I. adjective Etymology: Middle English, from Old English scearp; akin to Old High German scarf sharp and perhaps to Old English scrapian to scrape — more at scrape Date: before 12th century 1. adapted to cutting or piercing: as a. having a thin keen edge or fine point b. briskly or bitingly cold ; nipping <
a sharp wind
2. a. keen in intellect ; quick-witted b. keen in perception ; acute <
sharp sight
c. keen in attention ; vigilant <
keep a sharp lookout
d. keen in attention to one's own interest sometimes to the point of being unethical <
a sharp trader
; also corrupt, unethical <
sharp business practices
3. keen in spirit or action: as a. full of activity or energy ; brisk <
sharp blows
b. capable of acting or reacting strongly; especially caustic 4. severe, harsh: as a. inclined to or marked by irritability or anger <
a sharp temper
b. causing intense mental or physical distress <
a sharp pain
c. cutting in language or import <
a sharp rebuke
5. affecting the senses or sense organs intensely: as a. (1) having a strong odor or flavor <
sharp cheese
(2) acrid b. having a strong piercing sound c. having the effect of or involving a sudden brilliant display of light <
a sharp flash
6. a. terminating in a point or edge <
sharp features
b. involving an abrupt or marked change especially in direction <
a sharp turn
c. clear in outline or detail ; distinct <
a sharp image
d. set forth with clarity and distinctness <
sharp contrast
7. a. of a tone raised a half step in pitch b. higher than the proper pitch c. major, augmented — used of an interval in music 8. stylish, dressysharply adverbsharpness noun Synonyms: sharp, keen, acute mean having or showing alert competence and clear understanding. sharp implies quick perception, clever resourcefulness, or sometimes questionable trickiness <
sharp enough to spot a confidence game
. keen suggests quickness, enthusiasm, and a penetrating mind <
a keen observer of the political scene
. acute implies a power to penetrate and may suggest subtlety and sharpness of discrimination <
an acute sense of style
. II. adverb Date: before 12th century 1. in a sharp manner 2. exactly <
1:15 sharp
III. noun Date: 14th century one that is sharp: as a. a sharp edge or point b. (1) a musical note or tone one half step higher than a note or tone named (2) a character ♯ on a line or space of the musical staff indicating a pitch a half step higher than the degree would indicate without it c. a needle with a small eye for sewing by hand d. a real or self-proclaimed expert; also sharper IV. verb Date: 1662 transitive verb to raise (as a musical tone) in pitch; especially to raise in pitch by a half step intransitive verb to sing or play above the proper pitch

New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.

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  • Sharp — Sharp, a. [Compar. {Sharper}; superl. {Sharpest}.] [OE. sharp, scharp, scarp, AS. scearp; akin to OS. skarp, LG. scharp, D. scherp, G. scharf, Dan. & Sw. skarp, Icel. skarpr. Cf. {Escarp}, {Scrape}, {Scorpion}.] 1. Having a very thin edge or fine …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

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  • sharp — [shärp] adj. [ME < OE scearp, akin to Ger scharf, ON skarpr < IE * (s)kerb(h) < base * (s)ker , to cut > SHEAR, HARVEST, L caro, flesh] 1. suitable for use in cutting or piercing; having a very thin edge or fine point; keen 2. having… …   English World dictionary

  • sharp — sharp, keen, acute can all mean having a fine point or edge, but it is in several of their extended senses that they are most likely to come into comparison. As applied to persons or their qualities, especially of intellect, all three can… …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

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  • sharp — [adj1] knifelike, cutting aciculate, acuate, acuminate, acuminous, acute, apical, barbed, briery, cuspate, cuspidate, edged, fine, ground fine, honed, horned, jagged, keen, keen edged, knife edged, needlelike, needle pointed, peaked, pointed,… …   New thesaurus

  • sharp — sharp; sharp·en; sharp·en·er; sharp·er; sharp·ie; sharp·ish; sharp·ite; sharp·ly; sharp·ness; sharp·ster; un·sharp; …   English syllables

  • Sharp — Sharp, adv. 1. To a point or edge; piercingly; eagerly; sharply. M. Arnold. [1913 Webster] The head [of a spear] full sharp yground. Chaucer. [1913 Webster] You bite so sharp at reasons. Shak. [1913 Webster] 2. Precisely; exactly; as, we shall… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

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