To make sharp. Specifically:
To give a keen edge or fine point to; to make sharper; as, to sharpen an ax, or the teeth of a saw.
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)
To make more eager; as, to sharpen men's desires. "Epicurean cooks Sharpen with cloyless sauce his appetite." (Shak)
To make more pungent and intense; as, to sharpen a pain or disease.
To make biting, sarcastic, or severe. "Sharpen each word." .
To render more shrill or piercing. "Inclosures not only preserve sound, but increase and sharpen it." (Bacon)
To make more tart or acid; to make sour; as, the rays of the sun sharpen vinegar.
To raise, as a sound, by means of a sharp; to apply a sharp to.
Origin: See Sharp.
(01 Mar 1998)