Word of the Day: Sharp

sharp / SHärp




  1. having a fine point

March on, and fear not the thorns, or the sharp stones on life’s path.

Khalil Gibran, 1883-1931


  1. bitterly cold

Freeze, freeze, thou bitter sky,

That dost not bite so nigh

As benefits forgot

Though thou the waters warp,

Thy sting is not so sharp

As friend remembered not.

from ‘As You Like It’ by William Shakespeare, 1564-1616


  1. quick in wit; intelligent

The only way you’re going to keep sharp is to read and write every day.

from ‘The Help’ by Kathryn Stockett, 1969-


  1. perceptive

Anyone with gumption and a sharp mind will take the measure of two things: what’s said and what’s done.

Seamus Heaney, 1939-2013


  1. vigilant

A man who is half an idiot, but who keeps a sharp lookout and acts prudently all his life, often enjoys the pleasure of triumphing over men of more imagination than he.

Stendhal, 1783-1842


  1. shrewd

In business sharp practice sometimes succeeds, but in art honesty is not only the best but the only policy.

  1. Somerset Maugham, 1874-1965


  1. energetic

In the early 1970s, the American surgeon Henry Jay Heimlich observed that food and other objects that caused choking were not freed by the recommended technique of delivering sharp blows to the back.

from ‘Henry Heimlich – Heimlich Maneuver’ by Marc A. Shampo, ?- and Robert A. Kyle, ?-


  1. harsh

A tart temper never mellows with age, and a sharp tongue is the only edge tool that grows keener with constant use.

Washington Irving, 1783-1859


  1. pungent tasting or smelling

She liked the sharp salty smell of the air, and the vastness of the horizons bounded only by a vault of azure sky.

from ‘A Storm of Swords’ by George R. R. Martin, 1948-


  1. piercing or shrill

The hawk’s cry is as sharp as its beak.

Edward Abbey, 1927-1989


  1. very sensitive or keen

When our personal inner vision is sharp and balanced, it awakens our ability to look at life with a creative and positive point of view.

Sonia Choquette, 1957-


  1. in music, off pitch by a higher half step or more

[…] just because you’re a little sharp or flat now doesn’t mean you’re doomed to singing out of tune forever!



  1. stylish

You walk with a different air if you’re wearing something sharp.

Paolo Nutini, 1987-


  1. abrupt, as of a turn

It is this broken road with pitfalls and sharp turns and unexpected traverses that has brought me joy and adventure.

Alice Walker, 1944-


  1. intensely painful

It takes courage…to endure the sharp pains of self discovery rather than choose to take the dull pain of unconsciousness that would last the rest of our lives.

Marianne Williamson, 1952-





  1. right on time; exactly

Too many church services start at eleven sharp and end at twelve dull.

Vance Havner, 1901-1986


  1. suddenly

He took a swift hairpin turn on the dirt road and pulled up sharp at the bottom of the hill.

from ‘The Mammoth Cheese’ by Sheri Holman, 1966-