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whet

[hwet, wet] /ʰwɛt, wɛt/
verb (used with object), whetted, whetting.
1.
to sharpen (a knife, tool, etc.) by grinding or friction.
2.
to make keen or eager; stimulate:
to whet the appetite; to whet the curiosity.
noun
3.
the act of whetting.
4.
something that whets; appetizer or drink.
5.
Chiefly Southern U.S.
  1. a spell of work.
  2. a while:
    to talk a whet.
Origin
900
before 900; Middle English whetten (v.), Old English hwettan (derivative of hwæt bold); cognate with German wetzen, Old Norse hvetja, Gothic gahwatjan to incite
Related forms
whetter, noun
unwhetted, adjective
Can be confused
wet, whet.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for whetting

whet

/wɛt/
verb (transitive) whets, whetting, whetted
1.
to sharpen, as by grinding or friction
2.
to increase or enhance (the appetite, desire, etc); stimulate
noun
3.
the act of whetting
4.
a person or thing that whets
Derived Forms
whetter, noun
Word Origin
Old English hwettan; related to hvæt sharp, Old High German hwezzen, Old Norse hvetja, Gothic hvatjan
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 whetting

whet

v.

Old English hwettan, from Proto-Germanic *khwatjanan (cf. Old Norse hvetja "to sharpen, encourage," Middle Low German, Middle Dutch wetten, Old High German wezzan, German wetzen "to sharpen," Gothic ga-hvatjan "to sharpen, incite"), from an adjective represented by Old English hwæt "brave, bold," Old Saxon hwat "sharp," from Proto-Germanic *khwataz, from PIE root *qwed- "sharp" (cf. Sanskrit codati "incites," literally "sharpens"). Figurative sense was in Old English.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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