• <100 Sharp
First Name
in the U.S.
since 1880
Last Name
in the U.S.
in 2010

How to Pronounce Sharp

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Meanings and Origins

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Origin and Meaning of Sharp

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Webster's Unabridged Dictionary
adjective Sharp
  1. Having a very thin edge or fine point; of a nature to cut or pierce easily; not blunt or dull; keen."He dies upon my scimeter's sharp point." [Shak.]
  2. Terminating in a point or edge; not obtuse or rounded; somewhat pointed or edged; peaked or ridged; as, a sharp hill; sharp features.
  3. Affecting the sense as if pointed or cutting, keen, penetrating, acute: to the taste or smell, pungent, acid, sour, as ammonia has a sharp taste and odor; to the hearing, piercing, shrill, as a sharp sound or voice; to the eye, instantaneously brilliant, dazzling, as a sharp flash.
  4. [Mus]
    1. High in pitch; acute; as, a sharp note or tone.
    2. Raised a semitone in pitch; as, C sharpC♯), which is a half step, or semitone, higher than C.
    3. So high as to be out of tune, or above true pitch; as, the tone is sharp; that instrument is sharp . Opposed in all these senses to flat.
  5. Very trying to the feelings; piercing; keen; severe; painful; distressing; as, sharp pain, weather; a sharp and frosty air." Sharp misery had worn him to the bones." [Shak.]"The morning sharp and clear." [Cowper.]"In sharpest perils faithful proved." [Keble.]
  6. Cutting in language or import; biting; sarcastic; cruel; harsh; rigorous; severe; as, a sharp rebuke."That sharplook." [Tennyson.]"To that place the sharp Athenian law Can not pursue us." [Shak.]"Be thy words severe, Sharp as merits but the sword forbear." [Dryden.]
  7. Of keen perception; quick to discern or distinguish; having nice discrimination; acute; penetrating; sagacious; clever; as, a sharp eye; sharp sight, hearing, or judgment."Nothing makes men sharper . . . than want." [Addison.]"Many other things belong to the material world, wherein the sharpest philosophers have never ye� arrived at clear and distinct ideas." [L. Watts.]
  8. Eager in pursuit; keen in quest; impatient for gratification; keen; as, a sharp appetite.
  9. Fierce; ardent; fiery; violent; impetuous."In sharpcontest of battle." [Milton.]"A sharp assault already is begun." [Dryden.]
  10. Keenly or unduly attentive to one's own interest; close and exact in dealing; shrewd; as, a sharp dealer; a sharp customer. "The necessity of being so sharp and exacting." [Swift.]
  11. Composed of hard, angular grains; gritty; as, sharp sand.
  12. Steep; precipitous; abrupt; as, a sharp ascent or descent; a sharp turn or curve.
  13. [Phonetics] Uttered in a whisper, or with the breath alone, without voice, as certain consonants, such as p k t f; surd; nonvocal; aspirated.
    synonyms: Keen; acute; piercing; penetrating; quick; sagacious; discerning; shrewd; witty; ingenious; sour; acid; tart; pungent; acrid; severe; poignant; biting; acrimonious; sarcastic; cutting; bitter; painful; afflictive; violent; harsh; fierce; ardent; fiery.

Note: Sharp is often used in the formation of self-explaining compounds; as, sharp-cornered, sharp-edged, sharp-pointed, sharp-tasted, sharp-visaged, etc.

Etymology: OE. sharp scharp scarp, AS. scearp; akin to OS. skarp, LG. scharp, D. scherp, G. scharf, Dan. & Sw. skarp, Icel. skarpr. Cf. Escarp Scrape Scorpion

adverb Sharp
  1. To a point or edge; piercingly; eagerly; sharply."The head [of a spear] full sharp yground." [Chaucer.]"You bite so sharp at reasons." [Shak.]
  2. Precisely; exactly; as, we shall start at ten o'clock sharp .(Colloq)
noun Sharp
  1. A sharp tool or weapon.(Obs)"If butchers had but the manners to go to sharps, gentlemen would be contented with a rubber at cuffs." [Collier.]
  2. [Mus]
    1. The character [♯] used to indicate that the note before which it is placed is to be raised a half step, or semitone, in pitch.
    2. A sharp tone or note.
  3. A portion of a stream where the water runs very rapidly.(Prov. Eng)
  4. A sewing needle having a very slender point; a needle of the most pointed of the three grades, blunts betweens, and sharps.
  5. pl.Same as Middlings, 1.
  6. An expert.(Slang)
verb Sharp
  1. To sharpen.(Obs)
  2. [Mus] To raise above the proper pitch; to elevate the tone of; especially, to raise a half step, or semitone, above the natural tone.
verb Sharp
  1. To play tricks in bargaining; to act the sharper.
  2. [Mus] To sing above the proper pitch.
Other Dictionary Sources
  1. A long thin sewing needle with a sharp point
  2. A musical notation indicating one half step higher than the note named
  3. Marked by practical hardheaded intelligence
  4. (of something seen or heard) clearly defined ("a sharp photographic image" and "the sharp crack of a twig")
  5. Having or made by a thin edge or sharp point; suitable for cutting or piercing ("a sharp knife" and "a pencil with a sharp point")
  6. Keenly and painfully felt; as if caused by a sharp edge or point ("a sharp pain" and "sharp winds")
  7. Quick and forceful ("a sharp blow")
  8. Very sudden and in great amount or degree ("a sharp drop in the stock market")
  9. Extremely steep ("a sharp drop")
  10. Having or emitting a high-pitched and sharp tone or tones
  11. (of a musical note) raised in pitch by one chromatic semitone ("C sharp")
  12. Having or demonstrating ability to recognize or draw fine distinctions ("as sharp and incisive as the stroke of a fang")
  13. Harsh ("sharp criticism" and "a sharp-worded exchange")
  14. Ending in a sharp point
  15. Changing suddenly in direction and degree ("the road twists sharply after the light" and "turn sharp left here")

From Middle English scharp, from Old English scearp, from Proto-Germanic *skarpaz (compare West Frisian skerp, Low German scharp, Dutch scherp, German scharf, Danish skarp), from Proto-Indo-European *(s)kerb(h) (compare Irish cearb (“keen; cutting”), Latin acerbus (“tart, bitter”), Tocharian B kärpye (“rough”), Latvian skârbs (“sharp, rough”), Russian щерба (ščerba, “notch”), Albanian harb (“rudeness”), from *(s)ker- (“to cut”). More at shear.

  1. (music) The symbol ♯, placed after the name of a note in the key signature or before a note on the staff to indicate that the note is to be played a semitone higher.
    The pitch pipe sounded out a perfect F♯ (F sharp).
    Transposition frequently is harder to read because of all the and flats on the staff.
  2. (music) A note that is played a semitone higher than usual; denoted by the name of the note that is followed by the symbol ♯.
  3. (music) A note that is sharp in a particular key.
    The piece was difficult to read after it had been transposed, since in the new key many notes were .
  4. (music) The scale having a particular sharp note as its tonic.
    Beethoven's "Moonlight Sonata" is written in C♯ minor (C sharp minor.)
  5. (usually in the plural) Something that is sharp.
    Place in the specially marked red container for safe disposal.
  6. A sharp tool or weapon.
  7. (medicine) A hypodermic syringe.
  8. (medicine, dated) A scalpel or other edged instrument used in surgery.
  9. A dishonest person; a cheater.
    The casino kept in the break room a set of pictures of known for the bouncers to see.
  10. Part of a stream where the water runs very rapidly.
  11. A sewing needle with a very slender point, more pointed than a blunt or a between.
  12. (in the plural) middlings
  13. (slang, dated) An expert.
  14. A sharpie (member of Australian gangs of the 1960s and 1970s).

Notable Persons Named Sharp

Sharp Delany was a famed individual. His military service ended in 1779. Sharp was born in Ireland. He breathed his last breath on May 13th, 1799.


Sharp Räsänen is a sports team member for the Kuopion Palloseura.


Notable Persons With the Last Name Sharp

David Sharp was a mathematics teacher, mountaineering, and mountaineer. David was born on February 15th, 1972. He breathed his last breath on May 15th, 2006.


Keesha Sharp is an actress. She was most prominent from 2000 to present. Keesha was given the name Keesha Ulricka Sharp on June 9th, 1973 in Rochester, New York, U.S.


Victoria Hamilton is an actress and actor. Victoria was given the name Victoria Sharp on April 5th, 1971 in Wimbledon, London.


Lesley Sharp is an actress. She was most prominent from 1986 to present. Lesley was born in Manchester.


Billy Sharp is a soccer player for the Sheffield United F.C., Rotherham United F.C., Sheffield United F.C. Academy, Rushden & Diamonds F.C., Scunthorpe United F.C., Doncaster Rovers F.C., Southampton F.C., Nottingham Forest F.C., Reading F.C., and Leeds United F.C. Billy was born on February 5th, 1986 in Sheffield, England.


Matt Sharp is an alternative rock, indie rock, power pop, and emo musician. He has been prominent since 1985. Matt was given the name Matthew Kelly Sharp on September 22nd, 1969 in Bangkok.


Where is the name Sharp popular?

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Popularity of Sharp as a last name

The map shows the relative popularity of the name Sharp as a last name in each of the states. See other popular names in Tennessee, Delaware, or Arkansas.

Ethnicity Distribution

Ethnicity Sharp U.S.
  White 83.57% 64.26%
  African American 10.56% 11.96%
  Asian, Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander 0.59% 4.85%
  American Indian and Alaska Native 1.02% 0.69%
  Two or More Ethnicities 1.94% 1.76%
  Hispanic or Latino 2.33% 16.26%

Of Last Name Sharp

People with the last name Sharp are most frequently White or African American

Entire United States

Fun Facts about the name Sharp

  • How Popular is the name Sharp? As a last name Sharp was the 405th most popular name in 2010.
  • When was the first name Sharp first recorded in the United States? The oldest recorded birth by the Social Security Administration for the name Sharp is Wednesday, December 20th, 1876.
  • How unique is the name Sharp? From 1880 to 2016 less than 5 people per year have been born with the first name Sharp. Hoorah! You are a unique individual.
  • Weird things about the name Sharp: Your name in reverse order is Prahs. A random rearrangement of the letters in your name (anagram) will give Sphra. How do you pronounce that?
  • How many people have the last name Sharp? In 2010, the U.S. Census Bureau surveyed 78,990 people with the last name Sharp.
  • How likely are you to meet someone with the last name of Sharp? Sharp was ranked as the 405th most popular last name but is still less than 0.1% of the population!

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  • Sources:
  • U.S. Census Bureau: Frequently Occurring Surnames from the Census 2000 (public domain).
  • 1913 Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary via the Collaborative International Dictionary of English (License)
  • Other Dictionary Sources: WordNet 3.1 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University (License).
  • Wiktionary: Titles and License.
  • Notable persons via Wikipedia: Titles and License. Click each image for the attribution information.