sharpen

[ shahr-puh n ]
/ ˈʃɑr pən /

verb (used with or without object)

to make or become sharp or sharper.

Origin of sharpen

late Middle English word dating back to 1400–50; see origin at sharp, -en1
Related forms
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for sharpen

British Dictionary definitions for sharpen

sharpen

/ (ˈʃɑːpən) /

verb

to make or become sharp or sharper
music to raise the pitch of (a note), esp by one chromatic semitoneUsual US and Canadian word: sharp
Derived Formssharpener, noun
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

Word Origin and History for sharpen

sharpen


v.

1520s, "bring to an edge or point," from sharp (adj.) + -en (1). Related: Sharpened; sharpening. Old English verb scearpian meant "to score, scarify;" cf. scearpung "scarifying." To sharpen (one's) pencil "prepare to get to work" is from 1957, American English.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper