whet

[hwet, wet]

verb (used with object), whet·ted, whet·ting.

to sharpen (a knife, tool, etc.) by grinding or friction.
to make keen or eager; stimulate: to whet the appetite; to whet the curiosity.

noun

the act of whetting.
something that whets; appetizer or drink.
Chiefly Southern U.S.
  1. a spell of work.
  2. a while: to talk a whet.

Nearby words

  1. wherewith,
  2. wherewithal,
  3. wherret,
  4. wherrit,
  5. wherry,
  6. whet one's appetite,
  7. whether,
  8. whether or not,
  9. whetstone,
  10. whew

Origin of whet

before 900; Middle English whetten (v.), Old English hwettan (derivative of hwæt bold); cognate with German wetzen, Old Norse hvetja, Gothic gahwatjan to incite

Related formswhet·ter, nounun·whet·ted, adjective

Can be confusedwet whet

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for whetted


British Dictionary definitions for whetted

whet

verb whets, whetting or whetted (tr)

to sharpen, as by grinding or friction
to increase or enhance (the appetite, desire, etc); stimulate

noun

the act of whetting
a person or thing that whets
Derived Formswhetter, noun

Word Origin for whet

Old English hwettan; related to hvæt sharp, Old High German hwezzen, Old Norse hvetja, Gothic hvatjan

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 whetted

whet

v.

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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper