Definition of sharpen in English:

sharpen

verb

  • 1Make or become sharp.

    with object ‘she sharpened her pencil’
    no object ‘her tone sharpened to exasperation’
    • ‘There's something about this time of year that somehow sharpens the sense of sadness that seems part and parcel of the bitter-sweet experience of Christmas time.’
    • ‘She notes his hypocrisy, and he sharpens his tone.’
    • ‘Does he pay attention or is he the one always out at the front of the class sharpening his pencil?’
    • ‘It sharpens your thinking and improves your development.’
    • ‘Evolution sharpens and refines their ability to lie about themselves.’
    • ‘So each one of these abilities is learned over the course of life and articulated, refined and sharpened as you go up the ladder.’
    • ‘What he did do was provide Hatton with a granite block on which to sharpen his skills and hone his experience.’
    • ‘This is where the bile and the agony and the rage of rock and roll was sharpened and honed.’
    • ‘It's never too early to start sharpening the insults and perfecting the ad hominem attacks.’
    • ‘If you're still with me, be prepared to sharpen both your pencils and your little gray cells.’
    • ‘So sharpen your proverbial pencils and get scribbling, because it's your reviews that keep me writing.’
    • ‘If all the procrastinator had left to do was to sharpen some pencils, no force on earth could get him do it.’
    • ‘Have they been sharpening their pencils and drawing rectangles to take the average size car?’
    • ‘And I think when the economic message sharpens on health care, the economy, job creation, you'll see the race tighten.’
    • ‘From the moment their grans pop the first illicit chocolate button in their drooling mouths, children are hooked, and parental censure only sharpens their appetite.’
    • ‘This broad and undulating ridge gradually narrows and eventually sharpens to a knife edge just below the rocky summit slopes.’
    • ‘He sharpens them and uses them as deadly weapons.’
    • ‘Hopefully it will have given them a taste for the game - it's great because it's the sort of game you can play until you're 100, and it sharpens your wits.’
    • ‘At this very moment, exam markers are sharpening their red pencils to ring such sloppiness.’
    • ‘I have a feeling he's sharpening his pencil and pulling out the classified ads right about now.’
    make sharp, make sharper, hone, whet, strop, grind, file
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 Improve or cause to improve.
      no object ‘they must sharpen up or risk losing half their business’
      with object ‘students will sharpen up their reading skills’
      • ‘We know our areas of weakness and we will have to sharpen them up,’ he added.’
      • ‘Baxter admitted he was not pleased with the previous day's training, where too many players showed their poor finishing during a lengthy session devoted to shooting practice, in which he tried to sharpen matters up in front of goal.’
      • ‘On this day he was shaking of the winter blues and sharpening up his skills as the swing as the new season approaches.’
      • ‘The acting was all of the highest standard, the script was well written and, while the removal of twenty minutes might have sharpened it up a bit, basically it was certainly professional and original stuff.’
      • ‘We work well together and the partnership is sharpening up all the time.’
      • ‘His adaptation retains the honesty and lyricism of the book but sharpens it up into a riveting confessional stream of crackling, dinner conversation-sharp dialogue.’
      • ‘Whether you're in high school now or you've been out for years, this site will have you sharpening up your revenge skills.’
      • ‘The exchange of dark-squared Bishops would have left Black with a very passive position, so he decides to sharpen things up a bit.’
      • ‘They're both fine talented footballers and while their match fitness might need a bit of sharpening up, it's great to have them back on the panel.’
      • ‘Yes, my neurological examination technique had lacked precision, and I made a note to sharpen it up.’
      • ‘If you think that the exterior lines have been sharpened up, just wait until you drop into the cabin.’
      • ‘A few of the banks are sharpening up their acts too.’
      • ‘He ruffled some feathers by suggesting ‘if blogging is to go mainstream, bloggers will have to sharpen their act up considerably’.’
      • ‘This is really a way of sharpening up the act a bit.’
      • ‘And I must edit some old writings and sharpen them up a bit and work on some new writings.’
      • ‘Tell him that you are sharpening up your act by keeping your shops and guest houses clean and opening the cafe even when a coach party arrives 10 minutes after closing time.’
      • ‘The game isn't due out until the first quarter of 2006 so we'll see if things have been sharpened up by then.’
      • ‘The job may involve a lot of travelling, and the sharpening up of skills that have become dull in the 6 years I've spent here.’
      • ‘I've also honed my design skills, and maybe even sharpened up my writing skills.’
      • ‘The company claims the handling has been sharpened up considerably.’
      improve, brush up, polish up, better, enhance
      View synonyms

Pronunciation

sharpen

/ˈʃɑrpən//ˈSHärpən/