AskDefine | Define whet

The Collaborative Dictionary

Whet \Whet\, v. t. [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.] [1913 Webster]
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. [1913 Webster] The mower whets his scythe. --Milton. [1913 Webster] Here roams the wolf, the eagle whets his beak. --Byron. [1913 Webster]
To make sharp, keen, or eager; to excite; to stimulate; as, to whet the appetite or the courage. [1913 Webster] Since Cassius first did whet me against Caesar, I have not slept. --Shak. [1913 Webster] To whet on, To whet forward, to urge on or forward; to instigate. --Shak. [1913 Webster]
Whet \Whet\, n. [1913 Webster]
The act of whetting. [1913 Webster]
That which whets or sharpens; esp., an appetizer. "Sips, drams, and whets." --Spectator. [1913 Webster] Whet slate (Min.), a variety of slate used for sharpening cutting instruments; novaculite; -- called also whetstone slate, and oilstone. [1913 Webster]

Word Net



1 make keen or more acute; "whet my appetite" [syn: quicken]
2 sharpen by rubbing, as on a whetstone [also: whetting, whetted]



hwettan, from *xwetjan


  • /ʍɛt/ /WEt/
  • /wɛt/ /wEt/
  • Homophones: wet


  1. To hone or rub on with some substance, as a piece of stone, for the purpose of sharpening.
  2. To stimulate or make more keen.
    • To whet one’s appetite


to hone or rub on with some substance for the purpose of sharpening
to stimulate or make more keen
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