adjective, sharp·er, sharp·est.
- (of a tone) raised a chromatic half step in pitch: F sharp.
- above an intended pitch, as a note; too high (opposed to flat1def 26b).
verb (used with object)
verb (used without object)
- a tone one chromatic half step above a given tone.
- (in musical notation) the symbol ♯ indicating this.
Origin of sharp
Synonyms for sharp
Antonyms for sharp
Related Words for sharpestacute, pointed, abrupt, intense, marked, extreme, brilliant, slick, fast, nimble, bright, quick, subtle, intelligent, smart, salty, shrewd, fierce, biting
Examples from the Web for sharpest
Contemporary Examples of sharpest
He presided over the preternatural creation of 30 million new jobs—and the sharpest rise in median incomes in a generation.No One’s Going to Challenge Hillary Clinton
May 10, 2014
New York and Philadelphia lead the pack in the sharpest declines.The Year in Murder: 2013 Marks a Historic Low for Many Cities
January 1, 2014
“The Japan-China conflict is already one of the sharpest ones in the world,” he noted.Political Tensions Takes Center Stage at World Economic Forum
January 27, 2013
“The Japan-China conflict is already one of the sharpest ones in the world,” he said.Davos World Economic Forum: George Soros Issues Euro Warning
January 25, 2013
Bremmer is one of the sharpest observers of the 21st-century economy.Reporting From Davos
January 23, 2013
Historical Examples of sharpest
But this time there was a sting, of the sharpest, in the words themselves.Within the Law
The sharpest of eyes only discern the bluest and gloomiest objects.
She's the sharpest buyer I ever run across on my trips down here.Mary-'Gusta
Joseph C. Lincoln
I did set her down to be none of the sharpest; but for once I think I was mistaken.The Fairchild Family
Mary Martha Sherwood
When other powers are lacking, the power of pricking seems to be at its sharpest.My Reminiscences
- (immediately postpositive)denoting a note that has been raised in pitch by one chromatic semitoneB sharp
- (of an instrument, voice, etc) out of tune by being or tending to be too high in pitchCompare flat 1 (def. 23)
- too smart
- an accidental that raises the pitch of the following note by one chromatic semitoneUsual symbol: ♯
- a note affected by this accidentalCompare flat 1 (def. 35)
Word Origin for sharp
Old English scearp "having a cutting edge; pointed; intellectually acute, active, shrewd; keen (of senses); severe; biting, bitter (of tastes)," from Proto-Germanic *skarpaz, literally "cutting" (cf. Old Saxon scarp, Old Norse skarpr, Old Frisian skerp, Dutch scherp, German scharf "sharp"), from PIE *(s)ker- (1) "to cut" (cf. Lettish skarbs "sharp," Middle Irish cerb "cutting;" see shear).
The figurative meaning "acute or penetrating in intellect or perception" was in Old English; hence "keenly alive to one's own interests, quick to take advantage" (1690s). Of words or talk, "cutting, sarcastic," from early 13c. Meaning "distinct in contour" is from 1670s. The adverbial meaning "abruptly" is from 1836; that of "promptly" is first attested 1840. The musical meaning "half step above (a given tone)" is from 1570s. Meaning "stylish" is from 1944, hepster slang, from earlier general slang sense of "excellent" (1940). Phrase sharp as a tack first recorded 1912 (sharp as a needle has been around since Old English). Sharp-shinned attested from 1704 of persons, 1813 of hawks.
In addition to the idioms beginning with sharp
- sharp as a tack
- sharp practice
- keep an eye (a sharp lookout) for
- look sharp