Dictionary.com
definitions
  • synonyms

Sharps

[shahrps]
See more synonyms for Sharps on Thesaurus.com
noun
  1. a single-shot, lever-action breechloader rifle patented in the U.S. in 1848 and adopted by the U.S. military in the 1850s.
Show More

Origin of Sharps

after Christian Sharps (1811–74), U.S. gunsmith, who invented it

sharp

[shahrp]
adjective, sharp·er, sharp·est.
  1. having a thin cutting edge or a fine point; well-adapted for cutting or piercing: a sharp knife.
  2. terminating in an edge or point; not blunt or rounded: The table had sharp corners.
  3. involving a sudden or abrupt change in direction or course: a sharp curve in the road; The car made a sharp turn.
  4. abrupt, as an ascent: a sharp drop.
  5. consisting of angular lines and pointed forms or of thin, long features: He had a sharp face.
  6. clearly defined; distinct: a sharp photographic image.
  7. distinct or marked, as a contrast: sharp differences of opinion.
  8. pungent or biting in taste: a sharp cheese.
  9. piercing or shrill in sound: a sharp cry.
  10. keenly cold, as weather: a sharp, biting wind.
  11. felt acutely; intense; distressing: sharp pain.
  12. merciless, caustic, or harsh: sharp words.
  13. fierce or violent: a sharp struggle.
  14. keen or eager: sharp desire.
  15. quick, brisk, or spirited.
  16. alert or vigilant: They kept a sharp watch for the enemy.
  17. mentally acute: a sharp lad.
  18. extremely sensitive or responsive; keen: sharp vision; sharp hearing.
  19. shrewd or astute: a sharp bargainer.
  20. shrewd to the point of dishonesty: sharp practice.
  21. Music.
    1. (of a tone) raised a chromatic half step in pitch: F sharp.
    2. above an intended pitch, as a note; too high (opposed to flat1def 26b).
  22. Informal. very stylish: a sharp dresser; a sharp jacket.
  23. Radio, Electronics. of, relating to, or responsive to a very narrow range of frequencies.Compare broadband.
  24. Phonetics. fortis; voiceless.
  25. composed of hard, angular grains, as sand.
Show More
verb (used with object)
  1. Music. to raise in pitch, especially by one chromatic half step.
Show More
verb (used without object)
  1. to sound above the true pitch.
Show More
adverb
  1. keenly or acutely.
  2. abruptly or suddenly: to pull a horse up sharp.
  3. punctually: Meet me at one o'clock sharp.
  4. vigilantly: Look sharp!
  5. briskly; quickly.
  6. Music. above the true pitch: You're singing a little sharp.
Show More
noun
  1. something sharp.
  2. Usually sharps. a medium-length needle with a rounded eye and a sharp point, used for all-purpose hand sewing.
  3. a sharper.
  4. Informal. an expert.
  5. Music.
    1. a tone one chromatic half step above a given tone.
    2. (in musical notation) the symbol ♯ indicating this.
Show More

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.
Related formssharp·ly, adverbsharp·ness, nouno·ver·sharp, adjectivesu·per·sharp, adjectiveul·tra·sharp, adjectiveun·sharp, adjectiveun·sharp·ly, adverbun·sharp·ness, nounun·sharped, adjectiveun·sharp·ing, adjective

Synonyms

See more synonyms for on Thesaurus.com
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.

Antonyms

1. dull.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words

character, 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

Historical Examples

  • It concerns the magistrate to defend the flats; to punish the sharps.

  • 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?


British Dictionary definitions for sharps

Sharp

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

sharp

adjective
  1. having a keen edge suitable for cutting
  2. having an edge or point; not rounded or blunt
  3. involving a sudden change, esp in directiona sharp bend
  4. moving, acting, or reacting quickly, efficiently, etcsharp reflexes
  5. clearly defined
  6. mentally acute; clever; astute
  7. sly or artful; clever in an underhand waysharp practice
  8. bitter or harshsharp words
  9. shrill or penetratinga sharp cry
  10. having an acrid taste
  11. keen; bitinga sharp wind; sharp pain
  12. music
    1. (immediately postpositive)denoting a note that has been raised in pitch by one chromatic semitoneB sharp
    2. (of an instrument, voice, etc) out of tune by being or tending to be too high in pitchCompare flat 1 (def. 23)
  13. phonetics a less common word for fortis
  14. informal
    1. stylish
    2. too smart
  15. at the sharp end involved in the area of any activity where there is most difficulty, competition, danger, etc
Show More
adverb
  1. in a sharp manner
  2. exactlysix o'clock sharp
  3. music
    1. higher than a standard pitch
    2. out of tune by being or tending to be too high in pitchshe sings sharp Compare flat 1 (def. 29)
Show More
noun
  1. music
    1. an accidental that raises the pitch of the following note by one chromatic semitoneUsual symbol:
    2. a note affected by this accidentalCompare flat 1 (def. 35)
  2. a thin needle with a sharp point
  3. informal a sharper
  4. (usually plural) any medical instrument with sharp point or edge, esp a hypodermic needle
Show More
verb
  1. (tr) music, US and Canadian to raise the pitch of (a note), esp by one chromatic semitoneUsual equivalent in Britain and certain other countries): sharpen
Show More
interjection
  1. Southern African slang an exclamation of full agreement or approval
Show More
Derived Formssharply, adverbsharpness, noun

Word Origin

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

Word Origin and History for sharps

Sharps

n.

type of breech-loading single-shot rifle, 1850, from J. Christian Sharps (1811-1874), U.S. gunsmith.

Show More

sharp

adj.

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.

Show More

sharp

n.

"a cheat at games," 1797, short for sharper (1680s) in this sense. Meaning "expert, connoisseur" is attested from 1840, and likely is from sharp (adj.). Music sense is from 1570s. The noun was used 14c. as "a sharp weapon, edge of a sword."

Show More
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with sharps

sharp

In addition to the idioms beginning with sharp

  • sharp as a tack
  • sharp practice

also see:

  • keep an eye (a sharp lookout) for
  • look sharp
Show More
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.