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A whetstone being used to sharpen a knife.

EtymologyEdit

From Middle English whestone, whetston, whetesston, from Old English hwetstān, from Proto-Germanic *hwatjastainaz (whetstone), equivalent to whet (to sharpen) +‎ stone. Cognate with Saterland Frisian Wätsteen (whetstone), West Frisian wetstien (whetstone), German Low German Wettsteen (whetstone), Dutch wetsteen (whetstone), German Wetzstein (whetstone), Danish hvættesten, hvætsten (whetstone).

PronunciationEdit

NounEdit

whetstone (plural whetstones)

  1. A sharpening stone; a hard stone or piece of synthetically bonded hard minerals that has been formed with at least one flat surface, used to sharpen or hone an edged tool.
    • 1922, Virginia Woolf, Jacob's Room, Vintage Classics, paperback edition, page 88-89
      It was as if a stone were ground to dust; as if white sparks flew from a livid whetstone, which was his spine; as if the switchback railway, having swooped to the depths, fell, fell, fell.
  2. (computing) A benchmark for evaluating the power and performance of a computer.
  3. (figuratively) A stimulant.

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