Thursday, May 26, 2005


Main Entry: 1sharp
Pronunciation: 'shärp
Function: adjective
Etymology: Middle English, from Old English scearp; akin to Old High German scarf sharp and perhaps to Old English scrapian to scrape -- more at SCRAPE
1 : adapted to cutting or piercing: as a : having a thin keen edge or fine point b : briskly or bitingly cold : NIPPING (a sharp wind)
2 a : keen in intellect : QUICK-WITTED b : keen in perception : ACUTE (sharp sight) c : keen in attention : VIGILANT (keep a sharp lookout) d : keen in attention to one's own interest sometimes to the point of being unethical (a sharp trader)
3 : keen in spirit or action: as a : full of activity or energy : BRISK (sharp blows) b : capable of acting or reacting strongly; especially : CAUSTIC
4 : SEVERE, HARSH: as a : inclined to or marked by irritability or anger (a sharp temper) b : causing intense mental or physical distress (a sharp pain) c : cutting in language or import (a sharp rebuke)
5 : affecting the senses or sense organs intensely: as a (1) : having a strong odor or flavor (sharp cheese) (2) : ACRID b : having a strong piercing sound c : having the effect of or involving a sudden brilliant display of light (a sharp flash)
6 a : terminating in a point or edge (sharp features) b : involving an abrupt or marked change especially in direction (a sharp turn) c : clear in outline or detail : DISTINCT (a sharp image) d : set forth with clarity and distinctness (sharp contrast)
7 a of a tone : raised a half step in pitch b : higher than the proper pitch c : MAJOR, AUGMENTED -- used of an interval in music
- sharp•ly adverb
- sharp•ness noun
synonyms SHARP, KEEN, ACUTE mean having or showing alert competence and clear understanding. SHARP implies quick perception, clever resourcefulness, or sometimes questionable trickiness (sharp enough to spot a confidence game). KEEN suggests quickness, enthusiasm, and a penetrating mind (a keen observer of the political scene). ACUTE implies a power to penetrate and may suggest subtlety and sharpness of discrimination (an acute sense of style).

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