Roget's 21st Century Thesaurus, Third Edition Copyright © 2013 by the Philip Lief Group.


"I shall want you at seven-thirty sharp, to-morrow morning," he said, as they alighted.

With a sharp piece of flint he cut the fur of the animal's back.

There was a sharp, shrill cry from the boy, and Dozier whirled on him.

But she's a curious little party; sharp, without knowing it.

In sharp contrast to this, the drunkenness of Callidamates in Most.

She had heard of their doing so; heard them criticised with sharp sarcasm.

Under the window rang the sharp gong of a city patrol-wagon.

And sometimes I have sharp pains in the stomach, as if I had the colic.

A sharp wind came down from the heights, and whistled about their ears.

We'll land that stake; an' p'raps the sharp division'll take a tumble.


Old English scearp "having a cutting edge; pointed; intellectually acute, active, shrewd; keen (of senses); severe; biting, bitter (of tastes)," from Proto-Germanic *skarpaz, literally "cutting" (cf. Old Saxon scarp, Old Norse skarpr, Old Frisian skerp, Dutch scherp, German scharf "sharp"), from PIE *(s)ker- (1) "to cut" (cf. Lettish skarbs "sharp," Middle Irish cerb "cutting;" see shear).

The figurative meaning "acute or penetrating in intellect or perception" was in Old English; hence "keenly alive to one's own interests, quick to take advantage" (1690s). Of words or talk, "cutting, sarcastic," from early 13c. Meaning "distinct in contour" is from 1670s. The adverbial meaning "abruptly" is from 1836; that of "promptly" is first attested 1840. The musical meaning "half step above (a given tone)" is from 1570s. Meaning "stylish" is from 1944, hepster slang, from earlier general slang sense of "excellent" (1940). Phrase sharp as a tack first recorded 1912 (sharp as a needle has been around since Old English). Sharp-shinned attested from 1704 of persons, 1813 of hawks.


Roget's 21st Century Thesaurus, Third Edition Copyright © 2013 by the Philip Lief Group.