Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • transitive verb To sharpen (a knife, for example); hone.
  • transitive verb To make more keen; stimulate.
  • noun Something that whets the appetite or desire.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun The act of sharp-ening by friction; hence, something that provokes or stimulates; especially, something that whets the appetite, as a dram.
  • To make sharp; sharpen (an edged or pointed tool or weapon) by rubbing it on a stone, or with an implement of stone or other material.
  • To make sharp, keen, or eager; excite; stimulate: as, to whet the appetite.
  • To rub; scratch.
  • To prune or preen; trim.
  • To cut with a knife.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • transitive verb To rub or on with some substance, as a piece of stone, for the purpose of sharpening; to sharpen by attrition.
  • transitive verb To make sharp, keen, or eager; to excite; to stimulate.
  • transitive verb to urge on or forward; to instigate.
  • noun The act of whetting.
  • noun That which whets or sharpens; esp., an appetizer.
  • noun (Min.) a variety of slate used for sharpening cutting instruments; novaculite; -- called also whetstone slate, and oilstone.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • verb transitive To hone or rub on with some substance, as a piece of stone, for the purpose of sharpening – see whetstone.
  • verb transitive To stimulate or make more keen.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • verb sharpen by rubbing, as on a whetstone
  • verb make keen or more acute

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Middle English whetten, from Old English hwettan.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English whetten, from Old English hwettan ("to whet, sharpen, incite, encourage"), from Proto-Germanic *hwatjanan (“to incite, sharpen”), from Proto-Indo-European *kʷēd- (“sharp”). Cognate with Dutch wetten ("to whet, sharpen"), German wetzen ("to whet, sharpen"), Danish dialectal hvæde ("to whet").

Examples

  • They're not "wet stones" but rather "whetstones" as in "whet: to make keen or more acute;" whet my appetite "; to sharpen by rubbing, as on a whetstone"

    Learn To Sharpen Good Knives With Water Stones | Lifehacker Australia

  • Theres a pair of imbeciles around here called whet (nee sven) and ashie for perfect examples of such stupidity.

    Army Rumour Service

  • Theres a pair of imbeciles around here called whet (nee sven) and ashie for perfect examples of such stupidity.

    Army Rumour Service

  • Theres a pair of imbeciles around here called whet (nee sven) and ashie for perfect examples of such stupidity.

    Army Rumour Service

  • Theres a pair of imbeciles around here called whet (nee sven) and ashie for perfect examples of such stupidity.

    Army Rumour Service

  • Theres a pair of imbeciles around here called whet (nee sven) and ashie for perfect examples of such stupidity.

    Army Rumour Service

  • Theres a pair of imbeciles around here called whet (nee sven) and ashie for perfect examples of such stupidity.

    Army Rumour Service

  • Do you think this had kind of whet your appetite for more animation?

    Buzzine » Angelina Jolie

  • For the first time, a Government of independent Sri Lanka has appointed a military censor to "whet" and "cut" media reports relating to sensitive material on the war.

    Kottu

  • I would like to nominate "whet" and "bobthedog" purely on the fact they are both tree hugging PC fu-cktards, who would rather fight for the rights of fugees than they would for the rights of the people who actually deserve it.

    Army Rumour Service

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