- 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
Related Words for whettedhone, sharpen, pique, incite, stimulate, kindle, file, edge, finish, grind, strop, awaken, waken, provoke, challenge, increase, wake, rally, enhance, animate
Examples from the Web for whetted
Historical Examples of whetted
The little tastes of apple that he got only whetted his appetite.Johnny Bear
E. T. Seton
Luella had elected him for her next; but he was away, and she whetted her wits on Eddie.In a Little Town
They waited for the hour to come, and whetted the knife before I took it in my hands.Debts of Honor
The more I examined the thing, the more it whetted my curiosity.The Lock And Key Library
This only whetted the zeal and inquisitiveness of the inquisitors.Marion's Faith.
- 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 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.