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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).

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. 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.

sharpen verb [T] (CLEAR)

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

sharpen verb [T] (MUSIC)

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