- The definition of a hone is a fine grained, very hard stone which is used to sharpen cutting tools.
An example of hone is what a chef would use to sharpen their best knife.
- Hone is defined as to sharpen or make something more effective.
An example of hone is a basketball player perfecting their dunk shot before a big game.
Origin of honeMiddle English from Old English han, a stone, akin to Old Norse hein, a hone from Indo-European base an unverified form ko(i)-, to sharpen, whet from source Classical Latin cos, whetstone, cotes, sharp rock, Classical Greek k?nos, cone
transitive verbhoned, hon′ing
- to sharpen with or as with a hone
- to develop or improve: to hone one's skills through practice
- Mech. to enlarge or smooth (a bore) to exact specifications with a rotating stick (honing stone) containing abrasive material
intransitive verbhoned, hon′ing
- to yearn; long
- to grumble; moan
Origin of honeMiddle English honen from Norman French honer from Old French houir, to disgrace ( from Frankish an unverified form haunjan, to scorn, insult, akin to Old English hean, wretched) from Indo-European base an unverified form kau-, to humiliate from source Latvian kauns, disgrace; sense influenced, influence by Old French hognier, to grumble, probably of echoic origin, originally
- A fine-grained whetstone for giving a keen edge to a cutting tool.
- A tool with a rotating abrasive tip for enlarging holes to precise dimensions.
transitive verbhoned, hon·ing, hones
- To sharpen on a fine-grained whetstone.
- To perfect or make more intense or effective: a speaker who honed her delivery by long practice.
Origin of honeMiddle English from Old English hān stone ; see kō- in Indo-European roots. Hone in alteration of home in
Usage Note: The verb home has been used to mean “to return home” (what homing pigeons do) since the 1920s. The introduction of radar in World War II gave it the related meaning “to return home by following a beam or landmark” and then “to find a target via a beam or signal,” as when pilots and aircraft homed on a target. In the 1950s the verb was extended to the figurative sense “to narrow attention on” and in was added, so the expression became home in on. A decade later hone in on, containing the verb meaning “to sharpen,” began to be used in the same sense. Presumably the substitution was encouraged both by the similarity in sound and the overlap in metaphorical meaning: sharpening one's focus made as much sense as directing it homeward. Whatever its origin, hone in, despite being common, is often viewed as a mistake. In our 2015 survey, 36 percent of the Usage Panel disapproved of the example Direct mail allows you to hone in on your target audience, and 40 percent would not accept The purpose of the meeting was to hone in on strategies for improving the company's performance. If you prefer to employ the more widely accepted idiom, stick with home in or use zero in.
intransitive verbhoned, hon·ing, hones Informal
- To whine or moan.
- To hanker; yearn.
Origin of honeObsolete French hoigner from Old French perhaps from hon cry of discontent
(third-person singular simple present hones, present participle honing, simple past and past participle honed)
From Middle English hon ‘whetstone’, from Old English hān, from Proto-Germanic *hainō (compare Dutch heen, Norwegian hein), from Proto-Indo-European *ḱeh₃i- ‘to sharpen’ (compare Greek κώνος (kónos) ‘cone’, Persian sān ‘whetstone’).
Compare Icelandic word for "a knob".