Grammar Tips & Articles »

Wet vs. Whet

This article is about Wet vs. Whet — enjoy your reading!

2:07 min read
  Angbeen Chaudhary  —  Grammar Tips
Font size:

He put on a wet bathing suit.

The aroma whet my appetite.

Are you wondering whether its  “whet your whistle” and “wet your appetite,”? Neither is correct. Most people’s lips don’t need to be any sharper, and appetites aren’t aroused by giving them a good soaking. Here’s how to keep wet and whet in their proper places.


Wet originated from Old English wǣt (adjective and noun), wǣtan (verb); related to water.

Wet as adjective:

When something is covered or saturated with water or another liquid is called wet.

She followed, slipping on the wet rock.

Wet also means showing a lack of forcefulness or strength of character; feeble.

They thought the cadets were a bit wet.

Wet as verb:

Wet is used as a verb in English language which means to cover or touch with liquid; moisten.

He wetted a finger and flicked through the pages.

Wet as noun:

Wet is also a noun which means a liquid that makes something damp.

I could feel the wet of his tears.

Wet vs. Whet

Whet as verb:

Whet is used as a verb which means to sharpen the blade of (a tool or weapon).

She took out her dagger and began to whet its blade in even, rhythmic strokes.

To excite or stimulate (someone's desire, interest, or appetite) is also called whet.

Here's an extract to whet your appetite.

Whet as noun:

A thing that stimulates appetite or desire is also called whet.

He swallowed his two dozen oysters as a whet.


Here are some images of the freshly painted wall to whet your appetite for the 2011 season. [SFist]

The campaign to whet the public’s appetite for the clothes began in September during New York Fashion Week. [Sydney Morning Herald]

Like any good overture, the work served to whet the audience’s palette and raise excitement for what was to come. [Daily Breeze]

Just when you’d thought you’d be able to wet your whistle on Sunday, a Republican caucus killed a measure to allow the sale of alcohol on Sundays last week. [Walton Tribune]

Wet or whet:

Wet is (1) an adjective meaning covered or soaked in liquid, and (2) a verb meaning to make wet. Whet is a verb meaning to sharpen or to stimulate. The latter has origins in Old English, where it related to sharpness and sharpening, but in modern usage it’s confined almost exclusively to the phrase whet [one’s] appetite. Because it’s more or less forgotten outside this phrase, whet is easy to confuse with the far more common wet.

Rate this article:

Have a discussion about this article with the community:



    Use the citation below to add this article to your bibliography:


    "Wet vs. Whet." STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 24 Apr. 2024. <>.

    Free, no signup required:

    Add to Chrome

    Check your text and writing for style, spelling and grammar problems everywhere on the web!

    Free, no signup required:

    Add to Firefox

    Check your text and writing for style, spelling and grammar problems everywhere on the web!


    Free Writing Tool:

    Grammar Checker

    Improve your grammar, vocabulary, and writing -- and it's FREE!


    Are you a grammar master?

    Identify the sentence with correct use of the modal verb "must":
    A She must finish her homework before going out.
    B They musts arrive on time.
    C I must to go to the store.
    D He must to study for the exam.

    Improve your writing now:

    Download Grammar eBooks

    It’s now more important than ever to develop a powerful writing style. After all, most communication takes place in reports, emails, and instant messages.