American English

Definition of sharp adjective from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



    (sharper, sharpest)
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  1. 1having a fine edge or point, especially of something that can cut or make a hole in something a sharp knife sharp teeth opposite blunt
  2. rise/drop/change
  3. 2[usually before noun] sudden and rapid, especially of a change in something a sharp drop in prices a sharp rise in crime a sharp increase in unemployment He heard a sharp intake of breath. We need to give young criminals a short, sharp shock (= a punishment that is very unpleasant for a short time).
  4. clear/definite
  5. 3[usually before noun] clear and definite a sharp outline The photograph is not very sharp (= there are no clear contrasts between areas of light and shade). She drew a sharp distinction between domestic and international politics. In sharp contrast to her mood, the clouds were breaking up to reveal a blue sky. The issue must be brought into sharper focus.
  6. mind/eyes
  7. 4(of people or their minds, eyes, etc.) quick to notice or understand things or to react to have sharp eyes a girl of sharp intelligence a sharp sense of humor He kept a sharp lookout for any strangers. It was very sharp of you to see that!
  8. intelligent
  9. 5intelligent; quick to learn You're a pretty sharp kid. synonyms at intelligent
  10. critical
  11. 6(of a person or what they say) critical or severe sharp criticism Emma has a sharp tongue (= she often speaks in an unpleasant or unkind way). sharp with somebody He was very sharp with me when I was late.
  12. sounds
  13. 7[usually before noun] loud, sudden, and often high in tone She read out the list in sharp, clipped tones. There was a sharp knock on the door.
  14. feeling
  15. 8(of a physical feeling or an emotion) very strong and sudden, often like being cut or wounded synonym intense He winced as a sharp pain shot through his leg. Polly felt a sharp pang of jealousy.
  16. curves
  17. 9changing direction suddenly a sharp bend in the road a sharp turn to the left
  18. flavor/smell
  19. 10strong and slightly bitter The cheese has a distinctively sharp taste. Thesaurusbittersour pungent sharp acidic tartThese words all describe a strong, unpleasant taste or smell.bitter (of a taste or smell) strong and usually unpleasant; (of food or drink) having a bitter taste.sour (of a taste) like the taste of a lemon or of fruit that is not ripe; (of food or drink) having a sour taste:Too much pulp produces a sour wine.pungent (of a taste or smell) very strong, like the taste or smell of garlic or mustard:the pungent taste of onionssharp (of a taste or smell) strong and biting; (of food or drink) having a sharp taste:He prefers a very sharp cheddar cheese.acidic (of a taste) bitter, like the taste of lemons or vinegar; (of food or drink) having an acidic taste.tart sour, but often in a pleasant way:The lemon pie is both sweet and slightly tart.which word?A bitter taste is usually unpleasant, but some people enjoy the bitter flavor of coffee or chocolate. No other word can describe this flavor. A sharp or pungent flavor is very strong and sometimes unpleasant; these words are used especially to describe cheese. Sour and acidic both describe the taste of a lemon or a fruit that is not ripe.Patterns a(n) bitter/sour/pungent/sharp/acidic/tart taste/flavor a bitter/pungent/sharp smell/odor a bitter/sour/sharp/tart fruit pungent/sharp cheese
  20. frost/wind
  21. 11used to describe a very cold or very severe frost or wind see also razor-sharp
  22. smart and dishonest
  23. 12(disapproving) (of a person or their way of doing business) smart but possibly dishonest His lawyer's a sharp operator. The firm had to face some sharp practice from competing companies.
  24. clothes
  25. 13[usually before noun] (of clothes or the way someone dresses) fashionable and new The consultants were a group of men in sharp suits. Todd is a sharp dresser.
  26. face/features
  27. 14not full or round in shape a man with a thin face and sharp features (= a pointed nose and chin)
  28. in music
  29. 15used after the name of a note to mean a note a half step higher the Piano Sonata in C sharp minor compare natural
  30. 16above the correct pitch (= how high or low a note sounds) That note sounded sharp. opposite flat
    noun [countable, uncountable] There was a sudden sharpness in her voice.
  32. Thesaurusintelligentsmart brilliant bright sharpThese words all describe people who are good at learning, understanding, and thinking about things, and the actions that show this ability.intelligent good at learning, understanding, and thinking in a logical way about things; showing this ability:He's a highly intelligent man. She asked a lot of intelligent quick at learning and understanding things; showing the ability to make good business or personal decisions:She's smarter than her brother. That was a smart career move.brilliant extremely intelligent or skillful:She's a brilliant young scientist.bright intelligent; quick to learn:He's probably the brightest student in the class. Bright is used especially to talk about young people. Common collocations of bright include girl, boy, kid, and bright:You're a pretty sharp kid.Patterns a(n) intelligent/smart/brilliant/bright/sharp child/kid/boy/girl a(n) intelligent/smart/brilliant man/woman a(n) intelligent/smart/brilliant thing to do
    not the sharpest knife in the drawer, not the sharpest tool in the shed (informal) (humorous)
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    not intelligent He's not exactly the sharpest knife in the drawer, is he?
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: sharp