whetting

1 definition found

From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48 [gcide]:

Whet \Whet\, verb (used with an object) [imp. & p. p. {Whetted}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Whetting}.] [AS. hwettan; akin to D. wetten, G. wetzen, OHG. wezzen, Icel. hvetja, Sw. v[aum]ttja, and AS. hw[ae]t vigorous, brave, OS. hwat, OHG. waz, was, sharp, Icel. hvatr, bold, active, Sw. hvass sharp, Dan. hvas, Goth. hwassaba sharply, and probably to Skr. cud to impel, urge on.]

1. To rub or on with some substance, as a piece of stone, for the purpose of sharpening; to sharpen by attrition; as, to whet a knife.

The mower whets his scythe. --Milton.

Here roams the wolf, the eagle whets his beak. --Byron.

2. To make sharp, keen, or eager; to excite; to stimulate; as, to whet the appetite or the courage.

Since Cassius first did whet me against Caesar, I have not slept. --Shak.

{To whet on}, {To whet forward}, to urge on or forward; to instigate. --Shak.


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