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

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 So far, there has not been a sharp increase in the number of deaths, and this is now many weeks into the omicron wave. Joel Achenbach And Carolyn Y. Johnson, Anchorage Daily News, 8 Jan. 2022 Since announcing the initiative, Abbott, who is running for re-election this year, has repeatedly blamed President Joe Biden’s less stringent immigration stance for a sharp increase in migrants seeking entry into the U.S. James Barragán, San Antonio Express-News, 8 Jan. 2022 Initially sparked by a sharp increase in fuel prices at the beginning of year, the protests quickly spiraled into a broader outpouring of frustration with the resource-rich nation’s authoritarian leaders. James Marson, WSJ, 6 Jan. 2022 The policies, which prompted an immediate backlash among conservative critics and in some law enforcement circles, may prove difficult to champion politically with New York City continuing to experience a sharp increase in murders and shootings. New York Times, 6 Jan. 2022 Louisiana health officials reported more than 1,287 hospitalizations as of Tuesday — a sharp increase from fewer than 200 in mid-December. Kevin Mcgill, ajc, 6 Jan. 2022 Rising cases: The vaccination drive comes as India continues to record a sharp increase in infections, adding to concerns about the possibility of a third wave. Rhea Mogul And Adam Renton, CNN, 4 Jan. 2022 New testing sites have opened in the meantime to help with the sharp increase in demand. Peter Aitken, Fox News, 3 Jan. 2022 Recent wastewater samples in Houston, for example, show that there has been a sharp increase in the amount of the coronavirus detected in the city’s sewage. NBC News, 3 Jan. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb Bob Dole, who overcame disabling war wounds to become a sharp-tongued Senate leader from Kansas, a Republican presidential candidate and then a symbol and celebrant of his dwindling generation of World War II veterans, has died at the age of 98. J.d. Crowe | Jdcrowe@al.com, al, 6 Dec. 2021 The returning cast is led by sharp-shooting G Jarod Lucas (12.7 ppg), who shot 90.5 percent from the free throw line, and athletic 6-7 forward Warith Alatishe (9.5 ppg, 8.6 rpg). Michelle Gardner, The Arizona Republic, 9 Nov. 2021 Led by senior guard Makayla Dickens, who last year ranked as the ACC’s second-best three-point shooter (45 percent), , the Eagles see themselves as a sharp-shooting team that will defend and rebound. BostonGlobe.com, 4 Nov. 2021 Bilodeau projects as a sharp-shooting forward, who can also develop into an offensive playmaker off the dribble as a scorer and passer. oregonlive, 28 Oct. 2021 Sky head coach James Wade felt that last year’s team was missing a premier front-count player who could open up shots for sharp-shooting guards Courtney Vandersloot and Allie Quigley. Jim Chairusmi, WSJ, 11 Oct. 2021 Waystar Royco’s tight-lipped but sharp-tongued general counsel should not be denigrating and humiliating the boss’s youngest son to completion. Zoe Haylock, Vulture, 20 Oct. 2021 His sharp-tongued children and corporate hangers-on jockey for position while Logan bides his time and withholds approval. Alan Foster, Forbes, 14 Oct. 2021 The popular narrative that the Left are too nice for sharp-elbowed right wingers is beyond trite, and not remotely fit for serious discussion. John Tamny, Forbes, 22 Sep. 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.

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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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Dictionary Entries Near sharp

Sharon, Plain of

sharp

Sharp

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Statistics for sharp

Last Updated

13 Jan 2022

Cite this Entry

“Sharp.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/sharp. Accessed 18 Jan. 2022.

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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

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