Origin of Sharps
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 sharpscharacter, tone, sign, forger, rascal, thief, crook, cheater, counterfeiter, charlatan, musician, magician, prodigy, hone, whet, flat, scale, natural, figure, degree
Examples from the Web for sharps
Contemporary Examples of sharps
Feather had recorded as a pianist, and although he would never put Oscar Peterson out of business, he knew his sharps and flats.Music Criticism Has Degenerated Into Lifestyle Reporting
March 18, 2014
I shuffle through the sheet music, avoiding tunes in keys with more than two sharps or flats, until I hit on “Old Shanghai.”Beck’s Album ‘Song Reader’ Is All Sheet Music. We Take It for a Spin
December 29, 2012
We waste untold time and untold millions of dollars on a tedious fixation with blades and sharps.What Pilots Fear
September 3, 2009
Historical Examples of sharps
It concerns the magistrate to defend the flats; to punish the sharps.The Comic Latin Grammar
The big Sharps boomed; the saddles emptied to their booming.When the West Was Young
Frederick R. Bechdolt
Our three were at the time "Sharps," "Upcutts," and "Bakers."A Labrador Doctor
Wilfred Thomason Grenfell
One accustomed to the sharps of the legal profession can do this sort of thing.An Outcast
F. Colburn Adams
You know if it were not for the flats, how could the sharps live?Six Years in the Prisons of England
A Merchant - Anonymous
- (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
type of breech-loading single-shot rifle, 1850, from J. Christian Sharps (1811-1874), U.S. gunsmith.
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