sharpen definition, meaning - what is sharpen in the British English Dictionary & Thesaurus - Cambridge Dictionaries Online

Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “sharpen”

See all translations

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).
More examples

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
Translations of “sharpen”
in Korean 날카롭게 하다…
in Arabic يَشْحَذ…
in Portuguese afiar…
in Catalan esmolar…
in Japanese (刃物など)をとぐ, 鋭くする…
in Italian affilare, appuntire…
in Chinese (Traditional) 能切斷, 使變尖, 使鋒利…
in Russian точить…
in Turkish bilemek, keskinleştirmek, sivriltmek…
in Chinese (Simplified) 能切断, 使变尖, 使锋利…
in Polish ostrzyć…
(Definition of sharpen from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
What is the pronunciation of sharpen?
Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website

Definitions of “sharpen” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day

disappear off the face of the earth

to disappear completely

Word of the Day

The language of elections

by Liz Walter,
April 22, 2015
On May 7th, citizens of the UK will be going to the polls (having an election) to decide who will form the next government. This kind of election is known as a general election. The country is divided into 650 areas, called constituencies. Each constituency elects a member of parliament (MP) to

Read More 

dumbwalking noun

April 20, 2015
walking slowly, without paying attention to the world around you because you are consulting a smartphone He told me dumbwalking probably wouldn’t be a long-term problem.

Read More