verb (used with or without object)
- to make or become sharp or sharper.
- to make or become sharp or sharper
- music to raise the pitch of (a note), esp by one chromatic semitoneUsual US and Canadian word: sharp
n.1630s, agent noun from sharpen. v.1520s, “bring to an edge or point,” from sharp (adj.) + -en (1). Related: Sharpened; sharpening. Old English verb scearpian meant “to score, scarify;” cf. scearpung “scarifying.” To sharpen (one’s) pencil “prepare to get to work” is from 1957, American English.