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Sharpen   /ʃˈɑrpən/   Listen
Sharpen

verb
(past & past part. sarpened; pres. part. sharpening)
1.
Make sharp or sharper.
2.
Make crisp or more crisp and precise.
3.
Become sharp or sharper.
4.
Put (an image) into focus.  Synonyms: focalise, focalize, focus.
5.
Make (images or sounds) sharp or sharper.
6.
Raise the pitch of (musical notes).
7.
Give a point to.  Synonyms: point, taper.
8.
Make (one's senses) more acute.  Synonym: heighten.



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"Sharpen" Quotes from Famous Books



... are prone to admire inordinately at first, and not finding a constant supply of food for this kind of sickly appetite, take a distaste to the object of their idolatry. To be even with themselves for their credulity, they sharpen their wits to spy out faults, and are delighted to find that this answers better than their first employment. It is a course of study, 'lively, audible, and full of vent.' They have the organ of wonder and the organ of fear in a prominent degree. The first requires new objects of admiration to ...
— Table-Talk - Essays on Men and Manners • William Hazlitt

... How to Sharpen the Wheel Cutter.—The right way to do this is difficult to describe in writing. You must, first of all, grind down the "shoulders" of the tool, through which the pivot of the wheel goes, for they are made so large that the wheel cannot reach the stone (fig. 6), and must be reduced (fig. 7). ...
— Stained Glass Work - A text-book for students and workers in glass • C. W. Whall

... the bellows are compressed, the other from the outwardly bent reed by suction (as in the American organ; see HARMONIUM) when the bellows are expanded. The pitch of the note is determined by the length and thickness of the reeds, reduction of the length tending to sharpen the note, while reduction of the thickness lowers it. The right hand plays the melody on the keyboard, while the left works the bellows and manipulates the two or three bass harmony keys, which sound the simple chords of ...
— Project Gutenberg Encyclopedia

... housemaid, who has remained faithful, and helps Miss Bence Jones to milk the cows and to attend to the dairy. The road is slippery on the high ground hard by, and it is debated at Lisselan House whether the farrier of the Dragoon Guards shall not be asked to "sharpen" the shoes of the animals employed there, for no local workman ...
— Disturbed Ireland - Being the Letters Written During the Winter of 1880-81. • Bernard H. Becker

... tissue—the only thing between him and death. I thought of it a day or two later when I was reading a book about the Austrian army officer's life, written by an English lady, and came across the phrase: '"Sharpen sabres!' was the ...
— Antwerp to Gallipoli - A Year of the War on Many Fronts—and Behind Them • Arthur Ruhl

... TOOLS.—Dull tools indicate the character of the workman. In an experience of over forty years, I have never known a good workman to keep poorly sharpened tools. While it is true that the capacity to sharpen tools can be acquired only by practice, correct habits at the start will materially assist. In doing this part of the artisan's work, it should be understood that there is a right as well as a ...
— Carpentry for Boys • J. S. Zerbe

... that although we found no kind of metal in any of these islands, yet, the inhabitants of all of them, the moment they got a piece of iron in their possession, began to sharpen it, but made no such attempt on ...
— A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels, Vol. 12 • Robert Kerr

... extend the Long House, smoke the magic pipe, sharpen his tomahawk, for he is a son of your League, and shall sit with you in the Council for ever, bearing the name of Arahseh, 'Our Cousin,' and the totem ...
— The False Chevalier - or, The Lifeguard of Marie Antoinette • William Douw Lighthall

... no more than sharpen punctuation. The eighth in general continues to trim little excesses, though the loss is scarcely noticeable. Richardson further reduces Hill's praise of the book and his own praise of Hill, feeling his way toward ...
— Samuel Richardson's Introduction to Pamela • Samuel Richardson

... daily and exhausting battle for her private opinions as talkative people have, simply because she rarely if ever expressed an opinion; but her father stood ready always, a post of resistance to innovation, upon which she could sharpen the claws of her conclusion silently ...
— The Heavenly Twins • Madame Sarah Grand

... took his knee between his hands, closing one of his eyes in order to sharpen his recollection. He poured forth a stream of reminiscence, mingled observation, and personal experience. Bartley followed him with his pencil, jotting down points, striking in sub-head lines, and now and then interrupting him with ...
— A Modern Instance • William Dean Howells

... lines of the form will not only aid one in adopting a more becoming style of dress, but will sharpen the artistic perceptions, thus adding ...
— What Dress Makes of Us • Dorothy Quigley

... of both sexes, paired and unpaired!"—It was already evident from this address, how necessary it was that a preacher of repentance should arise, and sharpen the conscience of the company. "One part of my noble friends is paired, and they may find themselves quite happy; another unpaired, and these find themselves in the highest degree miserable, as I can assure you from my own experience: ...
— Autobiography • Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

... this scouting life develop your faculties, sharpen your senses of hearing and of seeing, and, in practical ways, of thinking too; of noting signs and little portents and drawing conclusions from them; of observing things. You feel more alive than you ever felt before. Every day you are more or less dependent on your ...
— With Rimington • L. March Phillipps

... and, pretending to be very kind, she called them to her and joked with them, and led them into a beautiful room, where she gave them food to eat, and showed them a soft cushion on which they might sleep. Then she left them and went down into the palace kitchens, where she told the servants to sharpen the knives, and to make a great fire ready, and hang a large ...
— The Yellow Fairy Book • Leonora Blanche Alleyne Lang

... sufficient for entrance at the University is all that is incumbent on students who have been submitted to the academical course. So that we are unavoidably led on to the further question, viz., shall we sharpen and refine the youthful intellect, and then leave it to exercise its new powers upon the most sacred of subjects, as it will, and with the chance of its exercising them wrongly; or shall we proceed to feed it with divine truth, as it gains an appetite ...
— The Idea of a University Defined and Illustrated: In Nine - Discourses Delivered to the Catholics of Dublin • John Henry Newman

... in the air, I mind, to sharpen up the appetites; an' a-boardin' with a widdy, too, bad 'cess ...
— Burnham Breaker • Homer Greene

... constant dependence on Divine aid, you may confidentially hope to make continual progress. Among men of the world, a youth of softness and sweetness will often, as we formerly remarked, harden into insensibility, and sharpen into moroseness. But it is the office of Christianity to reverse this order. It is pleasing to witness this blessed renovation: to see, as life advances, asperities gradually smoothing down, and roughnesses mellowing away: while the subject of this happy change experiences ...
— A Practical View of the Prevailing Religious System of Professed Christians, in the Middle and Higher Classes in this Country, Contrasted with Real Christianity. • William Wilberforce

... used for cutting on either edge, and that are carried in sheathes, to prevent the mechanics from cutting their neighbours' fingers. These files were to be distributed to the paupers in Ireland, to enable them to sharpen their teeth, so that they could masticate animal food at the grand barbecue that was to be given on the landing of our vessel. Another portion of the cargo was 200,000 puff-balls and sugar-plums, for gratuitous distribution ...
— The Dock and the Scaffold • Unknown

... governed and ruled by the senses. But there is nothing paradoxical about all this, for the Yogis, while preaching the folly of sense life, and manifesting the teaching in their lives, nevertheless believe in any and all exercises calculated to "sharpen" the Mind, and develop it to a ...
— A Series of Lessons in Raja Yoga • Yogi Ramacharaka

... descended upon him this afternoon that especial ecstasy that is surrendered once and again by the gods to men to lead them, maybe, into some especial blunder or to sharpen, for Olympian humour, the contrast of some ...
— The Cathedral • Hugh Walpole

... became common among them. They became at once hard, wily, and rapacious, and ready instruments in ignoble and oppressive callings. Shut out from open paths and honourable ambitions they haunted the obscurer byways of industry; they were to be found in many occupations which sharpen the intellect but blunt the moral sense, and they threw themselves passionately into the acquisition of wealth and of secret power. Exposed for generations, even in lands where they were not more seriously persecuted, to constant ...
— Historical and Political Essays • William Edward Hartpole Lecky

... lay outside the coverlet as he spoke, "I do not know what to make of them. They might have been made by a carding-machine; but that supposition is untenable. It is within the bounds of possibility that they might have been made by a wild animal if it had taken care to sharpen its claws. That too is, I take it, impossible. By the way, have you any strange pets here in the house; anything of an exceptional kind, such as a tiger-cat or anything out of the common?" Miss Trelawny smiled a sad smile which made my heart ...
— The Jewel of Seven Stars • Bram Stoker

... pecuniary interests in some of the claims he urged with so obstinate a pertinacity. And though there was not the smallest evidence of such utter abandonment of honour, though it was probably but a calumnious whisper, yet the mere suspicion of such practices served to sharpen the aversion of his enemies, and justify the disgust of ...
— Alice, or The Mysteries, Complete • Edward Bulwer-Lytton

... as many twigs, about 18 in. in length, as he intends hanging springes. There are two methods of hanging them—in one the twig is bent into the form of the figure six, the tail end running through a slit out in the upper part of the twig. The other method is to sharpen a twig at both ends, and insert the points into a grower or stem of underwood, thus forming a bow, of which the stem forms the string below the springe; and hanging from the lower part of the bow is placed a small branch, with three or four berries ...
— Practical Taxidermy • Montagu Browne

... for money. You eat and drink, and boast of your exercises: they sharpen your appetites. So goes the round. We strive, we fail; you are our frog-chorus of critics, and you suppose that your brekek-koax affects us. I say we strive and fail, but we strive on, while you remain in a past age, and are proud of it. You reproach us with lack of common ...
— The Shaving of Shagpat • George Meredith

... only to sharpen his appetite, for in a moment he dragged out from the grass something which startled me. Was it feathers or fur or a ...
— Upon The Tree-Tops • Olive Thorne Miller

... necessary for the regulation, after the war, of International Finance, it remains to consider what can be done to amend the evils from which it suffers, and likewise what, if anything, can be done to strengthen our financial weapon, and sharpen its edge to help us in the difficult fight that will follow the present war, however it ...
— International Finance • Hartley Withers

... answered the peasant, smiling. "A minute here, a minute there. The time costs nothing. What am I doing? Nothing. I digest. To pass the time I sharpen the knife. I am like this. I say it is a ...
— Casa Braccio, Volumes 1 and 2 (of 2) • F. Marion Crawford

... them. These pleasures he held to be inferior to those of the senses and less refined than those of the intellect. He looked upon imaginative pleasure as consisting in resemblances discovered between imitations and things imitated, between copies and originals, an exercise adapted to sharpen the spirit of observation. ...
— Aesthetic as Science of Expression and General Linguistic • Benedetto Croce

... much cannot be seen of the warm, delicate blendings. There is always the look of a flowerbed at dawn, before Chanticleer's second call has brought the sun to sharpen outlines, before dreams and night-mist have altogether quitted the place. Plenty of warm wood colours are there, of lake blues, of smothered reds. Precious they are to the eye, these scenes, but ...
— The Tapestry Book • Helen Churchill Candee

... Government placed the liberated population under police surveillance, compelling each individual to prove honest acquirement of the slender means necessary for subsistence. Contact with the world begins to sharpen native intelligence, already heightened by the fusion of European blood with the island race, and external cleanliness being enforced systematically in Dutch territory, the concrete cottages which alternate with the thatched dwellings are dazzlingly white, the diligent sweeping and watering ...
— Through the Malay Archipelago • Emily Richings

... if you please? He was a fool and a bore, but I wished him no harm. I was sorry as any one when I heard of his death, and I offered a good reward for the catching of the mean skunk that killed him. If I had done so myself I wouldn't have been such a fool as to sharpen the scent of the hounds on ...
— The Silent House • Fergus Hume

... with intense disdain; "the husband's helpless. He may sharpen his—tusks, but he'll never come to battle. How good and great you are! It is quite refreshing to hear your strictures on innocent amusements. But I beg you will speak of that lady with due respect; she is the first—yes, positively the ...
— Guy Livingstone; - or, 'Thorough' • George A. Lawrence

... When he set on the stove cover, it seemed to break the spell of her rigidity and she turned, hurried into the scullery and came back. She had, he saw, a knife. That was not alarming. It was a small kitchen knife, but he recognized it as the one she made a great fuss about, asking him to sharpen it often and keeping it for special use. But she gripped it strangely. Besides, there was the strangeness of ...
— Old Crow • Alice Brown

... suddenly fomenting all that emotion, fear, and anger in the Chamber, was after all but an opportunity for political strife, a field on which the voracious appetites of the various "groups" would take exercise and sharpen; and, at bottom, the sole question was that of overthrowing the ministry and replacing it by another. Only, behind all that lust of power, that continuous onslaught of ambition, what a distressful prey was stirring—the whole people with all ...
— The Three Cities Trilogy, Complete - Lourdes, Rome and Paris • Emile Zola

... clever girls who rambled over Scotland cross the border to the Emerald Isle, and again they sharpen their wits against new conditions, and revel in the land of ...
— The Adventures of Bobby Orde • Stewart Edward White

... it difficult to see how this has happened. Talent of any sort is generally accompanied with a peculiar fineness of sensibility; of genius this is the most essential constituent; and life in any shape has sorrows enough for hearts so formed. The employments of literature sharpen this natural tendency; the vexations that accompany them frequently exasperate it into morbid soreness. The cares and toils of literature are the business of life; its delights are too ethereal and too transient to furnish that ...
— The Life of Friedrich Schiller - Comprehending an Examination of His Works • Thomas Carlyle

... the cabin, and Trask took the occasion to slip into the galley while Doc and Tom were absent, and lifting out an old rat-tail file, which the cook used to sharpen his knives on, slipped it up the ...
— Isle o' Dreams • Frederick F. Moore

... Smith, the representative for Norwich, took the mail; and after a nap, talked very unrestrainedly with me on the present state of France, on Buonaparte, the criminal law, and the wisdom of the Justices at sessions. I was determined—like Horace's whetstone, which can sharpen other things, though blunt itself, to put an edge on him—to say something deep and decisive on some of the subjects, but I got nothing from him but working-day talk. Perhaps (like the character with the Greek name in the Rambler, who tells his guest, showing ...
— A Sketch of the Life of the late Henry Cooper - Barrister-at-Law, of the Norfolk Circuit; as also, of his Father • William Cooper

... the message of Christ, the Maker of all things, the Teacher of all truth." The wide range of truth secured through reading acts in two ways upon the reader. It spiritualizes his character, and it makes him mighty in action. Knowledge on almost any subject has a marked tendency to sharpen one's wits, to refine his tastes, to ennoble his spirit, to improve his judgement, to strengthen his will, to subdue his baser passions, and to fill his soul with the breath of life. It is only upon truth that the soul feeds, and by means of knowledge that ...
— Questionable Amusements and Worthy Substitutes • J. M. Judy

... The mote in their neighbor's eyes—so small that it takes a microscope to find it—gives them more trouble than the beam which obscures their own optics. With air sometimes supercilious and sometimes Pharisaical, and always blasphemous, they take the razor of the divine judgment and sharpen it on the hone of their own hard hearts, and then go to work on men sprawled out at full length under disaster, cutting mercilessly. They begin by soft expressions of sympathy and pity and half praise, and, lather the victim all over before they put ...
— New Tabernacle Sermons • Thomas De Witt Talmage

... down, and the coals were drawn up, though the furnace shaft could also be used for that purpose. There were men to tend the furnaces, and stable-men to look after the horses, and lamp-men, and blacksmiths to sharpen the tools and mend the iron-work of the wagons, and rolley-way-men to keep the roads in order, besides several for other sorts of jobs. All these were busy working away at their several posts. Samuel Kempson was among ...
— Taking Tales - Instructive and Entertaining Reading • W.H.G. Kingston

... Rio Negro and the Guainia. They do not eat the ants as a luxury, but because, according to the expression of the missionaries, the fat of ants (the white part of the abdomen) is a very substantial food. When the cakes of cassava were prepared, Father Zea, whose fever seemed rather to sharpen than to enfeeble his appetite, ordered a little bag to be brought to him filled with smoked vachacos. He mixed these bruised insects with flour of cassava, which he pressed us to taste. It somewhat resembled rancid butter mixed with crumb of bread. The cassava had not an acid taste, but some ...
— Equinoctial Regions of America V2 • Alexander von Humboldt

... first to go! At the same time they know—the clever ones—that they can't keep their place except by borrowing the weapons of the class they really fear—the professional class—the writers and thinkers—the lawyers and journalists. And so they take some trouble to sharpen their own brains. And the cleverer they are, the more tyrannous they are. And that, if you please, is ...
— Lady Connie • Mrs. Humphry Ward

... nervy, determined, persevering and persistent. He discovered, staked off, owned and worked many claims in Leavenworth and other gulches. Sometimes he had streaks of luck and often the reverse. When lucky he would hire men to help him, when "broke" he would put more patches on his clothes, sharpen his own tools, borrow a sack of flour and work away. Some years later he discovered a really rich gold mine, then worked a silver mine in Utah and became a millionaire. During the spring of 1861 and the winter previous, he prospected ...
— A Gold Hunter's Experience • Chalkley J. Hambleton

... surprised that I should say Not Yet so emphatically, but the fact is I love my country, and, besides, all my interests and those of my children are bound up with the prosperity of the country. This ought to sharpen a man's wits, if anything could do it, and I have for many years been engaged in thinking out the matter, and my mind ...
— Ireland as It Is - And as It Would be Under Home Rule • Robert John Buckley (AKA R.J.B.)

... a good job done," Dick said, "but a very hot one. Now, Surajah, sharpen three or four pieces of wood, and drive them down into the ground at the foot of that strut; then it will be as ...
— The Tiger of Mysore - A Story of the War with Tippoo Saib • G. A. Henty

... To sharpen our sense of what is illusive in the illusion of the puppets, let us sit not too far from the stage. Choosing our place carefully, we shall have the satisfaction of always seeing the wires at their work, while I think we shall lose nothing of what is most savoury in the feast of the illusion. There ...
— Plays, Acting and Music - A Book Of Theory • Arthur Symons

... out into the long grass the sun was not yet risen, but there were already many colours in the eastern sky, and I made haste to sharpen my scythe, so that I might get to the cutting before the dew should dry. Some say that it is best to wait till all the dew has risen, so as to get the grass quite dry from the very first. But, though it is an advantage ...
— Hills and the Sea • H. Belloc

... isn't so long ago since we were in it," nodded Jane. "Tommy was the last to be in it. Please pass the potatoes. This life at sea does sharpen one's appetite. It wouldn't do for me to go to sea really. I'd get so hungry between meals that I'd gnaw the masts ...
— The Meadow-Brook Girls Afloat • Janet Aldridge

... mainspring of life; they seemed to think exercise was the goal of existence. A man whom I saw there and who, I learnt, had been chosen to teach the young on account of his wisdom, told me that competition trained the man to sharpen his faculties; and that the tension which it provoked is in itself a useful training. I do not believe this. A cat or a boa constrictor will lie absolutely idle until it perceives an object worthy of its appetite; ...
— Orpheus in Mayfair and Other Stories and Sketches • Maurice Baring

... their faces of shooting Barney and the burros from the rim-rock. It had occurred to him that if they believed Barney dead, they might reveal something of their purpose in the attack. Concealment, he felt vaguely, would serve merely to sharpen their suspicion of him. It had seemed very important to Casey that these three should not know that Barney was probably well on his way to Barstow ...
— The Trail of the White Mule • B. M. Bower

... with the desire to know; they no longer look with interest upon things, except to see them pass; they do nothing except doubt and test; they ransack the world as though they were God's spies; they sharpen their thoughts into arrows, and ...
— Child of a Century, Complete • Alfred de Musset

... [2] the ship is on the high seas, and the crew must row whole days together to reach moorings. [3] Now note the difference. Here you may find a captain [4] able by dint of speech and conduct to whet the souls of those he leads, and sharpen them to voluntary toils; and there another so dull of wit and destitute of feeling that it will take his crew just twice the time to finish the same voyage. See them step on shore. The first ship's company are drenched in sweat; but listen, they are loud in praise of one another, the ...
— The Economist • Xenophon

... did work in the field. He made wagons, plows, plowstocks, buzzard wings—they call them turning plows now. They used to make and put them on the stocks. He made anything-handles, baskets. He could fill wagon wheels. He could sharpen tools. Anything that come under the line of blacksmith, that is what he did. He used to fix wagons all the time I knowed him. In harvest time in the fall he would drive from Bienville where they were slaves to Monroe in Ouachita Parish. He kept all the plows and was sharpening and fixing ...
— Slave Narratives: A Folk History of Slavery in the United States - Volume II. Arkansas Narratives. Part I • Work Projects Administration

... vociferates, and makes more gestures than the Gitano, and, in imitation of him, her arms are in continual motion, to give more expression to the imagery with which she accompanies her discourse; her whole body contributes to her gesture, and to increase its force; endeavouring by these means to sharpen the effect of language in itself insufficient; and her vivid and disordered imagination is displayed in her ...
— The Zincali - An Account of the Gypsies of Spain • George Borrow

... matter for comment that American newspaper advertising of the English packaged medicines was singularly drab. In the mother country, the proprietors or their heirs were faced with vigorous competition. It behooved them to sharpen up their adjectives and reach for their vitriol. In America the apothecary or merchant had no proprietary interest in any of the different brands of the imported medicines which were sold. Moreover, there was probably no great surplus of supply over ...
— Old English Patent Medicines in America • George B. Griffenhagen

... comprising far less of complex ideas; and partly because their organisation was, by hereditary culture, much more ductile and more readily capable of acquiring knowledge than mine. At this I secretly demurred; and having had in the course of a practical life, to sharpen my wits, whether at home or in travel, I could not allow that my cerebral organisation could possibly be duller than that of people who had lived all their lives by lamplight. However, while I was thus thinking, Zee quietly pointed her forefinger ...
— The Coming Race • Edward Bulwer Lytton

... I 've hit on a plan," said Adah, and she produced a Mme. Demorest pattern of a sleeve, upon which, with infinite pains, she had traced certain lines with the wreck of a pencil which little Josephine had tried to sharpen ...
— The House - An Episode in the Lives of Reuben Baker, Astronomer, and of His Wife, Alice • Eugene Field

... it's saddles or harness or mending shoes. I can cut things in hardwood and sharpen saws too, and I'll work for a trial for nothing but ...
— Lorimer of the Northwest • Harold Bindloss

... exercises by which the sense of touch is blunted and deadened, and others which sharpen it and make it delicate and discriminating. The former, which employ much movement and force for the continued impression of hard bodies, make the skin hard and thick, and deprive it of its natural sensitiveness. The latter are those which give variety to this feeling, ...
— Emile • Jean-Jacques Rousseau

... think," replied De Montaigne, "that the dead did not feel the same when they first trod the path that leads to the life beyond life? Continue to cultivate the mind, to sharpen by exercise the genius, to attempt to delight or to instruct your race; and even supposing you fall short of every model you set before you—supposing your name moulder with your dust, still you will ...
— Ernest Maltravers, Complete • Edward Bulwer-Lytton

... reading of the letters of the Keeper of the Seals, and the speech of the Advocate-General Blancmesnil which followed, the opinions taken, the order given, sometimes reiterated to keep the two double doors open, did not surprise anybody; served only as the preface to all the rest; to sharpen curiosity more and more as the moment approached in which it was to ...
— Marguerite de Navarre - Memoirs of Marguerite de Valois Queen of Navarre • Marguerite de Navarre

... off and presently returned with a string of big gray trout. Sitting down, he began to sharpen his knife, but Carrie ...
— Partners of the Out-Trail • Harold Bindloss

... to apply that influence to the electors: on the contrary, it renders it much more necessary to them, if they seek to have a majority in parliament, to increase the means of that influence, and redouble their diligence, and to sharpen dexterity in the application. The whole effect of the bill is therefore the removing the application of some part of the influence from the elected to the electors, and further to strengthen and extend ...
— Thoughts on the Present Discontents - and Speeches • Edmund Burke

... was new to these parts; he had but lately come from the Baron's establishment in St. Petersburg. He had never been in this wood after dark, and he had never seen a wolf save in the Zoological Gardens. The atmosphere now began to sharpen. From being merely cold it became positively icy, and muttering, "I never felt anything like this in St. Petersburg," the driver shrank into the depths of his furs, and tried to settle himself more comfortably in his seat. The horses, too, four in number, were strangers in Estonia, ...
— Werwolves • Elliott O'Donnell

... is a fool!" said Archy, as he settled down into his reclining posture again. "He needs a whipping to sharpen his understanding." ...
— Watch and Wait - or The Young Fugitives • Oliver Optic

... "Sharpen the edge on the marble of the chimney-piece, like this," continued Chiquita, "and polish the blade on the sole of ...
— Captain Fracasse • Theophile Gautier

... eager or unhappy, and our eyes are apt to get dulled to this eventfulness of form in those things which we are always looking at. Now it is one of the chief uses of decoration, the chief part of its alliance with nature, that it has to sharpen our dulled senses in this matter: for this end are those wonders of intricate patterns interwoven, those strange forms invented, which men have so long delighted in: forms and intricacies that do not necessarily imitate nature, ...
— Hopes and Fears for Art • William Morris

... often, too, with a huge knife which he had for twenty-four years. He took it abroad with him, took it to bed: Frances had to retrieve it often from under his pillow in some hotel. Once at a lecture in Dublin he drew it absent-mindedly to sharpen a pencil: as it was seven and a half inches long shut, and fourteen open, the amusement of the audience may be imagined. In origin it was, Father O'Connor relates, a Texan or Mexican general utility implement. It was ...
— Gilbert Keith Chesterton • Maisie Ward

... few weeks, Victor Emmanuel lost his brother, his mother, and his wife. The King, who felt keenly when he did feel, was driven distraught with grief; no circumstance was wanting which could sharpen the edge of his sorrow. The two Queens, both Austrian princesses, had never interfered in foreign politics; what they suffered they suffered in silence. But they were greatly influenced by the ministers of the religion which had been a comfort of their ...
— The Liberation of Italy • Countess Evelyn Martinengo-Cesaresco

... bad drop in you that attached to you out of the grandfather. What did your languages do for you but to sharpen your tongue, till the scrape of it would take the skin off, the same as a cat! My blessing on you, Conan, but my curse upon ...
— Three Wonder Plays • Lady I. A. Gregory

... would be induced to look with a suspicious eye upon every stranger, especially every solitary stranger, that fell under their observation. The prize of one hundred guineas was held out to excite their avarice and sharpen their penetration. It was no longer Bow-street, it was a million of men in arms against me. Neither had I the refuge, which few men have been so miserable as to want, of one single individual with whom to repose my alarms, and who might ...
— Caleb Williams - Things As They Are • William Godwin

... the American boy who has ever learned to manipulate them, and it is wonderful how much skill can be attained in their use. Any boy with a little mechanical ingenuity can make a pair of skis (pronounced skees). They can be made from two barrel staves. Select staves of straight grained wood. Sharpen the ends of each and score each end by cutting grooves in the wood, as shown in the cut, Fig. 7. A pocket knife or small gouge will suffice for this work. Then smear the end of the staves with oil and hold them close to a hot fire until they can be bent so ...
— The Boy Mechanic: Volume 1 - 700 Things For Boys To Do • Popular Mechanics

... not a fast thinker. Years of teaching Roman history to classes of dozing students, interested only in easy credits, are not reckoned to sharpen one's wits. However, I instantly realized what must have happened. I tapped the little ...
— "To Invade New York...." • Irwin Lewis

... who you are, but it seems to me that while you are still young you ought to leave Nizhni and spend two or three years rubbing shoulders with literature and literary people; not to learn to crow like the rest of us and to sharpen your wits, but to take the final plunge head first into literature and to grow to love it. Besides, the provinces age a man early. Korolenko, Potapenko, Mamin, Ertel, are first-rate men; you would perhaps at first feel their company rather boring, but in a year or two ...
— Letters of Anton Chekhov • Anton Chekhov

... a quarter of an hour, at a time. My wrists and arms and shoulders are aching, as if I had been beaten with sticks. Tomorrow I will take up a good supply of firewood. The chisels got blunted before we had worked an hour; and we should get on a deal faster, if we could sharpen them frequently." ...
— On the Irrawaddy - A Story of the First Burmese War • G. A. Henty

... a half must be tuned slightly sharper than perfect; if the octaves are tuned perfect, the upper tones of the instrument will sound flat when used in scale and arpeggio passages covering a large portion of the key-board. Begin to sharpen your octaves slightly from about the seventeenth key from the last; counting both black and white. In other words, begin to sharpen from the last A[b] but one, in the standard scale of seven and a third octaves of which ...
— Piano Tuning - A Simple and Accurate Method for Amateurs • J. Cree Fischer

... Audubon upon his guard. It was midnight, Audubon lay on some bear skins in one corner of the room, feigning sleep. He had previously slipped out of the cabin and had loaded his gun, which lay close at hand. Presently he saw the woman sharpen a huge carving knife, and thrust it into the hand of her drunken son, with the injunction to kill yon stranger and secure the watch. He was just on the point of springing up to shoot his would-be murderers, when the door burst open, and two travellers, each with a long knife, ...
— John James Audubon • John Burroughs

... keep watch with the dead," Phronie complained under her breath. "It's dark in yonder. Dark and still as the grave. A body's got to have light. How else can they see to make it to the other world?" She paused to sharpen her knife on the edge of the crock, glancing cautiously now and then toward the door of the narrow hallway that led to the room where the dead ...
— Blue Ridge Country • Jean Thomas

... or they would have hated themselves for it: they thought they were doing God service. The fervour of their love towards him was probably greater than mine; yet this did not make them superior to prejudice, or sharpen their logical faculties to see that they were idolizing words to which they attached no ideas. On several occasions I had distinctly perceived how serious alarm I gave by resolutely refusing to admit any shiftings and shufflings of language. I felt convinced, that ...
— Phases of Faith - Passages from the History of My Creed • Francis William Newman

... as a son he exhibited filial piety; as a father he was kind and considerate; towards his subjects he was steadfastly faithful. This virtuous and accomplished sovereign, Wan, took great pains to sharpen his intellect and to make his heart more sensitive to all obligations. How majestic, how glorious was he; he shall ever be remembered by his grateful people at the ...
— The Worlds Greatest Books, Volume XIII. - Religion and Philosophy • Various

... clean, attractive and made up to date," said Ned. "The man who owns these outfits is working up some good routes. If you have anything to sharpen, now, I'll show you the ...
— The Boys of Bellwood School • Frank V. Webster

... a man's blood, unless when, putting him in danger of his neck, it awakened in his veins and in his ears, and all along his spine, a tingling heat, much more peculiar than agreeable? When did a gig ever sharpen anybody's wits and energies, unless it was when the horse bolted, and, crashing madly down a steep hill with a stone wall at the bottom, his desperate circumstances suggested to the only gentleman left inside, ...
— Life And Adventures Of Martin Chuzzlewit • Charles Dickens

... blow, or whatever had struck Jan Cuxson down on the threshold of the temple, had served to sharpen his wits; anyway, for some unknown reason, words uttered by the priest on the first day of his imprisonment began to repeat themselves over and over again in his brain, as he sat uncomfortably with his back to the wall and his eyes fixed with a certain crafty ...
— Leonie of the Jungle • Joan Conquest

... announced the return and elevation of Andronicus. [17] The people rose in arms: from the Asiatic shore the tyrant despatched his troops and galleys to assist the national revenge; and the hopeless resistance of the strangers served only to justify the rage, and sharpen the daggers, of the assassins. Neither age, nor sex, nor the ties of friendship or kindred, could save the victims of national hatred, and avarice, and religious zeal; the Latins were slaughtered in their houses and in the streets; ...
— The History of The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire - Volume 6 • Edward Gibbon

... under his practised eye! How proud were the young amateur blacksmiths when the kind-hearted owner of the shop gave them liberty to heat and pound a bit of nail-rod, to mend a skate or a sled-runner, or sharpen a pronged fish- spear! Still happier were they, when, at night, with his sons and nephew, they were allowed to huddle on the forge, sitting on the bottoms of old buckets or boxes, and watching the fire, from ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 2, Number 9, July, 1858 • Various

... or the Bended Twig," published and widely read not long ago, was a volume to sharpen the reader's appetite for "more of the same sort." ***** 'Ups and Downs' is a cluster of sketches and incidents in real life, narrated with a grace of thought and flow of expression rarely to be met. The sketches well ...
— Lewie - Or, The Bended Twig • Cousin Cicely

... was going to add in amplification cannot be known, for a girlish voice, trying to sharpen itself from its native sweetness to a conscientious severity, called to them as its owner swiftly advanced upon the elder sage: "Now, see here, grandfather! This won't do at all. You promised not to leave that bench by the Indian Hunter, and here ...
— The Daughter of the Storage - And Other Things in Prose and Verse • William Dean Howells

... you mean when you say Betty," declared Elizabeth, and leapt forward so far that the other two had to sharpen their ...
— An Australian Lassie • Lilian Turner

... electricity. The clubs in which Johnson delighted were excellently adapted to foster his peculiar talent. There a man could "fold his legs and have his talk out"—a pleasure hardly to be enjoyed now. And there a set of friends meeting regularly, and meeting to talk, learnt to sharpen each other's skill in all dialectic manoeuvres. Conversation may be pleasantest, as Johnson admitted, when two friends meet quietly to exchange their minds without any thought of display. But conversation considered ...
— Samuel Johnson • Leslie Stephen

... not the Lord give way to this for a time, to try thy seriousness, patience, submission and faith, and to sharpen thy diligence, and kindle up thy zeal? And should we not submit to his ...
— Christ The Way, The Truth, and The Life • John Brown (of Wamphray)

... talked, through the window they saw a great crowd of people come rushing into the courtyard of the building to sharpen weapons at a huge grindstone that stood there. They were going to murder the prisoners with which the jails were by ...
— Tales from Dickens • Charles Dickens and Hallie Erminie Rives

... use of talking?" she exclaimed in reproof to herself. "I never said so much before, believe me! The tables will be turned yet!" she added after a pause. "As you so wisely say, let us sharpen our teeth, and pull down all the hay ...
— Cousin Betty • Honore de Balzac

... by persons who were acquainted with the late sagacious magistrate Sir John Fielding; who, when fatigued with attending to complicated cases, and perplexed with discordant depositions, used to retire to a little closet in a remote and tranquil part of the house, to rest his mental powers and sharpen perception. He told a great physician, now living, who complained of the distance of places, as caused by the great extension of London, that 'he (the physician) would not have been able to visit many patients to any purpose, if they had resided ...
— Curiosities of Literature, Vol. 1 (of 3) • Isaac D'Israeli

... pointing out what are taken for irreconcileable discrepancies, are beside the mark. Nor does the supposition that the one night in the den (of Dan. vi.) was increased to six, nor that the detail of withholding the lions' usual food to sharpen their appetites (in Θ only), were added for the purpose of heightening the effect, carry much weight. The omission of Daniel's speech, with the detail[71] of the angel closing the lions' mouths (vv. 21, 22), tells in the opposite direction. It is no ...
— The Three Additions to Daniel, A Study • William Heaford Daubney

... it needless to observe how artfully these chapters are calculated for that excellent purpose; for in these we have always taken care to intersperse somewhat of the sour or acid kind, in order to sharpen and stimulate the said ...
— The History of Tom Jones, a foundling • Henry Fielding

... the numerous variants of this story[162] the heroine is sent by her husband's mother to the Baba Yaga's, and the advice which saves her comes from her husband. The Baba Yaga goes into another room "in order to sharpen her teeth," and while she is engaged in that operation the girl escapes, having previously—by the advice of the Cat, to which she had given a lump of butter—spat under the threshold. The spittle answers for her in her ...
— Russian Fairy Tales - A Choice Collection of Muscovite Folk-lore • W. R. S. Ralston

... blade of a large knife before the eyes of his prisoner; then, seating himself on a broken truck near the shaft he began deliberately to sharpen the knife on his boot. The operation was not in the least hurried—the man was desirous of making a ...
— The Gold-Stealers - A Story of Waddy • Edward Dyson

... my misfortune never to have had any neighbours whose studies have led them towards the pursuit of natural knowledge; so that, for want of a companion to quicken my industry and sharpen my attention, I have made but slender progress in a kind of information to which I have been attached from ...
— The Natural History of Selborne, Vol. 1 • Gilbert White

... laid in a damp hole in the rock, sat down on a heap of ore, and ate his supper. Then he leaned back for five minutes' rest before beginning his work again, and laid his head against the rock. He had not kept the position for one minute before he heard something which made him sharpen his ears. It sounded like a voice inside the rock. After a while he heard it again. It was a goblin voice—there could be no doubt about that—and this time he could make out ...
— The Princess and the Goblin • George MacDonald

... sharpen the edges of a diamond-shaped trowel used at the diggings, with a piece of ...
— The Planet Strappers • Raymond Zinke Gallun

... scrupulous though broader attention; but in order to estimate the brilliancy of the diamond eyes of a little agate bust, for instance, you have to screw your mind down to them and nothing else. You must sharpen your faculties of observation to a point, and touch the object exactly on the right spot, or you do not appreciate it at all. It is a troublesome process when there are a thousand such objects ...
— Passages From the French and Italian Notebooks, Complete • Nathaniel Hawthorne

... hide,—how long that bright purity could resist the corrosion of the world's breath; and half thinking that it would be better for the spirit to pass away, with its lustre upon it, than stay till self-interest should sharpen the eye, and the lines of diplomacy write themselves on that fair brow. "Better ...
— Queechy • Susan Warner

... surged up in Malloring, dyeing his face brick-red. So! He had come all that way with the best intentions—to be treated like this; to meet this 'land lawyer,' who, he could see, was only here to sharpen his tongue, and those two scarecrow-looking chaps, who had come to testify, no doubt, to his discomfiture. ...
— Forsyte Saga • John Galsworthy

... But theyr peaceabler in pot-pies than any other thing: And it's when I git my shotgun drawed up in stiddy rest, She's as full of tribbelation as a yeller-jacket's nest; And a few shots before dinner, when the sun's a-shinin' right, Seems to kindo'-sorto' sharpen up ...
— The Wit and Humor of America, Volume VI. (of X.) • Various

... up in the morning to the sound of martial strain. The sergeant says: "Go get that scythe and sharpen it again. The grass has grown six inches, men, while we have been in bed, So hustle, soldiers, ...
— Rhymes of the Rookies • W. E. Christian

... countrymen. But the vanquished population was deprived of the means for revolt. The Israelites were forbidden the use of arms, and no itinerant smith was permitted to enter their territory. The Hebrew who wished to sharpen his ploughshare or axe was forced to ...
— Early Israel and the Surrounding Nations • Archibald Sayce

... appears that this young man is a fire-eater," said Louis, in order to sharpen the sentiment ...
— Ten Years Later • Alexandre Dumas, Pere

... of tools; how to sharpen them; to design and layout work. Printed from new plates and bound in cloth. Profusely illustrated. Each book is wrapped in a ...
— Boy Scouts in the North Sea - The Mystery of a Sub • G. Harvey Ralphson

... might have been a pleasant companion in happier, easier circumstances. She had banished him, threatened him, wheedled him out of victory. She, too, would be slipping back to the beast. Her body would warp, her skin grow hairy, her teeth lengthen and sharpen—Ugh! That, at ...
— The Devil's Asteroid • Manly Wade Wellman

... a jest. The levity, indeed, which he mingled with his worst and most inhuman acts, and the slightness of the occasions upon which he delighted to hang his most memorable atrocities, aggravated their impression at the time, and must have contributed greatly to sharpen the sword of vengeance. His palace happened to be contiguous to the circus. Some seats, it seems, were open indiscriminately to the public; consequently, the only way in which they could be appropriated, was by taking possession of them as early as the midnight preceding any great ...
— The Caesars • Thomas de Quincey

... twilight, ninety dry beans, called ceci, and upon each of these to write one of the ninety numbers drawn in the lottery, with an ink made of pitch and lard, which would not be affected by water. They were then to sharpen a knife, taking care that he who did so should touch no one during the operation; and after a day of fasting, they were to dig up at night a body recently dead, and, having cut off the head and removed ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 5, No. 28, February, 1860 • Various

... he remained many hours longer in their hands. To effect this, he looked for no aid from others; for experience had taught him the value of self-reliance. The whole life of this singular being, indeed, had been one which was peculiarly calculated to throw him on his own resources, sharpen his wits, and render him fertile in expedients. He had been a foundling, and knew no more of his parentage than a young ostrich, that springs from the deserted egg in the sand. He was left, when an infant, at the door of a poor mechanic, in ...
— The Rangers - [Subtitle: The Tory's Daughter] • D. P. Thompson

... healthy mind ought to be inseparable. We need not be passionless because we reason correctly. Strange to say, one's feelings will often sharpen one's knowledge of the truth, as they do ...
— Daily Thoughts - selected from the writings of Charles Kingsley by his wife • Charles Kingsley

... capering. "Splendid!" he cried. "Splendid! That will sharpen his temper if it don't his wits. The Squire's house was tried, you say?" He turned on the farmer again. "Hullo, my friend! I understood there were no ...
— Two Sides of the Face - Midwinter Tales • Arthur Thomas Quiller-Couch

... and the Sect Epicurean. Yet nonsense notwithstanding, the Essay Club had members who proved in time to have superior minds if ever men had, and their disputations in one another's rooms helped to sharpen their mental apparatus, to start trains of ideas however immature, and to shake the cherished dogmatisms brought from beloved homes, even if dogmatism as stringent took their place. This is how the world moves, and Oxford was just beginning to rub its eyes, awaking ...
— The Life of William Ewart Gladstone, Vol. 1 (of 3) - 1809-1859 • John Morley

... sharpen our wits up with passions for hones, Melt down loadstars for magnets, use women for whetstones, Learn to bear with dead calms by remembering cyclones, Snap strings short with sharp thumbnails, till silence begets tones, Burn ...
— The Heptalogia • Algernon Charles Swinburne

... lion. Rubens has lifted his great hand, and the mark he has made has endured for two centuries, and we still continue wondering at him, and admiring him. What a strength in that arm! What splendor of will hidden behind that tawny beard, and those honest eyes! Sharpen your pen, my good critic, shoot a feather into him; hit him, and make him wince. Yes, you may hit him fair, and make him bleed, too; but, for all that, he is a lion—a mighty, conquering, generous, rampageous ...
— Roundabout Papers • William Makepeace Thackeray

... of the state of their wardrobe, leaving the later portion of the morning for reading, or for some amusing recreation. "Recreation," says Bishop Hall, "is intended to the mind as whetting is to the scythe, to sharpen the edge of it, which would otherwise grow dull and blunt. He, therefore, that spends his whole time in recreation is ever whetting, never mowing; his grass may grow and his steed starve; as, contrarily, he that always toils and never recreates, is ever mowing, never whetting, labouring much ...
— The Book of Household Management • Mrs. Isabella Beeton

... effectually. He tried to do so on a flat piece of rock, and then on the sole of his shoe, but after an attempt he found that it was very little sharper than before. He discovered, indeed, that he was ignorant of the way to sharpen a knife, as he was of ...
— The Rival Crusoes • W.H.G. Kingston

... and prayed that so I might reduce this grosser material frame, and sharpen and quicken every nerve, and stimulate every fibre of the brain. So alone could I most nearly approach to the commune of spirits. Thus had those saints and prophets of old done when they had entered upon the ...
— Cord and Creese • James de Mille



Words linked to "Sharpen" :   blur, change intensity, edge, strop, deepen, deform, refocus, taper, strap, subtilize, correct, whet, modify, set, hone, change, compound, flatten, dull, music, change shape, subtilise, change form, alter, adjust, acuminate, intensify, soften



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