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- sharp edge at external angle formed by the meeting of two surfaces. The term is usually applied to finishings such as joinery, plasterwork or polished stone. A sharp arris in a soft material such as timber or plaster is prone to damage. Paint applied to a sharp timber arris is particularly vulnerable and it is usual to "ease" the arris by lightly sandpapering before painting. Plaster arrises were usually reinforced by a timber or laterally, a metal angle bead. It is possible to achieve an arris on good quality stone, which is sharp enough to cut a person's skin.