Whetting a knife.
- An example of whet is when you take a tiny taste of delicious food and want more.
- An example of whet is when you rub a knife edge against a sharpening stone.
transitive verbwhet′ted, whet′ting
- to sharpen by rubbing or grinding (the edge of a knife or tool); hone
- to make keen; stimulate: to whet the appetite
Origin of whetMiddle English whetten from Old English hwettan, to make keen from hwæt, sharp, keen, bold from Indo-European base an unverified form kwed-, to pierce, sharpen, whet from source probably Classical Latin (tri)quetrus, (three-)cornered
- an act of whetting
- something that whets (the appetite, etc.)
transitive verbwhet·ted, whet·ting, whets
- To sharpen (a knife, for example); hone.
- To make more keen; stimulate: The frying bacon whetted my appetite.
Origin of whetMiddle English whetten from Old English hwettan
(third-person singular simple present whets, present participle whetting, simple past and past participle whetted)
- The act of whetting something.
- That which whets or sharpens; especially, an appetizer.
From Middle English whetten, from Old English hwettan (“to whet, sharpen, incite, encourage"), from Proto-Germanic *hwatjanÄ… (“to incite, sharpen"), from Proto-Indo-European *kÊ·Ä“d- (“sharp"). Cognate with Dutch wetten (“to whet, sharpen"), German wetzen (“to whet, sharpen"), Danish dialectal hvÃ¦de (“to whet").