Part of speech: noun
Origin: Old English, 12th century
A fine-grained stone used for sharpening cutting tools.
Examples of Whetstone in a sentence
"A mind needs books as a sword needs a whetstone, if it is to keep its edge.' ― George R.R. Martin, A Game of Thrones"
"He bought his own whetstone so he could keep his kitchen knives razor sharp."
Popularity Over Time
Coming from Old English, the word "whetstone," originally spelled "hwetstan," has been around almost as long as bladed weapons. A whetstone is a fine-grained stone used for sharpening blades. It's kind of like sandpaper, but instead of smoothing wood, it sharpens the edge of metal.
Did you Know?
Sometimes water is used as lubrication between the whetstone and the blade, but "whet" is not related to "wet." The prefix is Old English for "to sharpen a blade," but that usage of "whet" has dropped out of use. The idiom concerning your hunger is correctly spelled "to whet your appetite," meaning to sharpen your desire for food.