Meaning of hone in English:


Pronunciation /həʊn/

See synonyms for hone

Translate hone into Spanish


  • 1with object Sharpen (a blade)

    ‘he was carefully honing the curved blade’
    • ‘When the sharpener is pulled firmly across a double-sided blade, it hones both sides of the tool at once.’
    • ‘In a small wooden case hanging from the cart, there are knife stones, sand paper and a special tool for honing the edge of new knives.’
    • ‘He sat down on his bed and took out his sword, honing the edge on a small, flat rock.’
    • ‘With this and copious amounts of water, the edges of blades on all sorts of tools or weapons were honed to sharpness.’
    • ‘Men occasionally damaged axes, meaning a visit to a nearby grindstone to hone a nick from the edge.’
    sharpen, make sharper, make sharp, whet, strop, grind, file, put an edge on
    View synonyms
  • 2with object Refine or perfect (something) over a period of time.

    ‘some of the best players in the world honed their skills playing street football’
    • ‘Aides say mock debates help to hone his arguments and to keep his answers focused.’
    • ‘With a view to providing an opportunity for the students to hone their skills, more colleges are entering into agreements with industries.’
    • ‘That allowed the company to focus exclusively on the corporate market and hone its message as a provider of premium services and products.’
    • ‘Over the next decade, even as America's combat forces shrank in size, the Pentagon continued to hone its capability to conduct modern warfare.’
    • ‘He wasn't the tallest or bulkiest, but he maintained an athletic air and a confidence in his own finely honed fighting abilities.’
    • ‘Six people win places there in order to hone and practise their skills, with a view to appearing in the televised final round, at which one will win the big competition.’
    • ‘They are usually already skilled at it when they enter the course, and their skills are honed to a sharp edge by their training.’
    • ‘These people were and are dedicated to keeping America free and practice very hard to hone that combat edge.’
    • ‘I've also honed my design skills, and maybe even sharpened up my writing skills.’
    • ‘They use it to hone their skills, tone their bodies, sharpen their minds; to feel how they want to feel.’
    • ‘If you're interested in honing your own reasoning skills - and being able to spot the lack thereof in others - this book is a good place to start.’
    • ‘She has been honing her craft for almost 20 years.’
    • ‘He helped her hone her skills and taught her how to fight.’
    • ‘Mullane says the new dynamic was invaluable in helping the band hone their collective songwriting skills.’
    • ‘He seemed to think it would help hone Martin's bookkeeping skills more than just entering the numbers straight into the database.’
    • ‘Men like to compete, and competition helps hone skills.’
    • ‘Camp can be the perfect place to develop problem-solving skills, hone life skills, and perfect communication and interaction skills.’
    • ‘Education should free their imagination and hone their critical abilities.’
    1. 2.1Give greater strength or firmness to (the body or a part of the body)
      ‘she has been working hard to hone her physique’
      • ‘Youthful, physically attractive bodies honed to perfection display the image we are expected to achieve.’
      • ‘She also possesses a body honed to gymnastic perfection, making her look 10 years younger than her age.’
      • ‘She has honed her muscles to a level which almost defies description.’
      • ‘Look at any men's magazine and you'll see trim, honed bodies, not an ounce of fat in sight.’
      • ‘Even at 48, his physique is as honed as a featherweight boxer's.’
      • ‘Like all bodybuilders, he relies heavily on nutrition to help hone his physique.’
      • ‘In a move guaranteed to have female viewers glued to their TV sets, channel bosses have commissioned an hour-long show about the football star's finely honed physique.’
      • ‘Unbelievably he is 38 years old, but possesses a super trim and supple body, honed by many hours of rigorous and demanding training sessions.’
      • ‘The women will also be in the best physical shape of their lives, training like Olympians on daily runs and pumping iron to hone their muscles.’
      • ‘Jenny honed her physique, tackled the gymnastics, and turned pro the following summer at the USA Championships.’
      • ‘Will lifting weights hone your heart muscles as much as your biceps?’
      • ‘Sharpe is at the gym five days a week honing and toning his body with free weights.’
      • ‘He promptly resigned his job in London and took himself off to an orchard in Sussex where, in a disused railway carriage, he worked on honing his body for the biggest test of his career.’
  • 3hone in on

    another way of saying "home in on" (see home)

    ‘the detectives honed in on the suspect’
    • ‘I started to hone in on the problem’
    • ‘Apart from concentrating on domestic coins, collectors may also hone in on various themes.’
    • ‘Just like my mother can hone in on my weak points with GPS accuracy, teenagers can humiliate me with a muttered monosyllable.’
    • ‘This is part of his broader strategy in the final 18 days to really hone in on domestic issues.’
    • ‘Finally, with large sites, include an internal search engine so readers can quickly hone in on what they're after.’
    • ‘Instead of always honing in on the negative aspects, we should look at the positive ones.’
    • ‘He's made points that are highly questionable instead of honing in on the real issue.’
    • ‘Moreover, researchers are honing in on lifestyle choices that may help protect the brain in the first place.’
    • ‘He is always honing in on the details.’
    • ‘We have a huge selection and people just honed in on certain ones.’
    • ‘And the media spotlight honed in on the sexy new power couple.’
    • ‘We honed in on brands that resonated well with our customers.’
    • ‘When the skies were devoid of light, the German bomber planes honed in on Birmingham and nearby Coventry.’
    • ‘A Hercules aircraft honed in on the boat's locator beacon and an oil tanker eventually launched a lifeboat to rescue the man.’


  • A whetstone, especially one used to sharpen razors.

    ‘By the way, a diamond hone is the ideal tool for sharpening in camp.’
    • ‘The stone often arrived rough, from where it went to another site to be finished into the actual hone.’
    • ‘I like to start with a soft stone, such as the stick-like hones sometimes used by watchmakers.’
    • ‘This hone produces a razor-sharp edge.’


See home


Middle English from Old English hān ‘stone’, of Germanic origin; related to Old Norse hein.