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keep a sharp lookout (for something or someone)
To remain vigilant or carefully watchful (for something or someone). They should be arriving any minute, so keep a sharp lookout. Keep a sharp lookout for a Christmas present we could give your mother. Keep a sharp lookout for the health inspector, we heard he'll be doing a surprise inspection someday soon.
A particularly smart, witty, or clever person. Dan: "I'm having a heck of a time doing my taxes, I just don't understand it at all." Steve: "You should get in touch with my uncle, he's one sharp cookie!" We're always looking to hire sharp cookies like you.
Underhanded, deceitful, cunning, or particularly sneaky practice, especially in business, that is technically within the scope of the law but which may be considered immoral or unethical. The investment banking sector has been tightly reined in by the government after the sharp practice that went unchecked for so many years and cost so many people their life savings.
short sharp shock
A fast, severe punishment. Primarily heard in UK, Australia. He needs a short sharp shock to persuade him to change his ways and give up that life of crime.
1. Literally, very sharp, like a razor. Stand back, that tool is razor-sharp! Please be careful cutting those vegetables with such a razor-sharp knife.
2. Particularly clear, perceptive, and/or intelligent. Victoria may seem quiet, but she always has these razor-sharp insights on the texts we're reading. The think tank is known for razor-sharp analysis of world affairs. A lot of people are funny, but she has razor-sharp wit.
at some time sharp
exactly at the time named. You must be here at noon sharp. The plane is expected to arrive at seven forty-five sharp.
have a mind as sharp as a steel trap
Fig. to be very intelligent. She's a smart kid. Has a mind as sharp as a steel trap. They say the professor has a mind as sharp as a steel trap, but then why can't he figure out which bus to take in the morning?
sharp as a razor
1. very sharp. (*Also: as ~.) The penknife is sharp as a razor. The carving knife will have to be as sharp as a razor to cut through this gristle.
2. and sharp as a tack very sharp-witted or intelligent. (*Also: as ~.) The old man's senile, but his wife is as sharp as a razor. Sue configure things out from even the slightest hint. She's as sharp as a tack.
Fig. an outspoken or harsh manner; a critical manner of speaking. He has quite a sharp tongue. Don't be totally unnerved by what he says or the way he says it.
Fig. a good and fast ability to make jokes and funny comments. Terry has a sharp wit and often makes cracks that force people to laugh aloud at inappropriate times.
throw something into sharp relief
Fig. [for something] to make something plainly evident or clearly visible. The dull, plain background threw the ornate settee into sharp relief. The red vase was thrown into sharp relief against the black background.
(as) sharp as a tack
very intelligent He may be old in years, but he's still as sharp as a tack and knows what he's talking about.
keep an eye out for somebody/something
to watch carefully for someone or something to appear Keep an eye out for signposts for Yosemite.
1. (old-fashioned) something that you say in order to tell someone to hurry Look sharp! We have to leave in five minutes.
2. (mainly American) something that you say in order to warn someone about something Look sharp! That ladder isn't very steady.
See also: look
be as sharp as a tack(American)
to be very intelligent He may be old, but he's still as sharp as a tack.
the sharp end(mainly British)
the sharp end of an activity or job is the most difficult part where problems are likely to happen (usually + of ) She enjoys the challenge of being at the sharp end of investment banking.See Look sharp!
a short sharp shock(British & Australian)
a type of punishment that is quick and severe What young offenders need is a short sharp shock that will frighten them into behaving more responsibly.
keep an eye out for
Also, keep a sharp lookout for. Be watchful for something or someone, as in Keep an eye out for the potholes in the road, or They told him to keep a sharp lookout for the police. The first expression, sometimes amplified to keep a sharp eye out for, dates from the late 1800s, the variant from the mid-1700s. Also see have one's eye on, def. 1; keep a weather eye; keep one's eyes open; look out.
Get moving, be alert, as in The coach told the team they would have to look sharp if they wanted to win. This colloquial expression, dating from the early 1700s, originally meant "to keep a strict watch" but acquired its present sense in the early 1800s.
sharp as a tack
Also, sharp as a razor. Mentally acute. For example, She's very witty-she's sharp as a tack. These similes are also used literally to mean "having a keen cutting edge" and have largely replaced the earlier sharp as a needle or thorn. The first dates from about 1900, the variant from the mid-1800s.
Crafty or deceitful dealings, especially in business. For example, That firm's known for its sharp practice, so I'd rather not deal with them. This expression, first recorded in 1836, uses sharp in the combined sense of "mentally acute" and "cutting."
all sharped up
mod. dressed up; looking sharp. Chuckie, my man, you are totally sharped up.
1. mod. clever; intelligent. She’s sharp enough to see right through everything you say.
2. mod. good-looking; well-dressed. That’s a sharp set of wheels you got there.