Definition of sharpen in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈSHärpən/


1Make or become sharp: [with object]: she sharpened her pencil [no object]: her tone sharpened to exasperation
More example sentences
  • I have a feeling he's sharpening his pencil and pulling out the classified ads right about now.
  • It's never too early to start sharpening the insults and perfecting the ad hominem attacks.
  • At this very moment, exam markers are sharpening their red pencils to ring such sloppiness.
1.1Improve 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
More example sentences
  • The game isn't due out until the first quarter of 2006 so we'll see if things have been sharpened up by then.
  • If you think that the exterior lines have been sharpened up, just wait until you drop into the cabin.
  • 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.
improve, brush up, polish up, better, enhance;



Pronunciation: /ˈSHärp(ə)nər/
Example sentences
  • These come in various forms from little hand-operated sharpeners at about $20 to fully self-contained units with their own motors that will also sharpen your chisels, scissors and knives.
  • I used to carry the bench and tools on my shoulder like other knife sharpeners you see in the street.
  • Knife sharpeners and rubbish collectors advertised their services in musical calls.

Words that rhyme with sharpen

parpen, tarpon

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: sharp·en

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