Last modified on 22 July 2014, at 23:54

sharp

EnglishEdit

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EtymologyEdit

From Middle English, from Old English scearp, from Proto-Germanic *skarpaz (compare West Frisian skerp, Low German scharp, Dutch scherp, German scharf, Danish skarp), from Proto-Indo-European *(s)kerb(h) (compare Irish cearb 'keen; cutting', Latin acerbus 'tart, bitter', Tocharian B kärpye 'rough', Latvian skârbs 'sharp, rough', Russian щерба (ščerba) 'notch', Albanian harb 'rudeness'), from *(s)ker- (to cut). More at shear.

PronunciationEdit

AdjectiveEdit

sharp (comparative sharper, superlative sharpest)

  1. Able to cut easily.
    I keep my knives sharp so that they don't slip unexpectedly while carving.
  2. (colloquial) Intelligent.
    My nephew is a sharp lad; he can count to 100 in six languages, and he's only five years old.
  3. Terminating in a point or edge; not obtuse or rounded.
    Ernest made the pencil too sharp and accidentally stabbed himself with it.
    a sharp hill;  a face with sharp features
  4. (music) Higher than usual by one semitone (denoted by the symbol after the name of the note).
  5. (music) Higher in pitch than required.
    The orchestra's third violin several times was sharp about an eighth of a tone.
  6. Having an intense, acrid flavour.
    Milly couldn't stand sharp cheeses when she was pregnant, because they made her nauseated.
  7. Sudden and intense.
    A pregnant woman during labor normally experiences a number of sharp contractions.
    • 1914, Louis Joseph Vance, Nobody, chapter 2:
      She wakened in sharp panic, bewildered by the grotesquerie of some half-remembered dream in contrast with the harshness of inclement fact.
  8. (colloquial) Illegal or dishonest.
    Michael had a number of sharp ventures that he kept off the books.
  9. (colloquial) Keenly or unduly attentive to one's own interests; shrewd.
    a sharp dealer;  a sharp customer
    • Jonathan Swift (1667–1745)
      the necessity of being so sharp and exacting
  10. Exact, precise, accurate; keen.
    • 2013 July-August, Catherine Clabby, “Focus on Everything”, American Scientist: 
      Not long ago, it was difficult to produce photographs of tiny creatures with every part in focus. [] A photo processing technique called focus stacking has changed that. Developed as a tool to electronically combine the sharpest bits of multiple digital images, focus stacking is a boon to biologists seeking full focus on a micron scale.
    You'll need sharp aim to make that shot.
  11. Offensive, critical, or acrimonious.
    sharp criticism;  When the two rivals met, first there were sharp words, and then a fight broke out.
  12. (colloquial) Stylish or attractive.
    You look so sharp in that tuxedo!
  13. Observant; alert; acute.
    Keep a sharp watch on the prisoners. I don't want them to escape!
  14. Forming a small angle; especially, forming an angle of less than ninety degrees.
    Drive down Main for three quarters of a mile, then make a sharp right turn onto Pine.
    • 1900, Charles W. Chesnutt, The House Behind the Cedars, Chapter I,
      The street down which Warwick had come intersected Front Street at a sharp angle in front of the old hotel, forming a sort of flatiron block at the junction, known as Liberty Point
  15. Steep; precipitous; abrupt.
    a sharp ascent or descent;  a sharp turn or curve
  16. (mathematics, of a statement) Said of as extreme a value as possible.
    Sure, any planar graph can be five-colored. But that result is not sharp: in fact, any planar graph can be four-colored. That is sharp: the same can't be said for any lower number.
  17. (chess) Tactical; risky.
    • 1963, Max Euwe, Chess Master Vs. Chess Amateur (page xviii)
      Time and time again, the amateur player has lost the opportunity to make the really best move because he felt bound to follow some chess "rule" he had learned, rather than to make the sharp move which was indicated by the position.
    • 1975, Luděk Pachman, Decisive Games in Chess History (page 64)
      In such situations most chess players choose the ohvious and logical way: they go in for sharp play. However, not everyone is a natural attacking player []
  18. Piercing; keen; severe; painful.
    a sharp pain;  the sharp and frosty winter air
  19. Eager or keen in pursuit; impatient for gratification.
    a sharp appetite
  20. (obsolete) Fierce; ardent; fiery; violent; impetuous.
    • John Milton (1608-1674)
      in sharp contest of battle
    • John Dryden (1631-1700)
      A sharp assault already is begun.
  21. Composed of hard, angular grains; gritty.
    sharp sand
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Edward Moxon to this entry?)
  22. (phonetics, dated) Uttered in a whisper, or with the breath alone; aspirated; unvoiced.

SynonymsEdit

AntonymsEdit

Derived termsEdit

TranslationsEdit

The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Help:How to check translations.

AdverbEdit

sharp (comparative sharper, superlative sharpest)

  1. To a point or edge; piercingly; eagerly; sharply.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of M. Arnold to this entry?)
    • Shakespeare
      You bite so sharp at reasons.
  2. (not comparable) Exactly.
    I'll see you at twelve o'clock sharp.
  3. (music) In a higher pitch than is correct or desirable.
    I didn't enjoy the concert much because the tenor kept going sharp on the high notes.

SynonymsEdit

TranslationsEdit

NounEdit

sharp (plural sharps)

  1. (music) The symbol ♯, placed after the name of a note in the key signature or before a note on the staff to indicate that the note is to be played a semitone higher.
    The pitch pipe sounded out a perfect F♯ (F sharp).
    Transposition frequently is harder to read because of all the sharps and flats on the staff.
  2. (music) A note that is played a semitone higher than usual; denoted by the name of the note that is followed by the symbol ♯.
  3. (music) A note that is sharp in a particular key.
    The piece was difficult to read after it had been transposed, since in the new key many notes were sharps.
  4. (music) The scale having a particular sharp note as its tonic.
    Beethoven's "Moonlight Sonata" is written in C♯ minor (C sharp minor.)
  5. (usually in the plural) Something that is sharp.
    Place sharps in the specially marked red container for safe disposal.
  6. A sharp tool or weapon.
    • Collier
      If butchers had but the manners to go to sharps, gentlemen would be contented with a rubber at cuffs.
  7. (medicine) A hypodermic syringe.
  8. (medicine, dated) A scalpel or other edged instrument used in surgery.
  9. A dishonest person; a cheater.
    The casino kept in the break room a set of pictures of known sharps for the bouncers to see.
  10. Part of a stream where the water runs very rapidly.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Charles Kingsley to this entry?)
  11. A sewing needle with a very slender point, more pointed than a blunt or a between.
  12. (in the plural) middlings
  13. (slang, dated) An expert.
  14. A sharpie (member of Australian gangs of the 1960s and 1970s).
    • 2006, Iain McIntyre, Tomorrow Is Today: Australia in the Psychedelic Era, 1966-1970
      The Circle was one of the few dances the older sharps frequented; mostly they were to be found in pubs, pool-halls or at the track.

Derived termsEdit

TranslationsEdit

The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Help:How to check translations.

See alsoEdit

VerbEdit

sharp (third-person singular simple present sharps, present participle sharping, simple past and past participle sharped)

  1. (music) To raise the pitch of a note half a step making a natural note a sharp.
    That new musician must be tone deaf: he sharped half the notes of the song!
  2. To play tricks in bargaining; to act the sharper.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of L'Estrange to this entry?)

TranslationsEdit

AnagramsEdit