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
Examples from the Web for sharply
Contemporary Examples of sharply
And why has tuition risen so sharply at public universities?The Student Loan Crisis That Isn’t About Kids at Harvard
November 30, 2014
The sharply tailored blazer and weighty jewelry that cling to her body hints at the dominant personality she possesses.Whip It: Secrets of a Dominatrix
November 25, 2014
The country is divided, sharply and unrelentingly, over the same questions.A Reminder: Our Justices are Politicians in Robes
November 13, 2014
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
October 24, 2014
Lena Dunham discusses it all—and then some—in her brutally honest, sharply funny memoir, ‘Not That Kind of Girl.’Speed Read: Lena Dunham’s Most Shocking Confessions From ‘Not That Kind of Girl’
September 26, 2014
Historical Examples of sharply
The old man was peering at him sharply from under the grey protruding brows.The Spenders
Harry Leon Wilson
At the risk of overturning the machine he veered it sharply to the left.Way of the Lawless
"They sent her to prison for three years," she answered, sharply.
"I can't see any one to-night, Thomas," he exclaimed, sharply.
This was sharply answered by the ring of rifles to the right.In the Midst of Alarms
- (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