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90s Slang You Should Know


[hohn] /hoʊn/
a whetstone of fine, compact texture for sharpening razors and other cutting tools.
a precision tool with a mechanically rotated abrasive tip, for enlarging holes to precise dimensions.
verb (used with object), honed, honing.
to sharpen on a hone:
to hone a carving knife.
to enlarge or finish (a hole) with a hone.
to make more acute or effective; improve; perfect:
to hone one's skills.
Origin of hone1
before 950; Middle English (noun); Old English hān stone, rock; cognate with Old Norse hein hone; akin to cone
Related forms
honer, noun


[hohn] /hoʊn/
verb (used without object), honed, honing.
South Midland and Southern U.S. to yearn; long:
to hone for the farm life; to hone after peach pie.
Archaic. to moan and groan.
1590-1600; < Anglo-French *honer; Old French hogner to grumble, growl < Germanic; compare Old Saxon hōnian to abuse, revile Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for honing
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • They had been sent out with a relief column to honing Spruit, where a train had been attacked and the troops in it hard pressed.

    In the Ranks of the C.I.V. Erskine Childers
  • For that matter, I shouldnt wonder if you were honing to get rid of me.

  • He sped down to the lake to plunge his head into the cool water and thereby sharpen the edge of an appetite that needed no honing.

    The Valiants of Virginia Hallie Erminie Rives
  • This cannot be done by stropping, but is accomplished only by the process known as honing.

    Shaving Made Easy Anonymous
  • I told him you were honing to see him: and that we'd be looking for him along about eleven.

British Dictionary definitions for honing


a fine whetstone, esp for sharpening razors
a tool consisting of a number of fine abrasive slips held in a machine head, rotated and reciprocated to impart a smooth finish to cylinder bores, etc
(transitive) to sharpen or polish with or as if with a hone
Usage note
Hone is sometimes wrongly used where home is meant: this device makes it easier to home in on (not hone in on) the target
Word Origin
Old English hān stone; related to Old Norse hein


verb (intransitive) (dialect)
often foll by for or after. to yearn or pine
to moan or grieve
Word Origin
C17: from Old French hogner to growl, probably of Germanic origin; compare Old High German hōnen to revile
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for honing



"whetstone," Old English han "stone, rock, (boundary) stone," in Middle English "whetstone" (early 14c.), from Proto-Germanic *haino (cf. Old Norse hein "hone"). The verb is 1788, from the noun. Related: Honed; honing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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