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Arouse one's interest or eagerness, as in That first Schubert piece whetted my appetite; I hope she sings some others. This idiom, first recorded in 1612, transfers making one hungry for food to other kinds of eagerness.
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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