- to sharpen (a knife, tool, etc.) by grinding or friction.
- to make keen or eager; stimulate: to whet the appetite; to whet the curiosity.
- the act of whetting.
- something that whets; appetizer or drink.
- Chiefly Southern U.S.
- a spell of work.
- a while: to talk a whet.
Origin of whet
Examples from the Web for whet
To whet your appetite, you can relive that glorious moment (and watch other programs from the 2014 summit) here.Save the Date: Women in the World 2015
December 23, 2014
To whet your appetite, here are three heavy-hitting fashion moments happening in the coming days.Fashion Flash: New York's Week of Excitement
The Daily Beast
September 10, 2010
And his accessible focus on food will whet the appetite of gourmands and food novices alike.An American in Paris—with Brownies
May 8, 2009
To whet my appetite for Egypt now, I have to have something tasty.It Happened in Egypt
C. N. Williamson
We need something to awaken our attention, to whet our appetite, and to contrast our joys.Imogen
No more than that; nothing that can betray us; yet enough to whet his lordship's appetite.The Lion's Skin
And have you thought how to whet the courage of your troopers?The Memorabilia
Difficulties served to whet Sir Donald's desire for success.Oswald Langdon
Carson Jay Lee
- to sharpen, as by grinding or friction
- to increase or enhance (the appetite, desire, etc); stimulate
- the act of whetting
- a person or thing that whets
Word Origin and History for whet
Old English hwettan, from Proto-Germanic *khwatjanan (cf. Old Norse hvetja "to sharpen, encourage," Middle Low German, Middle Dutch wetten, Old High German wezzan, German wetzen "to sharpen," Gothic ga-hvatjan "to sharpen, incite"), from an adjective represented by Old English hwæt "brave, bold," Old Saxon hwat "sharp," from Proto-Germanic *khwataz, from PIE root *qwed- "sharp" (cf. Sanskrit codati "incites," literally "sharpens"). Figurative sense was in Old English.