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English definition of “sharpen”

sharpen

verb [T] uk   /ˈʃɑː.pən/ us    /ˈʃɑːr-/

sharpen verb [T] (ABLE TO CUT)

C2 to make something sharp or sharper: My pencil is blunt - I'll have to sharpen it.figurative The company is cutting production costs in an attempt to sharpen its competitive edge (= in order to improve how competitive it is).Sharp and blunt

sharpen verb [T] (MAKE STRONG)

to make something stronger: Recent changes have sharpened competition between the airlines. The prison riots have sharpened the debate about how prisons should be run.Becoming and making stronger to improve: I hope this course will help me sharpen my computer skills. I went to university to sharpen my mind. We'll need to sharpen our wits if we're going to defeat Jack's team.Becoming betterMaking things betterMaking progress and advancingMaking things betterBecoming better

sharpen verb [T] (CLEAR)

to make something clearer: How do you sharpen the focus on this camera?Defining and explaining

sharpen verb [T] (MUSIC)

to make something play a higher musical note: You need to sharpen the A string on your violin.Making things betterBecoming better
Phrasal verbs
(Definition of sharpen from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
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