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American Dictionary of the English Language

Webster's Dictionary 1828

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Sharpen


SHARPEN, verb transitive

1. To make sharp; to give a keen edge or a fine point to a thing; to edge; to point; as, to sharpen a knife, an ax or the teeth of a saw; to sharpen a sword.

All of the Israelites went down to the Philistines to sharpen every man his share and his coulter, and his ax and his mattock. 1 Samuel 8:1.

2. To make more eager or active; as, to sharpen the edge of industry.

3. To make more pungent and painful. The abuse of wealth and greatness may hereafter sharpen the sting of conscience.

4. To make more quick, acute or ingenious. The wit or the intellect is sharpened by study.

5. To render perception more quick or acute.

Th' air sharpen'd his visual ray

To objects distant far. Milton.

6. To render more keen; to make more eager for food or for any gratification; as, to sharpen the appetite; to sharpen a desire.

7. To make biting, sarcastic or severe. Sharpen each word.

8. To render less flat, or more shrill or piercing.

Inclosures not only preserve sound, but increase and sharpen it. Bacon.

9. To make more tart or acid; to make sour; as, the rays of the sun sharpen vinegar.

10. To make more distressing; as, to sharpen grief or other evis.

11. In music, to raise a sound by means of a sharp.

SH'ARPEN, verb intransitive To grow or become sharp.