whet

[hwet, wet]
verb (used with object), whet·ted, whet·ting.
  1. to sharpen (a knife, tool, etc.) by grinding or friction.
  2. to make keen or eager; stimulate: to whet the appetite; to whet the curiosity.
noun
  1. the act of whetting.
  2. something that whets; appetizer or drink.
  3. Chiefly Southern U.S.
    1. a spell of work.
    2. a while: to talk a whet.

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. 2018


Examples from the Web for whetting

Contemporary Examples of whetting

  • With the New Libran Moon on Tuesday, adventure is in the air, whetting your Leo appetite, which has recently been lagging.

    The Daily Beast logo
    The Stars Predict Your Week

    Starsky + Cox

    September 24, 2011

Historical Examples of whetting


British Dictionary definitions for whetting

whet

verb whets, whetting or whetted (tr)
  1. to sharpen, as by grinding or friction
  2. to increase or enhance (the appetite, desire, etc); stimulate
noun
  1. the act of whetting
  2. 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 whetting

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