- To whet is to create or stimulate an interest or appetite for something or to sharpen the edge of 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.
Whetting a knife.Licensed from iStockPhoto
- to sharpen by rubbing or grinding (the edge of a knife or tool); hone
- to make keen; stimulate: to whet the appetite
Origin: Middle 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.)
- whetter noun
Used by arrangement with John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
transitive verb whet·ted, whet·ting, whets
- To sharpen (a knife, for example); hone.
- To make more keen; stimulate: The frying bacon whetted my appetite.
- The act of whetting.
- Something that whets.
- Informal An appetizer.
Origin: Middle English whetten, from Old English hwettan.