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hone1

[hohn] /hoʊn/
noun
1.
a whetstone of fine, compact texture for sharpening razors and other cutting tools.
2.
a precision tool with a mechanically rotated abrasive tip, for enlarging holes to precise dimensions.
verb (used with object), honed, honing.
3.
to sharpen on a hone:
to hone a carving knife.
4.
to enlarge or finish (a hole) with a hone.
5.
to make more acute or effective; improve; perfect:
to hone one's skills.
Origin
950
before 950; Middle English (noun); Old English hān stone, rock; cognate with Old Norse hein hone; akin to cone
Related forms
honer, noun

hone2

[hohn] /hoʊn/
verb (used without object), honed, honing.
1.
South Midland and Southern U.S. to yearn; long:
to hone for the farm life; to hone after peach pie.
2.
Archaic. to moan and groan.
Origin
1590-1600; < Anglo-French *honer; Old French hogner to grumble, growl < Germanic; compare Old Saxon hōnian to abuse, revile
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for hone
  • It took him about 15 years to hone his instrumental skills.
  • The course enables participants to explore backcountry terrain and hone survival skills.
  • Louie could be a compelling novelist--if only she would hone her storytelling techniques.
  • But the team is trying to hone the method.
  • The well-deserved encouragement he received led him to hone his recollections for the theater.
  • Presenting concepts realistically may improve learning, and hone other skills as well, like attention span.
  • Insurers are having to hone their investment-management skills if they are to compete in this new environment.
  • Use the experience to broaden and hone your teaching skills.
  • Jared played saxophone, and his parents enrolled him in jazz classes to help him hone his skills.
  • Over the nine years, he has been able to play a wider range of emotions and hone his skills.
British Dictionary definitions for hone

hone1

/həʊn/
noun
1.
a fine whetstone, esp for sharpening razors
2.
a tool consisting of a number of fine abrasive slips held in a machine head, rotated and reciprocated to impart a smooth finish to cylinder bores, etc
verb
3.
(transitive) to sharpen or polish with or as if with a hone
Usage note
Hone is sometimes wrongly used where home is meant: this device makes it easier to home in on (not hone in on) the target
Word Origin
Old English hān stone; related to Old Norse hein

hone2

/həʊn/
verb (intransitive) (dialect)
1.
often foll by for or after. to yearn or pine
2.
to moan or grieve
Word Origin
C17: from Old French hogner to growl, probably of Germanic origin; compare Old High German hōnen to revile
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for hone
n.

"whetstone," Old English han "stone, rock, (boundary) stone," in Middle English "whetstone" (early 14c.), from Proto-Germanic *haino (cf. Old Norse hein "hone"). The verb is 1788, from the noun. Related: Honed; honing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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