A large chunk of stone or slate, often shaped like a long, tapered oval for the manual sharpening of tools, from scythe blades downward. Today, whetstones are manufactured in Eastern Europe where they are still in greater demand than the post-industrial West.

The whetstone is also illogically the name of a measuring unit used in computer benchmarking (although running a benchmark could result in an increase of speed in your computer ... specifically that you would see how slow your computer is and be forced to upgrade). This led to the creation (by somebody with no sense of humour or a dictionary) to the words Dhrystone and Khornerstone.

Whetstones also cropped up in the game Betrayal at Krondor, where they could be used to counter the effects of weapon degradation (unsurprisingly).

Whet"stone` (?), n. [AS. hwetstan.]

A piece of stone, natural or artificial, used for whetting, or sharpening, edge tools.

The dullness of the fools is the whetstone of the wits. Shak.

Diligence is to the understanding as the whetstone to the razor. South.

⇒ Some whetstones are used dry, others are moistened with water, or lubricated with oil.

To give the whetstone, to give a premium for extravagance in falsehood. [Obs.]


© Webster 1913.

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