Definition of hone in English:

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Pronunciation: /hōn/


1 [with object] Sharpen (a blade): he was carefully honing the curved blade
More example sentences
  • When the sharpener is pulled firmly across a double-sided blade, it hones both sides of the tool at once.
  • In a small wooden case hanging from the cart, there are knife stones, sand paper and a special tool for honing the edge of new knives.
  • He sat down on his bed and took out his sword, honing the edge on a small, flat rock.
sharpen, whet, strop, grind, file;
polish, refine, improve, enhance, fine-tune
2 [with object] Refine or perfect (something) over a period of time: she has taken numerous workshops to hone her skills over the years (as adjective, with submodifier honed) a finely honed performance
More example sentences
  • Aides say mock debates help to hone his arguments and to keep his answers focused.
  • With a view to providing an opportunity for the students to hone their skills, more colleges are entering into agreements with industries.
  • That allowed the company to focus exclusively on the corporate market and hone its message as a provider of premium services and products.
2.1Give greater strength or firmness to (the body or a part of the body): she has been working hard to hone her physique abdominal strength training will hone your abs
More example sentences
  • Youthful, physically attractive bodies honed to perfection display the image we are expected to achieve.
  • She also possesses a body honed to gymnastic perfection, making her look 10 years younger than her age.
  • She has honed her muscles to a level which almost defies description.
3 [no object] (hone in on) another way of saying home in on (see home). the detectives honed in on the suspect I started to hone in on the problem
More example sentences
  • Apart from concentrating on domestic coins, collectors may also hone in on various themes.
  • Just like my mother can hone in on my weak points with GPS accuracy, teenagers can humiliate me with a muttered monosyllable.
  • This is part of his broader strategy in the final 18 days to really hone in on domestic issues.


A whetstone, especially one used to sharpen razors.
Example sentences
  • By the way, a diamond hone is the ideal tool for sharpening in camp.
  • The stone often arrived rough, from where it went to another site to be finished into the actual hone.
  • I like to start with a soft stone, such as the stick-like hones sometimes used by watchmakers.


See home (usage).


Middle English: from Old English hān 'stone', of Germanic origin; related to Old Norse hein.

Words that rhyme with hone

alone, atone, Beaune, bemoan, blown, bone, Capone, clone, Cohn, Cologne, condone, cone, co-own, crone, drone, enthrone, flown, foreknown, foreshown, groan, grown, half-tone, home-grown, Joan, known, leone, loan, lone, mephedrone, moan, Mon, mown, ochone, outflown, outgrown, own, phone, pone, prone, Rhône, roan, rone, sewn, shown, Simone, Sloane, Soane, sone, sown, stone, strown, throne, thrown, tone, trombone, Tyrone, unbeknown, undersown, windblown, zone

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: hone

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