having a thin cutting edge or a fine point; well-adapted for cutting or piercing: a sharp knife.
terminating in an edge or point; not blunt or rounded: The table had sharp corners.
involving a sudden or abrupt change in direction or course: a sharp curve in the road; The car made a sharp turn.
abrupt, as an ascent: a sharp drop.
consisting of angular lines and pointed forms or of thin, long features: He had a sharp face.
clearly defined; distinct: a sharp photographic image.
distinct or marked, as a contrast: sharp differences of opinion.
pungent or biting in taste: a sharp cheese.
piercing or shrill in sound: a sharp cry.
keenly cold, as weather: a sharp, biting wind.
felt acutely; intense; distressing: sharp pain.
merciless, caustic, or harsh: sharp words.
fierce or violent: a sharp struggle.
keen or eager: sharp desire.
quick, brisk, or spirited.
alert or vigilant: They kept a sharp watch for the enemy.
mentally acute: a sharp lad.
extremely sensitive or responsive; keen: sharp vision; sharp hearing.
shrewd or astute: a sharp bargainer.
shrewd to the point of dishonesty: sharp practice.
(of a tone) raised a chromatic half step in pitch: F sharp.
above an intended pitch, as a note; too high (opposed to flat1 def. 26b).
Informal. very stylish: a sharp dresser; a sharp jacket.
Radio, Electronics. of, relating to, or responsive to a very narrow range of frequencies.: Compare broadband.
Phonetics. fortis; voiceless.
composed of hard, angular grains, as sand.
Music. to raise in pitch, especially by one chromatic half step.
to sound above the true pitch.
keenly or acutely.
abruptly or suddenly: to pull a horse up sharp.
punctually: Meet me at one o'clock sharp.
briskly; quickly: The horse turned sharp to the left.
Music. above the true pitch: You're singing a little sharp.
Usually sharps . a medium-length needle with a rounded eye and a sharp point, used for all-purpose hand sewing.
Informal. an expert.
a tone one chromatic half step above a given tone.
(in musical notation) the symbol ♯ indicating this.
Idioms about sharp
- sharply, adverb
- sharpness, noun
- o·ver·sharp, adjective
- su·per·sharp, adjective
- ul·tra·sharp, adjective
- un·sharp, adjective
- un·sharp·ly, adverb
- un·sharp·ness, noun
- un·sharped, adjective
- un·sharp·ing, adjective
Other definitions for Sharp (2 of 2)
William "Fiona Macleod", 1855?–1905, Scottish poet and critic.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023
How to use sharp in a sentence
The Personal History of David Copperfield is satirical as well, though it’s a gentler, less biting period piece than Iannucci’s phenomenally sharp 2018 film The Death of Stalin.
That sharp rise reflects spiking demand among Nigeria’s wealthy private citizens who are increasingly tapping into “investment migration” programs offered by foreign countries.Wealthy Nigerians are buying up passports for cash from Caribbean nations to beat visa rules | Yomi Kazeem | August 26, 2020 | Quartz
As with most other economies around the world, the sharp drop in Nigeria’s GDP growth is largely down to the slowdown in economic activity after the country resorted to a lockdown back in April to curb the spread of the virus.Africa’s largest economy has suffered its worst contraction in over a decade | Yomi Kazeem | August 24, 2020 | Quartz
Yesterday’s sharp, late-day sell-off was but one reminder that the economic recovery lags well behind that of the markets recovery.The Fed’s bearish outlook puts the global stocks rally on pause | Bernhard Warner | August 20, 2020 | Fortune
This doesn’t mean that if you’re an infinite distance away you will feel these forces — they still die out — but there’s no sharp cutoff.
And why has tuition risen so sharply at public universities?The Student Loan Crisis That Isn’t About Kids at Harvard | Monica Potts | November 30, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
The sharply tailored blazer and weighty jewelry that cling to her body hints at the dominant personality she possesses.
In its main points the novel diverges sharply from the world of 2004, often at a full revolution from reality.American Dreams: How Bush Shaped Our Reading of Roth’s ‘The Plot Against America’ | Nathaniel Rich | November 23, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
The country is divided, sharply and unrelentingly, over the same questions.
Women in America are drinking more than ever before, and they are suffering the consequences in sharply rising numbers.Elizabeth Peña and the Truth About Alcoholic Women | Gabrielle Glaser | October 24, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
As the bright glow of a little cascade of sparks pierced the darkness, a voice in our rear called sharply: "Hands up!"Raw Gold | Bertrand W. Sinclair
When we got down into the bottom Mac turned aside to the deep-worn trail and glanced sharply down at the ruts.Raw Gold | Bertrand W. Sinclair
He looked up sharply, his lips parting in a smile that revealed his strong white teeth.St. Martin's Summer | Rafael Sabatini
Aristide put the letter in his pocket and turned sharply away, lest she should see a sudden rush of tears.The Joyous Adventures of Aristide Pujol | William J. Locke
He glanced sharply from face to face, feeling as though some silent, unseen process were changing everything about him.Three More John Silence Stories | Algernon Blackwood
British Dictionary definitions for sharp (1 of 2)
having a keen edge suitable for cutting
having an edge or point; not rounded or blunt
involving a sudden change, esp in direction: a sharp bend
moving, acting, or reacting quickly, efficiently, etc: sharp reflexes
mentally acute; clever; astute
sly or artful; clever in an underhand way: sharp practice
bitter or harsh: sharp words
shrill or penetrating: a sharp cry
having an acrid taste
keen; biting: a sharp wind; sharp pain
(immediately postpositive) denoting a note that has been raised in pitch by one chromatic semitone: B sharp
(of an instrument, voice, etc) out of tune by being or tending to be too high in pitch: Compare flat 1 (def. 23)
phonetics a less common word for fortis
at the sharp end involved in the area of any activity where there is most difficulty, competition, danger, etc
in a sharp manner
exactly: six o'clock sharp
higher than a standard pitch
out of tune by being or tending to be too high in pitch: she sings sharp Compare flat 1 (def. 29)
an accidental that raises the pitch of the following note by one chromatic semitone: Usual symbol: ♯
a note affected by this accidental: Compare flat 1 (def. 35)
a thin needle with a sharp point
informal a sharper
(usually plural) any medical instrument with sharp point or edge, esp a hypodermic needle
(tr) music, US and Canadian to raise the pitch of (a note), esp by one chromatic semitone: Usual equivalent in Britain and certain other countries): sharpen
Southern African slang an exclamation of full agreement or approval
- sharply, adverb
- sharpness, noun
British Dictionary definitions for Sharp (2 of 2)
Cecil (James). 1859–1924, British musician, best known for collecting, editing, and publishing English folk songs
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
Other Idioms and Phrases with sharp
In addition to the idioms beginning with sharp
- sharp as a tack
- sharp practice
- keep an eye (a sharp lookout) for
- look sharp
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.