Whet on

Definitions

  • Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • Whet on (Shak.) to urge on
    • ***

Etymology

Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
A.S. hwettanhwæt, sharp; Ger. wetzen.

Usage

In literature:

Ray, who had taken off his coat, whetted his pocketknife thoughtfully on the sole of his shoe.
"Song of the Lark" by Willa Cather
Then he would put it on the stone again and whet, whet, whet, till I could have laughed aloud, it was so very ludicrous.
"The Sea-Wolf" by Jack London
They ground and whetted it on self-denial, and sharper and sharper it grew.
"When God Laughs and Other Stories" by Jack London
From the look on her face she was whetting her tongue.
"Master Skylark" by John Bennett
On the edge of summer Death stands whetting his scythe for a great harvest.
"Around The Tea-Table" by T. De Witt Talmage
It is then whetted on the flat side of a slipstone, Fig.
"Handwork in Wood" by William Noyes
This had only whetted his appetite for more, so he did some pig-killing on his own account.
"Black Bruin" by Clarence Hawkes
The Ramsgate men had already been out on service at the sands that day, and their appetite for saving life had been whetted.
"Battles with the Sea" by R.M. Ballantyne
I'll whet my lips, and sharpen love on thee.
"The Hesperides & Noble Numbers: Vol. 1 and 2" by Robert Herrick
Here and there a solitary bird whets his bill on the bare bark of a forked bough.
"Acadia" by Frederic S. Cozzens
Beach spat on his shoe and slowly whetted his pocket knife, scowling sullenly now and then in his father's direction.
"Blue Ridge Country" by Jean Thomas
On all sides then they peer about: but, whetted on thereby, The quivering shaft from o'er his ear again he letteth fly.
"The Æneids of Virgil" by Virgil
On Hightower's farm the corn was high enough to whet its green sabres against the wind.
"Free Joe and Other Georgian Sketches" by Joel Chandler Harris
But on the morrow they would be back, yesterday's scenes forgotten, appetites whetted once more for hours of carnage.
"Warrior of the Dawn" by Howard Carleton Browne
Laguerre, sitting cross-legged on the floor, had been whetting his skinning-knife on his boot-leg for the past half-hour.
"Paradise Bend" by William Patterson White
But, on the whole, the separation whetted his passion.
"A Daughter of the Vine" by Gertrude Franklin Horn Atherton
Well, things went on smooth enough for a while, till we had got through one whet at it.
"The Kentuckian in New-York, Volume I (of 2)" by William Alexander Caruthers
The fool whose mouth I have stopped, was a soulless lump of flesh, on whom I did but whet my dagger.
"King Eric and the Outlaws, Vol. 2" by Bernhard Severin Ingemann
The stoat, with his appetite whetted, passed on and drove into the press of rats.
"Lives of the Fur Folk" by M. D. Haviland
If he were my knife and I carried him at my belt, I would whet him on a stone pretty often, for he is a trifle dull.
"The Deluge, Vol. II. (of 2)" by Henryk Sienkiewicz
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In poetry:

We with strife of life
Worn till all life cease,
Want, a whetted knife,
Sharpening strife on strife,
How should we love peace?
"Christmas Antiphones" by Algernon Charles Swinburne
The lark went up, the mower whet his scythe,
On golden meads kine ruminating lay,
And all the world felt young again and blithe,
Just as to—day.
"Victoria" by Alfred Austin
New things which happen,
whet our hunger for basic food.
Our discoveries are masks
over an even darker reality,
that wound we bear
on the skin of our souls.
"The Wander's Illusion" by Carlos Drummond de Andrade
They have whetted their teeth against the stones,
And now they pick the Bishop's bones:
They gnaw'd the flesh from every limb,
For they were sent to do judgment on him!
"God's Judgment on a Wicked Bishop" by Robert Southey
Plunder, keen-ey'd and lean, rang with plaudits the sky,
Murder grinn'd as he whetted his steel;
While Blasphemy swore the Redeemer on high
Was the creature of Folly and Zeal.
"The Fury Of Discord" by Sir John Carr
But think not I am come to mourn o'er hopes that flew away,
Like morning stars at dawning bright, but vanished with the day,
I come but on their threshold to whet my father's sword,
If fiefs and friends are mine no more, of that I still am lord:
"Alexowitz" by Sir John Hanmer

In news:

It's zesty, it's crisp, it's loaded with citrusy zing, it whets the appetite and it tastes great served cold on a hot day.
Appetites whetted by the arrival of spring insist on asparagus.
Press Photo/Mark Copier Whet your whistle: Calvin LaBelle, 20, adjusts the whistle controls on his father's 1912 Buffalo Pitts steam engine .
Press Photo/Mark Copier Whet your whistle: Calvin LaBelle, 20, adjusts the whistle controls on his father's 1912 Buffalo Pitts steam engine.
Rabbi Eli Strasberg , of Media, grinds whet into flour during a model matzoh bakery at Chabad of the Lehigh Valley in South Whitehall Township on Sunday, April 1, 2012.
Whet your appetite at Land Trust's annual Thanksgiving Day Hike on Monte Sano.
Whet Moser on CAN TV's Chicago Newsroom.
Chicago magazine's Whet Moser discusses the ramifications of the Chicago Sun-Times sale and Mayor Emanuel's proposal to limit protests in Chicago during the G-8 summits on CAN TV's Chicago Newsroom.
Whet your appetite at Land Trust's annual Thanksgiving Day Hike on Monte Sano.
Whet your Thanksgiving appetite this weekend at Whole Foods in Annapolis, where an array of traditional holiday dishes will be showcased on Saturday noon-2pm.
Whetting your appetite for Football Friday Night, check out TWC Sports Channel's highlights from the Montwood Rams 62-36 win over the Coronado Thunderbirds, and see the replay Sunday at noon on TWC Ch 24.
Before the turkey hits the table, whet the appetites of your guests by serving one (or more, depending on your head count) of these festive nibbles.
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In science:

Whet her the agents will interact or not depends on the correctness of their code with respect to the specification of the application.
Logic-Based Specification Languages for Intelligent Software Agents
Thus, I embarked on the preparation of this collection of problems, for those who wish to study mathematical physics and want to see some solved problems to whet their appetite. I hope that people who learn the sub jects treated in this collection of problems will find it useful.
A Collection of Exercises in Two-Dimensional Physics, Part 1
Besides being of interest in themselves, these results whet the appetite for the richness of the CDF program on b physics during Run II, scheduled to start in the summer of 2000.
Two Recent Results on B Physics from CDF
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