sharp


sharp
sharp, keen, acute can all mean having a fine point or edge, but it is in several of their extended senses that they are most likely to come into comparison. As applied to persons or their qualities, especially of intellect, all three can indicate possession of alert competence and clear understanding. In such use sharp is likely to suggest an incisive self-centered quality, sometimes manifest in alert rationality, sometimes in devious cunning
{

she could never hear enough of this girl's worldly wisdom, vulgar sharp wit, and intimate gossip about well-known people— Wouk

}
{

a man whose sharp face and sharp voice seemed wholeheartedly dedicated to chicanery and lewdness— Cheever

}
{

the mumbo jumbo ... interested him. He was sharp enough to guess that these formalities were in the honor of some god— Forester

}
{

Russell's critique of these works and their philosophical bases is sharp, limpid, and yet profound. With sovereign ease he handles subtleties and ambiguities, disposes of mathematical paradoxes and philosophical paralogisms, refutes errors, and dissipates confusion— Kline

}
Keen (see also EAGER) usually stresses eager enthusiasm, clear-sightedness, and quick penetrating character of mind
{

now hath the child grown greater, and is keen and eager of wit and full of understanding— Morris

}
{

candidates shall be selected on the basis of future promise of leadership, strength of character, keen mind, a balanced judgment— Official Register of Harvard Univ.

}
but it may imply no more than shrewd astuteness
{

able businessmen ... as keen in their bargains as they were faithful to their engagements— Scudder

}
Acute (see also ACUTE) may come close to keen in implying a penetrating quality of mind but it is more likely to stress sensitivity and depth and effectiveness of perception especially in the making of subtle distinctions
{

his creative tendencies were restrained, however, by an acute critical sense, a liking for research, and his genius for teaching— Starr

}
{

my very acute grandmother, who at eighty-eight is clear and definite in her political convictions— Current Biog.

}
{

the acutest philosophers have succeeded in liberating themselves completely from the narrow prison of their age and country— Huxley

}
As applied to something perceptible through the senses sharp often suggests a disagreeably cutting or biting quality
{

sharp as vinegar

}
{

a sharp voice

}
{

a sharp flash

}
{

a sharp wind

}
or it may emphasize distinctness or clearness of definition
{

a sharp outline

}
{

sharp contrasts

}
{

had happened close on twenty years ago. Yet how short a time it seemed, so sharp was still the impression of that night— Mackenzie

}
Keen, in contrast, may suggest a bracing, zestful, or piquant quality
{

the wind came keen with a tang of frost— Masefield

}
{

very keen is the savor of the roast beef that floats up— Benson

}
Acute, less common in this sense, may impute an intensely perceptible and often distasteful quality to what it qualifies
{

the stench was acuteMailer

}
{

the sound rose to an almost painfully acute note

}
As applied to the senses themselves, all imply exceptional functional efficiency and choice is predicated on idiom; thus, sharp is used especially of sight and hearing, keen, of sight and smell, and acute, of hearing. As characterizing pleasures and pains, sharp suggests most definitely something that seems to cut or pierce, keen implies intensity, and acute implies poignancy
{

a sharp pain

}
{

keen zest

}
{

acute anguish

}
Analogous words: *incisive, trenchant, cutting, biting: mordant, *caustic, scathing: piercing, penetrating, probing (see ENTER): tricky, cunning, artful, wily, guileful, *sly
Antonyms: dull: blunt

New Dictionary of Synonyms. 2014.

Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Sharp — Sharp, a. [Compar. {Sharper}; superl. {Sharpest}.] [OE. sharp, scharp, scarp, AS. scearp; akin to OS. skarp, LG. scharp, D. scherp, G. scharf, Dan. & Sw. skarp, Icel. skarpr. Cf. {Escarp}, {Scrape}, {Scorpion}.] 1. Having a very thin edge or fine …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Sharp — K.K Rechtsform Kabushiki kaisha ISIN JP3359600008[1] Gründung …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • SHARP —  Pour l’article homophone, voir Sharpe. Cette page d’homonymie répertorie les différents sujets et articles partageant un même nom …   Wikipédia en Français

  • sharp — [ʆɑːp ǁ ʆɑːrp] adjective a sharp increase, fall etc is very sudden and very big: • a sharp rise in interest rates • Unemployment generally brings a sharp fall in income. • The group reported a sharp decline in full year profits. sharply adverb …   Financial and business terms

  • sharp — [shärp] adj. [ME < OE scearp, akin to Ger scharf, ON skarpr < IE * (s)kerb(h) < base * (s)ker , to cut > SHEAR, HARVEST, L caro, flesh] 1. suitable for use in cutting or piercing; having a very thin edge or fine point; keen 2. having… …   English World dictionary

  • Sharp — may refer to: *Sharp (music), a musical notation sign (music|sharp) *Sharp (flour), a flour made from hard wheat *Sharp (set theory) *Sharp (crater), a lunar impact crater *Sharp (material property)An organization: *Sharp Corporation, a Japanese… …   Wikipedia

  • sharp — [adj1] knifelike, cutting aciculate, acuate, acuminate, acuminous, acute, apical, barbed, briery, cuspate, cuspidate, edged, fine, ground fine, honed, horned, jagged, keen, keen edged, knife edged, needlelike, needle pointed, peaked, pointed,… …   New thesaurus

  • sharp — sharp; sharp·en; sharp·en·er; sharp·er; sharp·ie; sharp·ish; sharp·ite; sharp·ly; sharp·ness; sharp·ster; un·sharp; …   English syllables

  • Sharp — Sharp, adv. 1. To a point or edge; piercingly; eagerly; sharply. M. Arnold. [1913 Webster] The head [of a spear] full sharp yground. Chaucer. [1913 Webster] You bite so sharp at reasons. Shak. [1913 Webster] 2. Precisely; exactly; as, we shall… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Sharp EL-8 — von 1971 Der EL 8 von Sharp ist der erste mobile elektronische Taschenrechner der Welt, der in Serie gefertigt wurde. Er wurde im Januar 1971 eingeführt. Die Elektronik ist in vier von Rockwell hergestellten LSI ICs (large scale integration)… …   Deutsch Wikipedia


Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.