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These adjectives all apply literally to fine edges, points, or tips. Figuratively they indicate mental alertness and clarity of comprehension. Sharp suggests quickness and astuteness: "a young man of sharp and active intellect" (John Henry Newman).
Keen implies clear-headedness and acuity: a journalist with a keen mind and quick wits.
Acute suggests penetrating perception or discernment: an acute observer of national politics. See Also Synonyms at fashionable.
- (A whippet head,) barbed like a hunting arrow —Ted Hughes
- Bite … as deadly as a camel’s —Wallace Stegner
- Biting [language used in a book] as a chain saw —Bruce De Silva
- (Her voice was) crisp as a freshly starched and ironed doily —Maya Angelou
- Crisp as a handclap —Maxine Kumin
From a poem entitled A New England Gardener Gets Personal, the simile describes how kale comes to the salad bowl.
- Crisp as frost —Babette Deutsch
- Crisp as new bank notes —Charles Dickens
- (A voice that) cut like a blade of ice —G. K. Chesterton
- Cut like a knife —Rudyard Kipling Kipling’s simile links the knife’s sharpness to the wind.
- [Cat’s fangs … ] fine as a lady’s needle —Ted Hughes
- Incisively as an acid (a yell bit into the situation) —F. van Wyck Mason
- Peppery as curry —Marge Piercy
- Sharp as a bird’s painted bill —Dame Edith Sitwell
- Sharp as an assassin’s dagger —Mike Sommer
- (Face as) sharp as an ice pick —Graham Masterton
- (The longing for lovely things … became as) sharp as a pang —Ellen Glasgow
- Sharp as a scorpion —Dame Edith Sitwell
- Sharp as a two-edged sword —The Holy Bible/Proverbs
- (The smell of smoke was) sharp as brimstone —John Gardner
- (My ideas fade, yours come out) sharp as cameos —Joseph Conrad, letter to Stephen Crane
- (Eyes) sharp as mica —R. Wright Campbell
- (All these things fell on her) sharp as reproach —Lord Alfred Tennyson
- Sharp as the teeth of a saw —Marge Piercy
- Sharp as truth —John Greenleaf Whittier
- Sharp as white paint in the January sun —Wallace Stevens
- Sharper than birth —Madeleine L’Engle
- Sharper than ingratitude —Anon
This may be inspired by King Lear’s famous lament about a child’s ingratitude being “Sharper than a serpent’s tooth” in the PARENTHOOD category.
- Sharp like joy —Sharon Sheehe Stark
- Sharp-tongued, like a sadistic dentist —Neil Gabler Gabler, a television movie commentator, thus described a colleague, Pauline Kael.
- A tongue like a cat o’ nine tails —Ben Hecht
|Noun||1.||sharpness - a quick and penetrating intelligence; "he argued with great acuteness"; "I admired the keenness of his mind"|
intelligence - the ability to comprehend; to understand and profit from experience
steel trap - an acute intelligence (an analogy based on the well-known sharpness of steel traps); "he's as sharp as a steel trap"; "a mind like a steel trap"
|2.||sharpness - the attribute of urgency in tone of voice; "his voice had an edge to it"|
urgency - pressing importance requiring speedy action; "the urgency of his need"
|3.||sharpness - a strong odor or taste property; "the pungency of mustard"; "the sulfurous bite of garlic"; "the sharpness of strange spices"; "the raciness of the wine"|
|4.||sharpness - the quality of being keenly and painfully felt; "the sharpness of her loss"|
|5.||sharpness - thinness of edge or fineness of point|
acuteness - the quality of having a sharp edge or point
shape, configuration, conformation, contour, form - any spatial attributes (especially as defined by outline); "he could barely make out their shapes"
|6.||sharpness - the quality of being sharp and clear|
uncloudedness, clarity, clearness - the quality of clear water; "when she awoke the clarity was back in her eyes"
definition - clarity of outline; "exercise had given his muscles superior definition"
focus - maximum clarity or distinctness of an image rendered by an optical system; "in focus"; "out of focus"
|7.||sharpness - harshness of manner |
ill nature - a disagreeable, irritable, or malevolent disposition
his eyes hadn't lost any of their sharpness → sus ojos no habían perdido nada de su agudeza
there was a note of sharpness in his voice → se notaba cierta aspereza en su tono
there is a sharpness in the air → empieza a notarse el frío