follow Dictionary.com

What is the X in X-mas?

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.
Cite This Source
Examples from the web for hones
  • And there is a brief appearance by a legendary sword fighter who hones his skills against his own reflection.
  • Instead of chasing after the entire body of knowledge, everyone focuses in on their speciality and hones it.
  • It is a precision instrument that hones strops and shaves.
  • The hones of his literary function show through his inadequate flesh.
  • The course hones riding skills, develops finesse, and emphasizes strategies to reduce risks.
  • hones leadership and teamwork skills while applying math, marine biology, and science in a real-world environment.
  • Our focus for this staff report hones in on affordability.
  • The program strengthens and hones the traits and skills that are important to the puppies' future work.
British Dictionary definitions for hones

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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for hones

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
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for hone

Many English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for hones

8
8
Scrabble Words With Friends

Nearby words for hones