From Middle English whetten, from Old English hwettan (“to whet, sharpen, incite, encourage”), from Proto-Germanic *hwatjanan (“to incite, sharpen”), from Proto-Indo-European *kʷēd- (“sharp”). Cognate with Dutch wetten (“to whet, sharpen”), German wetzen (“to whet, sharpen”), Danish dialectal hvæde (“to whet”).
- IPA: /wɛt/ X-SAMPA: /wEt/
- IPA: /ʍɛt/ X-SAMPA: /WEt/ (in accents without the wine-whine merger)
- Rhymes: -ɛt
- Homophones: wet
- (transitive) To hone or rub on with some substance, as a piece of stone, for the purpose of sharpening – see whetstone.
- (transitive) To stimulate or make more keen.
- To whet one’s appetite.