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Sharpen   Listen
verb
Sharpen  v. i.  To grow or become sharp.






Collaborative International Dictionary of English 0.48








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"Sharpen" Quotes from Famous Books



... leave a scratch upon its surface. It is of the length of a good sword, and of the breadth thereof. Shouldst thou prevail against Tharagavverug, his hide may be melted away from Sacnoth in a furnace; but there is only one thing that may sharpen Sacnoth's edge, and this is one of Tharagavverug's own steel eyes; and the other eye thou must fasten to Sacnoth's hilt, and it will watch for thee. But it is a hard task to vanquish Tharagavverug, for no sword can pierce his hide; his back cannot be broken, and he can ...
— The Sword of Welleran and Other Stories • Lord Dunsany

... cold and making a seemingly solid chunk of the whole. Toward spring I have known squirrels to attack these young cones, but rarely, and I am not sure whether it was because of the pressure of hunger or whether some young squirrel's instinct to sharpen his teeth on them made him a bit precocious. These adolescent cones begin growing again very early in the spring. Youth will have its way, and in this case it seems to seize on the first sap that gets as far as the topmost ...
— Old Plymouth Trails • Winthrop Packard

... had taken back the crying child, and had watched the little girl, who now darned away as skilfully as ever, the Ogress took down a huge knife from the wall, and began to sharpen it on a grindstone in a corner of the kitchen. As she sharpened the knife, she glanced from time to time at the little maid, and soon perceived that she ...
— Old-Fashioned Fairy Tales • Juliana Horatia Gatty Ewing

... extend the Long House, smoke the magic pipe, sharpen his tomahawk, for he is a son of your League, and shall sit with you in the Council for ever, bearing the name of Arahseh, 'Our Cousin,' and the totem ...
— The False Chevalier - or, The Lifeguard of Marie Antoinette • William Douw Lighthall

... Andrew, and that I can. 'Twas a quist a-cooing in the tree one time—and then—she did recollect herself and did sharpen up her tongue and 'twas another sort of bird what could drive its beak into the ...
— Six Plays • Florence Henrietta Darwin

... clean, attractive and made up to date," said Ned. "The man who owns these outfits is working up some good routes. If you have anything to sharpen, now, I'll show you the kind ...
— The Boys of Bellwood School • Frank V. Webster

... withdrawn her hand under the pretext of picking up a case knife to sharpen her pencil. Now though her lids were lowered as she hacked at the stubby point, she was perfectly aware of the hopeful curiosity in the freshman's side glance at her. Lila despised the habit of side glances. For the past few days she had ...
— Beatrice Leigh at College - A Story for Girls • Julia Augusta Schwartz

... bided, and this have I wotted for long; But I knew that her heart is as mine to remember the grief and the wrong, So the days of thy sister I told not, in her life would I have no part, Lest a foe for thy life I should fashion, and sharpen a sword for thine heart: But now is the day of our deeds, and no longer durst I refrain, Lest I put the Gods' hands from me, and make their gifts but vain. Yea, the woman is of the Niblungs, and often I knew her ...
— The Story of Sigurd the Volsung and the Fall of the Niblungs • William Morris

... misfortune never to have had any neighbours whose studies have led them towards the pursuit of natural knowledge; so that, for want of a companion to quicken my industry and sharpen my attention, I have made but slender progress in a kind of information to which I have been ...
— The Natural History of Selborne, Vol. 1 • Gilbert White

... it," answered the peasant, smiling. "A minute here, a minute there. The time costs nothing. What am I doing? Nothing. I digest. To pass the time I sharpen the knife. I am like this. I say it is ...
— Casa Braccio, Volumes 1 and 2 (of 2) • F. Marion Crawford

... moment Si was running at full speed towards Deacon Littlefield's house to ask him to buy the wood, and Tom suggested that each sleigh-rider sharpen his saw in order to be ready for work as soon as the fuel should be ...
— A District Messenger Boy and a Necktie Party • James Otis

... cravat, roll up his shirt-sleeves, give his curly hair the right touch before the glass, get out his book on engineering, his boxes of instruments, his drawing paper, his profile paper, open the book of logarithms, mix his India ink, sharpen his pencils, light a cigar, and sit down at the table to "lay out a line," with the most grave notion that he was mastering the details of engineering. He would spend half a day in these preparations without ever working out a problem or having the faintest conception of the ...
— The Gilded Age, Complete • Mark Twain and Charles Dudley Warner

... water, and then they marked the camp. When these crazy dogs found a location for the camp they were fortunate enough to find a big herd of buffalo. On their return, before they reached the camp they began to sing a crazy dog song, riding abreast. It means: 'A song to sharpen your knife, and patch up your stomach, for you are going to have something good to eat.' They made a circle, coming to camp from the sunrise, and moved toward the sunset, and then the leaders told the camp they had seen lots of buffalo. Then they dismounted and went home. After the crazy dogs had ...
— The Vanishing Race • Dr. Joseph Kossuth Dixon

... ejaculation of humility or hope and set it down in syllables, devotion is at an end." "I write my journal, I deliver my lecture with joy," but "at the name of society all my repulsions play, all my quills rise and sharpen." ...
— The Last Harvest • John Burroughs

... Sharpen two pencils. About halfway between the point and the other end of each pencil cut a notch all the way around and down to the "lead," or burn a notch down by means of the glowing resistance wire. What you call the "lead" of the pencil is really graphite, ...
— Common Science • Carleton W. Washburne

... agreeable, possessing in a peculiar degree the art of pleasing; and these qualities will give them creditable positions in the business interests of the country in a few years. But they must have time to collect their wits, to sharpen their intelligence, to train their moral sense and the feeling of social responsibility, to fully comprehend all that the change from chattel slavery to absolute freedom implies. Men cannot awaken from a Rip Van Winkle slumber of a hundred years and grasp at once the altered conditions which ...
— Black and White - Land, Labor, and Politics in the South • Timothy Thomas Fortune

... of Odin, thou whom reason, friendship, Whom scorn—e'en scorn—to move are all unable, Know that prophetic were thy words! Fate hastens! The Valkyrie prepares the spear already, Its deadly point already does she sharpen. Ah, see! the prince of battle holds it brandish'd; He strikes! he strikes! and all ...
— The Death of Balder • Johannes Ewald

... persistent. He discovered, staked off, owned and worked many claims in Leavenworth and other gulches. Sometimes he had streaks of luck and often the reverse. When lucky he would hire men to help him, when "broke" he would put more patches on his clothes, sharpen his own tools, borrow a sack of flour and work away. Some years later he discovered a really rich gold mine, then worked a silver mine in Utah and became a millionaire. During the spring of 1861 and the winter previous, he prospected in several ...
— A Gold Hunter's Experience • Chalkley J. Hambleton

... public quarrel is envenomed by private injuries, a blow that is not mortal or decisive can be productive only of a short truce, which allows the unsuccessful combatant to sharpen his arms for a new encounter. The strength of Alboin had been found unequal to the gratification of his love, ambition, and revenge: he condescended to implore the formidable aid of the chagan; and the arguments that he employed are expressive of the art and policy ...
— The History of The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire - Volume 4 • Edward Gibbon

... death. Now, had He any right to do that? Knowing as He did the ferment of expectation into which He was thrusting this new element of disturbance, and foreseeing, as He must have done, that it would sharpen the hostility of the rulers of the people to a murderous degree, how can He be acquitted of one of two things—either singular shortsightedness or rash foolhardiness in taking such a step? Was He justified, or was ...
— Expositions of Holy Scripture - St. Matthew Chaps. IX to XXVIII • Alexander Maclaren

... the Dutch Government placed the liberated population under police surveillance, compelling each individual to prove honest acquirement of the slender means necessary for subsistence. Contact with the world begins to sharpen native intelligence, already heightened by the fusion of European blood with the island race, and external cleanliness being enforced systematically in Dutch territory, the concrete cottages which alternate with the thatched dwellings are dazzlingly white, the diligent sweeping ...
— Through the Malay Archipelago • Emily Richings

... and down, and the coals were drawn up, though the furnace shaft could also be used for that purpose. There were men to tend the furnaces, and stable-men to look after the horses, and lamp-men, and blacksmiths to sharpen the tools and mend the iron-work of the wagons, and rolley-way-men to keep the roads in order, besides several for other sorts of jobs. All these were busy working away at their several posts. Samuel Kempson was among the hewers farthest from the main shaft. Near him ...
— Taking Tales - Instructive and Entertaining Reading • W.H.G. Kingston

... Montaigne, "that the dead did not feel the same when they first trod the path that leads to the life beyond life? Continue to cultivate the mind, to sharpen by exercise the genius, to attempt to delight or to instruct your race; and even supposing you fall short of every model you set before you—supposing your name moulder with your dust, still you will have passed life more nobly than the unlaborious herd. Grant ...
— Ernest Maltravers, Complete • Edward Bulwer-Lytton

... very hard, but of considerable toughness: They are formed of different sizes; some, that are intended for felling, weigh from six to eight pounds; others, that are used for carving, not more than so many ounces; but it is necessary to sharpen both almost every minute; for which purpose, a stone and a cocoa-nut shell full of ...
— A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels, Vol. 13 • Robert Kerr

... possible see-saw of sympathies as there can be between Brutus and Caesar or between Cromwell and Charles I.: there is simply nobody who supposes that Emmet was out for worldly gain, or that Castlereagh was out for anything else. Even the incidental resemblances between the two sides only served to sharpen the contrast and the complete superiority of the nationalists. Thus, Castlereagh and Lord Edward Fitzgerald were both aristocrats. But Castlereagh was the corrupt gentleman at the Court, Fitzgerald the generous ...
— The Crimes of England • G.K. Chesterton

... weeks ago, and now, on this soft, pearly evening, she was waiting eagerly for the sky to deepen, and the light of the stars to sharpen, and the orange to fall over the wall. For the Druze had come many times, and no one had discovered the lovers, screened by masses of roses in the buttress-sheltered corner of the wall. In fact, for the last weeks no one had had time or thought for anything but Buldoula, who lay sick within ...
— Six Women • Victoria Cross

... those minds to whom it is repugnant, and drives them toward the group which is being formed about the contradictory idea or belief. Contradictions among ideas and beliefs, then, it may be assumed, tend on the whole to sharpen the lines of ...
— Introduction to the Science of Sociology • Robert E. Park

... Cyril Boden did his best to sharpen in her. With the invincible optimism of his kind, he scoffed at the misgivings which she confided to him, and to him only, on the score of Felicia's lack of training, her touchy and passionate temper, and the little unscrupulous ways that offended ...
— The Mating of Lydia • Mrs. Humphry Ward

... his usual conversational mood. He released his Majesty's nose for a moment, and, as he turned to sharpen his ...
— Once on a Time • A. A. Milne

... had not been of a sort to sharpen his perception of the ridiculous, but it seemed to me an unmistakable sign of his being under the charm, that this information was very soberly offered. He was preoccupied, he was irresponsive to my experimental ...
— Eugene Pickering • Henry James

... dreamy during his first three years at school, and caused me some uneasiness, has made a sudden start. Doubtless he realized, in a way most children never do, the aim of all this preparatory work, which is to sharpen the intelligence, to get them into habits of application and accustom them to that fundamental principle of all society—obedience. My dear, a few days ago I had the proud joy of seeing Armand crowned at the great interscholastic competition in the ...
— Letters of Two Brides • Honore de Balzac

... obtained by money or a fine face; whilst the drama of the favourite was rapidly hastening to a conclusion. He now revealed his finely-spun design to Baron H. The latter was to be the instrument of it; and as the glitter of gold was no longer at hand to sharpen his palled passion for the minister's wife, and as the tears of the unfortunate daughter, the misery of the father, and the expected arrival of the crippled son, began to bear heavily upon his tender conscience, he determined at once to free himself of all these burdens. His ...
— Faustus - his Life, Death, and Doom • Friedrich Maximilian von Klinger

... boys warned me that the fresh air might sharpen up some of our appetites," replied Thad; "and ...
— The Boy Scouts' First Camp Fire - or, Scouting with the Silver Fox Patrol • Herbert Carter

... organisation was, by hereditary culture, much more ductile and more readily capable of acquiring knowledge than mine. At this I secretly demurred; and having had in the course of a practical life, to sharpen my wits, whether at home or in travel, I could not allow that my cerebral organisation could possibly be duller than that of people who had lived all their lives by lamplight. However, while I was thus thinking, Zee quietly pointed her forefinger at my forehead, ...
— The Coming Race • Edward Bulwer Lytton

... illiteracy is gaining fast upon the white ignorance, and the despised Negro is found to be living above many of his illiterate white neighbors. This makes it easy work for designing men to sharpen race prejudices, which by force and fear shall keep ...
— American Missionary, Volume 43, No. 12, December, 1889 • Various

... amputation avoided, and the shavings and pulverised graphite left safely to the action of gravitation and centrifugal force. Yet the entire race of men refuse to see the true value of the feminine method, and, indeed, any man would rather sharpen any woman's pencil than see her ...
— The Spinster Book • Myrtle Reed

... deliver his message, and return, leaving the spear to be carried on by one of the men in that house to the next village, and so on. At once the men in that house would get their war-boats ready. They would furbish up their arms, and sharpen their weapons, and decorate their ...
— Children of Borneo • Edwin Herbert Gomes

... reckoned on once more tasting bread and butter! The very thought of the treat in store served to sharpen my appetite, and render the long fast more irksome. I could now fully realise all Mrs. Bowdich's longings for English bread and butter, after her three years' travel through the burning African deserts, ...
— Roughing it in the Bush • Susanna Moodie

... I trust to you to write an account of it, and to send the writing to me. I will come to you at once, if I see reason to believe that my presence is required." Those lines, in your last kind reply to me, rouse my courage, dear Mr. Governor, and sharpen the vigilance which has always been one of the strong points in my character. Every suspicious circumstance which occurs in this house will be (so to speak) seized on by my pen, and will find itself (so to speak again) placed on its trial, before your unerring judgment! Let the wicked ...
— The Legacy of Cain • Wilkie Collins

... hanging Jim Hosley (provided my connection with the case was not revealed). Now, when I saw him and felt his hand once more in the grasp of comradeship, I was with him heart and soul, and scoundrel though he might be, a lineal descendant of old Bluebeard, perhaps, I stood ready to sharpen and pass his knives to him and assist in any humble way a willing and obliging servant could to ...
— Cupid's Middleman • Edward B. Lent

... Mark, if you please? He was a fool and a bore, but I wished him no harm. I was sorry as any one when I heard of his death, and I offered a good reward for the catching of the mean skunk that killed him. If I had done so myself I wouldn't have been such a fool as to sharpen the scent of the hounds on my ...
— The Silent House • Fergus Hume

... accidents should only serve to sharpen our wits. The more obstacles I encounter, the firmer is my resolution ...
— The Bravo of Venice - A Romance • M. G. Lewis

... to the bird that it was quite impossible for its nesting-place to be reached without a swing down from above by a rope; but, being still puzzled, it tried to sharpen its intellectual faculties by standing on one leg and scratching its grey poll with the claws of the other, a feat which made it unsteady and nearly topple over towards the ...
— The Young Castellan - A Tale of the English Civil War • George Manville Fenn

... encounter their former masters. As for the tribe itself, it had been content to announce to Montcalm, through his emissaries, with Indian brevity, that their hatchets were dull, and time was necessary to sharpen them. The politic captain of the Canadas had deemed it wiser to submit to entertain a passive friend, than by any acts of ill-judged severity to convert him ...
— The Last of the Mohicans • James Fenimore Cooper

... capering. "Splendid!" he cried. "Splendid! That will sharpen his temper if it don't his wits. The Squire's house was tried, you say?" He turned on the farmer again. "Hullo, my friend! I understood there were no law-breakers ...
— Two Sides of the Face - Midwinter Tales • Arthur Thomas Quiller-Couch

... Sir Charles Napier known to history as the "hero of Saint Jean d'Acre," but better known to sailors in the British navy as "Old Sharpen Your Cutlasses!" This quaint soubriquet he obtained from an order issued by him when he commanded a fleet in the Baltic, anticipating an engagement ...
— The Land of Fire - A Tale of Adventure • Mayne Reid

... blank verse puts the poet to the severest test, and Cowper does not survive the test. Had The Task been written in couplets he might have been forced to sharpen his wit by the necessity of rhyme. As it is, he is merely ponderous—a snail of imagination labouring under a heavy shell of eloquence. In the fragment called Yardley Oak he undoubtedly achieved something worthier of a distant disciple of Milton. But I do not think he was ever ...
— The Art of Letters • Robert Lynd

... out both hands in a gesture of impatience. "That isn't the only important thing in the world," he pointed out sarcastically. If the inner hurt served to sharpen his voice, he did not know it. "Don Andres wants to make me ...
— The Gringos • B. M. Bower

... some bees that had taken up residence between the floors did not like the noise he made, and occasionally came down to see about it. At such times he made what was in the nature of a spring for the door, explaining later that he had been to sharpen his adz. During quieter moments I went over, at his suggestion, to measure up and see if the beam wasn t high enough. It was on the afternoon of the second day that I told him that if he would now trim ...
— Dwellers in Arcady - The Story of an Abandoned Farm • Albert Bigelow Paine

... desire to find a fair resting place for his feet. (p. 186) "I'm 'ungry. Call this the best fed army in the world. Dog and maggot all the bloomin' time. I need all the hemery paper given to clean my bayonet, to sharpen my teeth to eat the stuff. How are we goin' ...
— The Red Horizon • Patrick MacGill

... your Improved Tories," he wrote, "I think the scheme is excellent. You sharpen your wits on other people's, and you keep in touch with all kinds of opinions. That's excellent! Your father, and you, too, used to say we were rather one-eyed in Dublin, and I think there's a good deal of truth in that, so I'm trying to get a group of people in Dublin to form ...
— Changing Winds - A Novel • St. John G. Ervine

... [larger] things can be reasonably well appreciated with a less scrupulous though broader attention; but in order to estimate the brilliancy of the diamond eyes of a little agate bust, for instance, you have to screw your mind down to them and nothing else. You must sharpen your faculties of observation to a point, and touch the object exactly on the right spot, or you do not appreciate it at all. It is a troublesome process when there are a thousand ...
— Passages From the French and Italian Notebooks, Complete • Nathaniel Hawthorne

... motor power—the propulsive force that pushes everything forward in its evolution. It is desire that stimulates to action. Desire drives the animal into the activities that evolve its physical body and sharpen its intelligence. If it had no desire it would lie inert and perish. But the desire for food, for drink, for association with its kind, impel it to action, and the result is the evolution of strength, skill and intelligence in proportion to the intensity of its desires. ...
— Self-Development and the Way to Power • L. W. Rogers

... dignity upon him, regard was had not only to the memory of the dead man and the grief of his father, but also to the effect it would have upon others. When such splendid rewards are bestowed upon young men—provided they deserve them—they will serve to sharpen the inclinations of the rising generation to the practice of the honourable arts; they will make our leading men more desirous of bringing up their children, increase the joy they will have in them if they survive, and provide a glorious consolation ...
— The Letters of the Younger Pliny - Title: The Letters of Pliny the Younger - - Series 1, Volume 1 • Pliny the Younger

... slight center in the end of arbor I am to drill, and then by giving my lathe a back and forward motion, I begin to drill, and by the sense of feeling I can tell whether my drill is cutting or not, and if not, I have a small, smooth oilstone at hand and sharpen the drill as often as it refuses to cut, and if that drill will not ...
— Scientific American Supplement, No. 664, September 22,1888 • Various

... imagination cunningly suggests a thousand things to be done, and then trains the will and every power of body and mind in the effort to do them. The sports of childhood are admirably adapted to quicken the senses and sharpen the wits. Nature has effective ways in her school of securing the exercise which is needed to develop every mental and every bodily power. She fills the activity brimful of enjoyment, and then gives her children freedom, assured that they will ...
— Composition-Rhetoric • Stratton D. Brooks

... space of a few weeks, Victor Emmanuel lost his brother, his mother, and his wife. The King, who felt keenly when he did feel, was driven distraught with grief; no circumstance was wanting which could sharpen the edge of his sorrow. The two Queens, both Austrian princesses, had never interfered in foreign politics; what they suffered they suffered in silence. But they were greatly influenced by the ministers of the religion ...
— The Liberation of Italy • Countess Evelyn Martinengo-Cesaresco

... because it is a great thing, to distinguish consonants from vowels, and afterwards divide them into semivowels and mutes; but because, to those who enter the interior parts of this temple of science, there will appear in many things a great subtilty, which is fit not only to sharpen the wits of youth, but also to exercise the loftiest erudition and science."—De Institutione Oratoria, Lib. i, ...
— The Grammar of English Grammars • Goold Brown

... of you, and eat, that ye may be ready for battle. Let each man sharpen well his spear and see to his shield, and see to it that the horses are well fed and the chariots prepared. And whomsoever I see minded to stay far away from the fight, beside the ships here by the sea, for him shall there be no hope hereafter, but he ...
— Young Folks Treasury, Volume 3 (of 12) - Classic Tales And Old-Fashioned Stories • Various

... which it had been aimed. Under all these difficulties, the approximations made to correct sailing by the most skilful mariners were sometimes wonderful. Doubtless this very poverty of resources served to sharpen their watchful sagacity.[377] To sail the seas was in those days a task requiring high mental equipment; it was no work for your commonplace skipper. Human faculty was taxed to its utmost, and human courage has never been more grandly displayed than by ...
— The Discovery of America Vol. 1 (of 2) - with some account of Ancient America and the Spanish Conquest • John Fiske

... to imitate the absolute thinness of thin or slight things, as much modern wood carving does, I saw in Italy, a year or two ago, a marble sculpture of birds' nests.] On the other hand, we cast our iron into bars—brittle, though an inch thick—sharpen them at the ends, and consider fences, and other work, made of such materials, decorative! I do not believe it would be easy to calculate the amount of mischief done to our taste in England by that fence iron-work of ours alone. If it were asked of us by a single characteristic, ...
— The Two Paths • John Ruskin

... taught how to learn is a much greater thing than to be crammed," said Carey. "Of course when one begins to teach oneself, the world has become "mine oyster," and one has the dagger. The point becomes how to sharpen ...
— Magnum Bonum • Charlotte M. Yonge

... without considering his physical condition. It appears from the slight notices we have of this vital matter, that about the year 1807 the stock of vigor which his youth had acquired was gone, and he lived thenceforth a miserable invalid, afflicted with diseases that sharpen the temper and narrow the mind. John Randolph well might have outgrown inherited prejudices and limitations, and attained to the stature of a modern, a national, a republican man. John Randolph sick—radically and incurably ...
— Famous Americans of Recent Times • James Parton

... who scarce could gain this place, Through stony mountains and a dreary waste; Through cliffs, whose sharpen'd stones tremendous hung, Where dreadful darkness ...
— The Academic Questions • M. T. Cicero

... faculty, Jones. You can, when you choose, sharpen the pencil of your mind to a very fine ...
— Average Jones • Samuel Hopkins Adams

... managed very fairly well. Most of the camels bogged, but some did not, nor did the horses, and our loads now consisted of little else but the saddles, and were therefore no great weight to carry. The weather was lovely now, bright warm days and frosty nights; unfortunately this tends to sharpen the appetite, which we had small means of satisfying. For the last ten days we had had nothing but damper, and not much of that, on which we spread tinned milk which had previously been discarded as unfit for use, being dark brown instead of white, and almost solid. Nevertheless ...
— Spinifex and Sand - Five Years' Pioneering and Exploration in Western Australia • David W Carnegie

... his papers about as if he couldn't make up his mind which one he wanted. The former made all sorts of signs to him across the table, and, in the midst of studying her French verbs, she seemed to be suddenly seized with a desire for lead-pencils, for she began to sharpen all that she could get together, one after the other. Oscar was writing out his speech. Any one would have thought that he was composing a drama and acting it out as he went along; he kept throwing up his head, and gazing enthusiastically first at one inkstand and ...
— Gritli's Children • Johanna Spyri

... his seat on the stool. "This job ain't none too easy, as it is," he complained. "As a writer I'm a first-rate cow hand. Lemme take your knife to sharpen this pencil with. When I asked the sheriff for a stub of a pencil he ...
— The Coyote - A Western Story • James Roberts

... of careful observation, can tell the number of the musk-mallow's petals, or mark on paper the depth of fringe on a gentian, or match from a series of dyed silks the hues of a common buttercup? Drawing and painting sharpen the eye, and make the fingers its trained and ready servants. From the very beginning of one's task in limning bud and blossom, we see them richer in grace and loveliness than ever before. When wild flowers are sketched as ...
— Little Masterpieces of Science: - The Naturalist as Interpreter and Seer • Various

... once when it was bogged up to de hub and lift and heft dat wagon and set it outside de ruts it was bogged down in. Him stayed at de blacksmith shop, work on de wagons, shoe de mules and hosses, make hinges, sharpen de plow points and fix de iron rings ...
— Slave Narratives Vol. XIV. South Carolina, Part 2 • Works Projects Administration

... dreams have long foretokened it. As he confronts the disgrace almost face to face, how changed is the hideous aspect of his deed, from that fair face of promise with which it tempted him! Conscience, and honor, and plain honesty, which left him when they could not restrain, now come back to sharpen his anguish. Overawed by the prospect of open shame, of his wife's disgrace, and his children's beggary, he cows down, and slinks out of life a ...
— Twelve Causes of Dishonesty • Henry Ward Beecher

... unconsciously fetched it out; and looking on that black continent at arm's length, withered inwardly and felt his features sharpen ...
— The Works of Robert Louis Stevenson - Swanston Edition Vol. 5 (of 25) • Robert Louis Stevenson

... innocent altogether," laughed the Pencil, rubbing its leaden head rapidly on a piece of paper, to sharpen its point. "A regular sitting! What do you think? No, sir, no, emphatically never. Such an operation would be fatal to the delicate constitution of a caricature, and the result would not be worth the paper upon which it is drawn. It is only in ordinary portraiture ...
— The Confessions of a Caricaturist, Vol. 1 (of 2) • Harry Furniss

... from the Punjab is likely to elicit any response. Such echoes of far away sedition as may reach their mountain fastnesses provoke only vague wonder at the forbearance and leniency of British rulers, and if ever the British Raj were in jeopardy, Pathan and Baluch would be the first to sharpen their swords and shoulder their rifles either in response to our call or in order to descend on their own account, as their forbears have done before, into the fair plains of Hindustan and carve out kingdoms for themselves from the chaos that would follow the collapse ...
— Indian Unrest • Valentine Chirol

... me, I know not what in it would not belong to the life to come.' And even self-analysis, of which there is so much, becoming at times a kind of mathematics, even those metaphysical subtleties which seem, to sharpen thought upon thought to an almost invisible fineness of edge, become also lyrical, inter-penetrated as they are with ...
— Figures of Several Centuries • Arthur Symons

... weakness was for oysters, eaten as a preparatory whet to the appetite before dinner; and it is recorded of him that on a certain occasion, when he had been indulging in this favorite pre-prandial exercise, he observed with pleasant humor—"Oysters taken before dinner are said to sharpen the appetite; but I have just consumed half-a-barrel of fine natives—and speaking honestly, I am bound to say that I don't feel quite as hungry as when I began." Thomas Manners Button's peculiar penchant was ...
— A Book About Lawyers • John Cordy Jeaffreson

... North in the land called Svithjod, there stands a rock. It is a hundred miles high and a hundred miles wide. Once every thousand years a little bird comes to this rock to sharpen its beak. ...
— The Story of Mankind • Hendrik van Loon

... seen grandly floating on the air, or poised ready to strike a defenceless animal or crippled bird. The buzzard, of loathsome aspect, perched upon a blasted tree, waits for his gorged appetite to sharpen, that he may descend and fatten upon some putrid carcase. The river, narrow and tortuous, rolls its black waters between low and marshy banks, flat, and running back to thin growths of stunted pines and other badly nourished trees. As we ...
— Nick Baba's Last Drink and Other Sketches • George P. Goff

... to learn all that was possible of the affairs of his customers. This was the part of wisdom in a cautious banker; and he was distressed when checks that were not self-explanatory passed through the receiving-teller's window. A small bank is a good place in which to sharpen one's detective sense. Every check tells a story and is in some degree ...
— Otherwise Phyllis • Meredith Nicholson

... expression, and play of features at a first interview. This process, however, seemed always amply sufficient for her; and in more than one instance events proved that her judgment had not been misled by it. Her affliction had tended, indeed, to sharpen her faculties of observation and her powers of analysis to such a remarkable degree, that she often guessed the general tenor of a conversation quite correctly, merely by watching the minute varieties of expression ...
— Hide and Seek • Wilkie Collins

... good job done," Dick said, "but a very hot one. Now, Surajah, sharpen three or four pieces of wood, and drive them down into the ground at the foot of that strut; then it will be as firm ...
— The Tiger of Mysore - A Story of the War with Tippoo Saib • G. A. Henty

... and he gets smitten with another woman, isn't he likely to lose interest in his wife's studies for that reason, and is not his wife's interest in her studies likely to languish for the same reason? Would not the mere sight of those books of hers sharpen the pain that is in her heart? This sudden breaking down of a mutual intellectual interest of two years' standing is coincident with Shelley's re-encounter with Cornelia; and we are allowed to gather from that time forth for nearly two months he did all his studying ...
— Innocents abroad • Mark Twain

... picked the largest of the fruit and put it into his mouth. It was as hard as ivory. He pulled out his penknife, with which he used to sharpen his pencil at school. With great difficulty he cut the fruit in two, to find within only a soft, bitter pulp. Then he tried another and another. All were like the first one, and he gave up trying because he was at length convinced ...
— Pinocchio in Africa • Cherubini

... heavily along, "How now, my lord king Gunther? who thinks to scape with life? This love of yours and lady—'faith she's the devil's wife." . . . . . . . . . . . Then to the maid was carried heavily and slow A strong well-sharpen'd jav'lin, which she ever us'd to throw, Huge and of weight enormous, fit for so strong a queen, Cutting deep and ...
— Song and Legend From the Middle Ages • William D. McClintock and Porter Lander McClintock

... done under the influence of any kind of stimulants is unhealthy work, and tends to no good. I never use any kind of stimulant for intellectual work—only a glass of wine during dinner to sharpen the appetite. As to smoking generally, it is a vile and odious practice; but I do not know that, unless carried to excess, it is in any way unhealthy. Instead of stimulants, literary men should seek for aid in a ...
— Study and Stimulants • A. Arthur Reade

... my colour. In fact, I can do you the best end of the neck at tenpence, madam, if you'll wait a moment while I sharpen the knife. Let's see; you like it cut on the cross, I think? Bother, they've forgotten ...
— Happy Days • Alan Alexander Milne

... puzzle himself how to get a very sharp edge, and at length one night he dreamed how to do it. From that time he became prosperous. If a celebrated sonata was revealed in a dream, why not the way to sharpen a chisel? ...
— Field and Hedgerow • Richard Jefferies

... towel, and stumbled dismally off. But I haven't enjoyed it. They seem to keep a specially cutting east wind, waiting for me, when I go to bathe in the early morning; and they pick out all the three-cornered stones, and put them on the top, and they sharpen up the rocks and cover the points over with a bit of sand so that I can't see them, and they take the sea and put it two miles out, so that I have to huddle myself up in my arms and hop, shivering, through six inches of water. And when I do get to the sea, ...
— Three Men in a Boa • Jerome K. Jerome

... and our eyes are apt to get dulled to this eventfulness of form in those things which we are always looking at. Now it is one of the chief uses of decoration, the chief part of its alliance with nature, that it has to sharpen our dulled senses in this matter: for this end are those wonders of intricate patterns interwoven, those strange forms invented, which men have so long delighted in: forms and intricacies that do not necessarily imitate nature, but in which the hand of the craftsman ...
— Hopes and Fears for Art • William Morris

... everybody! I got someting to say. Beesvings don't have all dis to herselluf. Now it is my turn. Come up closer so I get hold of you. Vait, and I git back on de platform. Here, you olt frent of mine, Dan Porterfield, here is a new butcher-knife sharpener for you, to sharpen your knives on ven you cuts dem bifsteaks. And, Heffern, come close; here is a silver-plated skimmer for dot cream you make, and a pig fan for your daughter. And Polly Codman—git out of de way dere, and let Polly Codman come up!—here, Polly, is a pair of gloves for you and a muffler ...
— Felix O'Day • F. Hopkinson Smith

... everything, Antoine, but the presence of Mademoiselle Lannes is bound to sharpen the wits of anyone who is trying to ...
— The Hosts of the Air • Joseph A. Altsheler

... Commandments, and give an appropriate character to each prohibition. His nation, in general, have not ever-sensible countenances. How should they?—but you seldom see a silly expression among them. Gain, and the pursuit of gain, sharpen a man's visage. I never heard of an idiot being born among them.—Some admire the Jewish female physiognomy. I admire it—but with trembling. Jael had those full ...
— The Works of Charles and Mary Lamb, Volume 2 • Charles Lamb

... of sudden contrasts; that is, large members with very little curve bound with members very small in detail, thus obtaining sharp lines, having little surface to be influenced or distorted by the veined markings, and serving to sharpen up and give form to the broader members (which show the color qualities of the marble), much as you sharpen up an ink drawing by underlining. These small members serve the architect's purpose for the expression ...
— Scientific American Supplement, No. 799, April 25, 1891 • Various

... the side of the mountain, found a bit of coarse stone which John and he used as a whetstone to sharpen up their knives. They knew well enough that work on the coarse surface of a bear-hide dulls a knife very quickly. It was an hour or two before their leader was satisfied with the ...
— The Young Alaskans in the Rockies • Emerson Hough

... girl was in itself a distinction; but, apart from that, Marjorie keenly appreciated her society. She would wait about to do any little errand for her, would wash her brushes after the oil-painting lesson, sharpen her pencils, set butterflies for her, mount pressed flowers, or print out photographs. Winifrede was fond of entomology, and Marjorie, beforetime a lukewarm naturalist, now waxed enthusiastic in the collection of specimens. She was running one day in pursuit of a gorgeous dragon-fly through ...
— A Patriotic Schoolgirl • Angela Brazil

... to answer for the killing of Lord Wargrove. Also he knew that the wounding of the Duke of Lyonesse had been laid to his charge. The word which had gone forth that his capture would be grateful to the Regency and its camarilla of Dukes, would naturally sharpen ...
— Patsy • S. R. Crockett

... dreadful hours of suspense during that long, cold December night. More than once they heard the creature "sharpen its claws" on tree trunks, and the sound was by no means cheerful. The brute seemed bent on remaining near the little camp. I remember that Grandsir Billy said that they heard it "garp" several times; I suppose he meant yawn. The circumstance ...
— A Busy Year at the Old Squire's • Charles Asbury Stephens

... wealth of energy rendered idleness, when it could be avoided, another name for weariness, had seated herself at her desk, and was making sketches for Ruth to copy. Bertha sat beside her, destroying pencils in her awkward attempt to sharpen them. Madeleine did not desist from her occupation, but Bertha's ...
— Fairy Fingers - A Novel • Anna Cora Mowatt Ritchie

... out a great knife, and, approaching the poor children, began to sharpen it on a long stone, which he held in his left hand. He then seized one of them, when his wife said to him, "Why do you begin at this time of night? Shall you not have ...
— The Junior Classics, Volume 1 • Willam Patten

... dubbel depressive; in dhe real phyzzic, vizzit, and vizzion; but work equal wonders, in polysyllables ov anny extension; pretending, in dhe verry name, to' paint pollysyllabels. And dhus dhe trokees grow innumerabel, dhat shut and sharpen, shortening dhe former vowel; hwich dhey hav hiddherto' pretended to' exhibbit slowly and smoodhly open: so leving singuel dhe intermediate articulacion, hwich must be audibly dubbel, (must shut az wel az articculate,) and continnue dhe equal impossibillity, ...
— A Minniature ov Inglish Orthoggraphy • James Elphinston

... that turning round I might not have discern'd it, when we met A troop of spirits, who came beside the pier. They each one ey'd us, as at eventide One eyes another under a new moon, And toward us sharpen'd their sight as keen, As an old tailor at his needle's eye. Thus narrowly explor'd by all the tribe, I was agniz'd of one, who by the skirt Caught me, and cried, "What wonder have we here!" And I, when he to ...
— The Divine Comedy • Dante

... most to finish her sandals were scissors. They would cost so much to buy she would have to manage without them. Fortunately she had her knife, and with the help of a stone to sharpen the point she could make it fine enough to ...
— Nobody's Girl - (En Famille) • Hector Malot

... answers to all these questions were not considered satisfactory, they next endeavoured to sharpen his wits by torturing a German coiner in his presence; and when this mode of persuasion failed, they tortured Augusta himself. They stripped him naked. They stretched him face downwards on a ladder. They smeared his hips with boiling pitch. They set the spluttering mess on fire, and drew it ...
— History of the Moravian Church • J. E. Hutton

... said, "the time has not yet come, nor can the Sarci do aught until the word is given by Prasutagus, and the whole of the Iceni rise in arms, and not the Iceni alone, but Britons from sea to sea. Till then hold yourselves in readiness. Sharpen your arms and prepare for the contest. But you need a chief. In the ordinary course of things years would have elapsed before Beric, the son of your last brave prince, would have been associated with his mother in the rule of the tribe; but on the eve of such a struggle ordinary customs and usages ...
— Beric the Briton - A Story of the Roman Invasion • G. A. Henty

... been less anxious, I dare say. I had come so successfully to this point that I was resolved, if my hopes were to miscarry, the misfortune should not be owing to want of vigilance on my part; and there happened an incident which inevitably tended to sharpen my watchfulness, though I was perfectly conscious there was a million to one against its occurring a second time. I came on deck to relieve Wilkinson, at midnight, after a half-hour's nodding doze by the furnace below. He went to his cabin; I stood under the lee of a cloth seized ...
— The Frozen Pirate • W. Clark Russell



Words linked to "Sharpen" :   flatten, taper, focus, focalize, intensify, strop, blur, adjust, edge, focalise, alter, change form, modify, refocus, whet, soften, sharpener, deepen, correct, set, subtilize, subtilise, acuminate



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