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[hwet-stohn, wet-] /ˈʰwɛtˌstoʊn, ˈwɛt-/
a stone for sharpening cutlery or tools by friction.
anything that sharpens:
a whetstone for dull wits.
Origin of whetstone
before 900; Middle English whetston, Old English hwetstān. See whet, stone Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for whetstone
Historical Examples
  • It was a safe offer, taking all precedent into account, for no man ever had ridden whetstone, not even his owner.

  • "Here is a whetstone," said the Wanderer, and he took one from his belt.

    The Children of Odin Padraic Colum
  • whetstone came to a sudden stop, lifted his head with a jerk, his ears set forward, snorting an alarm.

  • English name for a stone appears in Hone, now used only of a whetstone.

    The Romance of Names Ernest Weekley
  • The Villiers motto, Fidei coticula crux, The cross is the whetstone of faith, is inscribed on the frieze.

    Haunted London Walter Thornbury
  • What he wants is ten quarts apiece, no matter if it's bluer 'n a whetstone.

    Tiverton Tales Alice Brown
  • If whetstone didn't get him off pretty soon, he would be whipped and conquered, his belly on the ground.

  • Which he's the stoodent who stands up the stage over by whetstone Springs.

    Faro Nell and Her Friends Alfred Henry Lewis
  • Jim Wilder stood by, swearing by all his obscene deities that if that man hurt whetstone, he'd kill him for his hide.

  • Few horses had beaten whetstone in a race since he became the Duke's property.

British Dictionary definitions for whetstone


a stone used for sharpening edged tools, knives, etc
something that sharpens
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 whetstone

Old English hwetstan; see whet + stone (n.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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whetstone in Technology
The first major synthetic benchmark program, intended to be representative for numerical (floating-point intensive) programming. It is based on statistics gathered by Brian Wichmann at the National Physical Laboratory in England, using an Algol 60 compiler which translated Algol into instructions for the imaginary Whetstone machine. The compilation system was named after the small town of Whetstone outside the City of Leicester, England, where it was designed.
The later dhrystone benchmark was a pun on Whetstone.
Source code: C (, single precision Fortran (, double precision Fortran (
["A Synthetic Benchmark", H.J. Curnow and B.A. Wichmann, The Computer Journal, 19,1 (1976), pp. 43-49].
The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010
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