Dictionary: SHARP – SHAT'TER-ING

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SHARP, v.i.

To play tricks in bargaining; to act the sharper. – L'Estrange.

SHARP, v.t.

  1. To make keen or acute. – B. Jonson.
  2. To render quick. Spenser.
  3. To mark with a sharp, in musical composition; or to raise a note a semitone.


  1. Made keen.
  2. Marked with a sharp in musical composition.


Having a fine keen edge.


To grow or become sharp. – Shak.

SHARP'EN, v.t. [shàrpn; G. schärfen; D. scherpen; Sw. skärpa.]

  1. To make sharp; to give a keen edge or fine point to a thing; to edge; to point; as, to sharpen a knife, an ax or the teeth of a saw; to sharpen a sword. All the Israelites went down to the Philistines to sharpen every man his share and his colter, and his ax and his mattock. – 1 Sam. xiii.
  2. To make more eager or active; as, to sharpen the edge of industry. – Hooker.
  3. To make more pungent and painful. The abuse of wealth and greatness may hereafter sharpen the sting of conscience.
  4. To make more quick, acute or ingenious. The wit or the intellect is sharpened by study.
  5. To render perception more quick or acute. Th' air sharpen'd his visual ray / To objects distant far. – Milton.
  6. To render more keen; to make more eager for food or for any gratification; as, to sharpen the appetite; to sharpen a desire. – Shak. Tillotson.
  7. To make biting, sarcastic or severe. Sharpen each word. – Smith.
  8. To render less flat or more shrill or piercing. Inclosures not only preserve sound, but increase and sharpen it. – Bacon.
  9. To make more tart or acid; to make sour; as, the rays of the sun sharpen vinegar.
  10. To make more distressing; as, to sharpen grief or other evil.
  11. In music, to raise a sound by means of a sharp. – Prof. Fisher.


Made sharp; edged; pointed; rendered more active, acute, keen, &c.


See the verb.


A shrewd man in making bargains; a tricking fellow; a cheat in bargaining or gaming. Sharpers, as pikes, prey upon their own kind. – L'Estrange.


  1. Making keen or acute.
  2. Marking with a sharp, in musical composition.

SHARP'LY, adv.

  1. With a keen edge or a fine point.
  2. Severely; rigorously; roughly. – Tit. i. They are to be more sharply chastised and reformed than the rude Irish. – Spenser.
  3. Keenly; acutely; vigorously; as, the mind and memory sharply exercised. – B. Jonson.
  4. Violently; vehemently. At the arrival of the English embassadors, the soldiers were sharply assailed with wants. – Hayward.
  5. With keen perception; exactly; minutely. You contract your eye, when you would see sharply. – Bacon.
  6. Acutely; wittily; with nice discernment.


  1. Keenness of an edge or point; as, the sharpness of a razor or a dart.
  2. Not obtuseness. – Wotton.
  3. Pungency; acidity; as, the sharpness of vinegar. – Watts.
  4. Pungency of pain; keenness; severity of pain or affliction; as, the sharpness of pain, grief or anguish.
  5. Painfulness; afflictiveness; as, the sharpness of death or calamity. And the best quarrels in the heat are curst / By those that feel their sharpness. – Shak.
  6. Severity of language; pungency; satirical sarcasm; as, the sharpness of satire or rebuke. Some did all folly with just sharpness blame. – Dryden.
  7. Acuteness of intellect; the power of nice discernment; quickness of understanding; ingenuity; as, sharpness of wit or understanding. – Dryden. Addison.
  8. Quickness of sense or perception; as, the sharpness of sight.
  9. Keenness; severity; as, the sharpness of the air or weather.


Having a sharp point.

SHARP-SET, a. [sharp and set.]

  1. Eager in appetite; affected by keen hunger; ravenous; as, an eagle or a lion sharp-set. – Brown.
  2. Eager in desire of gratification. The town is sharp-set on new plays. – Pope.

SHARP'-SHOOT-ER, n. [sharp and shoot.]

One skilled in shooting at an object with exactness; one skilled in the use of the rifle.

SHARP'-SIGHT-ED, a. [sharp and sight.]

  1. Having quick or acute sight; as, a sharp-sighted eagle or hawk.
  2. Having quick discernment or acute understanding; as, a sharp-sighted opponent; sharp-sighted judgment.


The state of having acute sight.

SHARP'-VIS-AG-ED, a. [sharp and visage.]

Having a sharp or thin face. – Hale.


Having an acute or nicely discerning mind. – Wotton.


Among the Hindoos, a sacred book containing the dogmas of the religion of the Bramins and the ceremonies of their worship, and serving as a commentary on the Vedam. It consists of three parts; the first containing the moral law of the Hindoos; the second the rites and ceremonies of their religion; the third the distribution of the people into tribes or classes, with the duties pertaining to each. – Encyc.

SHAT'TER, v.i.

To be broken into fragments; to fall or crumble to pieces by any force applied. Some shatter and fly in many places. – Bacon.

SHAT'TER, v.t. [D. schateren, to crack, to make a great noise. This word seems to be allied to scatter and to scath, waste. The sense is to force or drive apart.]

  1. To break at once into many pieces; to dash, burst, rend or part by violence into fragments; as, explosion shatters a rock or a bomb; lightning shatters the sturdy oak; steam shatters a boiler; a monarchy is shattered by revolt. – Locke.
  2. To rend; to crack; to split; to rive into splinters.
  3. To dissipate; to make incapable of close and continued application; as, a man of shattered humor. – Norris.
  4. To disorder; to derange; to render delirious; as, to shatter the brain. The man seems to be shattered in his intellect.

SHAT'TER-BRAIN-ED, or SHAT'TER-PAT-ED, a. [shatter and brain or pate.]

  1. Disordered or wandering in intellect.
  2. Heedless; wild; not consistent. – Goodman.


Broken or dashed to pieces; rent; disordered.


Dashing or breaking to pieces; rending; disordering.