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Definition of “sharpen” - English Dictionary

"sharpen" in American English

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sharpenverb [T]

us   /ˈʃɑr·pən/
  • sharpen verb [T] (MAKE STRONGER)

to make something stronger, or to improve something: The dollar’s decline in value sharpened fears of another recession. I’m taking a course that should help me sharpen my computer skills.
  • sharpen verb [T] (MAKE CLEARER)

to make something clearer: Turn the knob to sharpen the focus of the slide projector.
  • sharpen verb [T] (MAKE SHARP)

to make something sharp or sharper: We just had these knives/scissors sharpened. He sharpened his pencil (= made the end used for writing come to a point).
(Definition of sharpen from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)







"sharpen" in British English

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sharpenverb [T]

uk   /ˈʃɑː.pən/ us   /ˈʃɑːr.pən/
  • 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).

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