[ shahr-per ]
/ ˈʃɑr pər /


a shrewd swindler.
a professional gambler.



"The Handmaid's Tale" was required reading for many of us in school. Everyone else has probably watched the very popular and addictive TV show. Do you remember this vocabulary from the book, and do you know what these terms mean?
Question 1 of 10
Also sharpie.

Origin of sharper

First recorded in 1560–70; sharp + -er1

Definition for sharper (2 of 2)

Origin of sharp

before 900; (adj.) Middle English; Old English scearp; cognate with German scharf; akin to Irish cearb a cut (noun), keen (adj.); (adv.) Middle English; Old English scearpe, derivative of the adj.; (noun) Middle English, derivative of the adj.; (v.) derivative of the adj.


1 Sharp, keen refer to the edge or point of an instrument, tool, and the like. Sharp applies, in general, to a cutting edge or a point capable of piercing: a sharp knife; a sharp point. Keen is usually applied to sharp edges: a keen sword blade.
6 clear.
8 acrid, bitter, piquant, sour.
10 piercing, nipping, biting.
11 severe, excruciating.
12 unmerciful, cutting, acid, acrimonious, pointed, biting.
16 attentive.
17 clever, discriminating, discerning, perspicacious. As applied to mental qualities, sharp, keen, intelligent, quick have varying implications. Sharp suggests an acute, sensitive, alert, penetrating quality: a sharp mind. Keen implies observant, incisive, and vigorous: a keen intellect. Intelligent means not only acute, alert, and active, but also able to reason and understand: an intelligent reader. Quick suggests lively and rapid comprehension, prompt response to instruction, and the like: quick at figures.
20 shady, deceitful.

OTHER WORDS FROM sharp Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

Example sentences from the Web for sharper

British Dictionary definitions for sharper (1 of 3)

/ (ˈʃɑːpə) /


a person who cheats or swindles; fraud

British Dictionary definitions for sharper (2 of 3)

/ (ʃɑːp) /


Cecil (James). 1859–1924, British musician, best known for collecting, editing, and publishing English folk songs

British Dictionary definitions for sharper (3 of 3)

Derived forms of sharp

sharply, adverbsharpness, noun

Word Origin for sharp

Old English scearp; related to Old Norse skarpr, Old High German scarpf, Old Irish cerb, Lettish skarbs
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

Idioms and Phrases with sharper


The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.