Sharp·en v. t. [imp. & p. p. Sarpened p. pr. & vb. n. Sharpening.] To make sharp. Specifically: (a) To give a keen edge or fine point to; to make sharper; as, to sharpen an ax, or the teeth of a saw. (b) To render more quick or acute in perception; to make more ready or ingenious.
The air . . . sharpened his visual ray
To objects distant far. --Milton.
He that wrestles with us strengthens our nerves and sharpens our skill. --Burke.
(c) To make more eager; as, to sharpen men's desires.
Sharpen with cloyless sauce his appetite. --Shak.
(d) To make more pungent and intense; as, to sharpen a pain or disease. (e) To make biting, sarcastic, or severe. “Sharpen each word.” --E. Smith. (f) To render more shrill or piercing.
Inclosures not only preserve sound, but increase and sharpen it. --Bacon.
(g) To make more tart or acid; to make sour; as, the rays of the sun sharpen vinegar. (h) Mus. To raise, as a sound, by means of a sharp; to apply a sharp to.
Sharp·en, v. i. To grow or become sharp.
v 1: make sharp or sharper; "sharpen the knives" [ant: dull]
2: make sharp or sharper; "We had to sharpen our arguments"
3: become sharp or sharper; "The debate sharpened"
4: put (an image) into focus; "Please focus the image; we
cannot enjoy the movie" [syn: focus, focalize, focalise]
5: make (images or sounds) sharp or sharper [ant: soften]
6: raise the pitch of (musical notes) [ant: flatten]
7: give a point to; "The candles are tapered" [syn: taper, point]
8: make (one's senses) more acute; "This drug will sharpen your
vision" [syn: heighten]