Post, "Raptor center gives Colorado birds of prey a second chance at survival," 21 Jan. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'whet.' 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 whet


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


circa 1628, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for whet


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

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Time Traveler for whet

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for whet

Last Updated

25 Mar 2020

Cite this Entry

“Whet.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/whet. Accessed 30 Mar. 2020.

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More Definitions for whet


How to pronounce whet (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of whet

: to make (something, such as a person's appetite or curiosity) sharper or stronger


\ ˈhwet How to pronounce whet (audio) , ˈwet \
whetted; whetting

Kids Definition of whet

1 : to sharpen the edge of by rubbing on or with a stone
2 : to make (as the appetite) stronger

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More from Merriam-Webster on whet

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for whet

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with whet

Spanish Central: Translation of whet

Nglish: Translation of whet for Spanish Speakers

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