- 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 whetting
With the New Libran Moon on Tuesday, adventure is in the air, whetting your Leo appetite, which has recently been lagging.The Stars Predict Your Week
Starsky + Cox
September 24, 2011
In whetting the points hold the pen at an angle of 12 degrees.Practical Mechanics for Boys
J. S. Zerbe
The whetting, of course, is the reverse of that on the outside bevel gouge.Handwork in Wood
They are whetting their beaks, as if they expected a banquet.The Lone Ranche
Captain Mayne Reid
I fancy it was the parrot at the window, whetting his bill upon his cage-wires.The Works of Edgar Allan Poe
Edgar Allan Poe
Perhaps you have been whetting your teeth at Easter and Michaelmas?Poems of The Third Period
- 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 whetting
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.