see also: Sharp
Pronunciation Adjective

sharp (comparative sharper, superlative sharpest)

  1. Terminating in a point or edge, especially one that can cut easily; not obtuse or rounded.
    • 1879, R[ichard] J[efferies], chapter II, in The Amateur Poacher, London: Smith, Elder, & Co., […], OCLC 752825175 ↗:
      Orion hit a rabbit once; but though sore wounded it got to the bury, and, struggling in, the arrow caught the side of the hole and was drawn out. Indeed, a nail filed sharp is not of much avail as an arrowhead; you must have it barbed, and that was a little beyond our skill.
    I keep my knives sharp so that they don't slip unexpectedly while carving.
    Ernest made the pencil too sharp and accidentally stabbed himself with it.
    A face with sharp features
  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. (music) Higher than usual by one semitone (denoted by the symbol after the name of the note).
  4. (music) Higher in pitch than required.
    The orchestra's third violin several times was sharp about an eighth of a tone.
  5. Having an intense, acrid flavour.
    Milly couldn't stand sharp cheeses when she was pregnant, because they made her nauseated.
  6. Sudden and intense.
    A pregnant woman during labor normally experiences a number of sharp contractions.
    • 1914, Louis Joseph Vance, chapter II, in Nobody, New York, N.Y.: George H[enry] Doran Company, published 1915, OCLC 40817384 ↗:
      She wakened in sharp panic, bewildered by the grotesquerie of some half-remembered dream in contrast with the harshness of inclement fact.
  7. (colloquial) Illegal or dishonest.
    Michael had a number of sharp ventures that he kept off the books.
  8. (colloquial) Keenly or unduly attentive to one's own interests; shrewd.
    a sharp dealer;  a sharp customer
  9. Exact, precise, accurate; keen.
    You'll need sharp aim to make that shot.
  10. Offensive, critical, or acrimonious.
    sharp criticism
    When the two rivals met, first there were sharp words, and then a fight broke out.
  11. (colloquial) Stylish or attractive.
    You look so sharp in that tuxedo!
  12. Observant; alert; acute.
    Keep a sharp watch on the prisoners. I don't want them to escape!
  13. 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
  14. Steep; precipitous; abrupt.
    a sharp ascent or descent; a sharp turn or curve
  15. (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.
  16. (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 obvious and logical way: they go in for sharp play. However, not everyone is a natural attacking player […]
  17. Piercing; keen; severe; painful.
    a sharp pain; the sharp and frosty winter air
    • c. 1591–1595, William Shakespeare, “The Tragedie of Romeo and Ivliet”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies: Published According to the True Originall Copies (First Folio), London: Printed by Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358 ↗, [Act V, scene i]:
      Sharp misery had worn him to the bones.
  18. Eager or keen in pursuit; impatient for gratification.
    a sharp appetite
  19. (obsolete) Fierce; ardent; fiery; violent; impetuous.
  20. Composed of hard, angular grains; gritty.
  21. (phonetics, dated) Uttered in a whisper, or with the breath alone; aspirated; unvoiced.
  22. (obsolete) Hungry.
    • 1782, Frances Burney, Cecilia, II.iii.1:
      “[W]hy this last week we ha'n't had nothing at all but some dry musty red herrings; so you may think, Miss, we're kept pretty sharp!”
Synonyms Antonyms Translations Translations Translations Translations Translations
  • French: trop haut, trop aigu
  • German: hoch
  • Portuguese: agudo
  • Spanish: agudo
Translations Translations Translations
  • Italian: losco
  • Portuguese: injusto
  • Russian: сомни́тельный
Translations Translations Translations Translations Translations Adverb

sharp (comparative sharper, superlative sharpest)

  1. To a point or edge; piercingly; eagerly; sharply.
    • c. 1602, William Shakespeare, “The Tragedie of Troylus and Cressida”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies: Published According to the True Originall Copies (First Folio), London: Printed by Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358 ↗, [Act II, scene ii]:
      You bite so sharp at reasons.
  2. (notcomp) 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.
Synonyms Translations
  • French: pile
  • Portuguese: em ponto
  • Russian: ро́вно
  • Spanish: en punto
Translations Noun

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.
    1. (medicine) A hypodermic syringe.
    2. (medicine, dated) A scalpel or other edged instrument used in surgery.
    3. A sharp tool or weapon.
    • If butchers had but the manners to go to sharps, gentlemen would be contented with a rubber at cuffs.
  6. A dishonest person; a cheater.
    • 1885, W[illiam] S[chwenck] Gilbert; Arthur Sullivan, composer, “A More Humane Mikado”, in […] The Mikado; or, The Town of Titipu, London: Chappel & Co., […], OCLC 25083293 ↗, Act II, page 36 ↗:
      The billiard sharp whom anyone catches / His doom's extremely hard— [...]
    The casino kept in the break room a set of pictures of known sharps for the bouncers to see.
    This usage is often classified as variant spelling of shark, and unrelated to the 'pointed' or 'cutting' meanings of sharp.
  7. Part of a stream where the water runs very rapidly.
  8. A sewing needle with a very slender point, more pointed than a blunt or a between.
  9. (in the plural) Fine particles of husk mixed with coarse particle of flour of cereals; middlings.
    • 1954, Barbara Comyns, Who Was Changed And Who Was Dead, Dorothy 2010, p. 21:
      While he worked he talked to his ducks, who were waddling about hopefully, as it was almost time for the red bucket to be filled with sharps and potato-peelings.
  10. (slang, dated) An expert.
  11. A sharpie member of Australian gangs of the 1960s and 1970s.
Translations Translations Translations Translations Verb

sharp (sharps, present participle sharping; 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.
  3. (transitive, obsolete) To sharpen.
Proper noun
  1. Surname
  2. A Japanese and Taiwanese multinational corporation that designs and manufactures electronic products, headquartered in Sakai, Japan.

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