- finely sharpened, as an edge; so shaped as to cut or pierce substances readily: a keen razor.
- sharp, piercing, or biting: a keen wind; keen satire.
- characterized by strength and distinctness of perception; extremely sensitive or responsive: keen eyes; keen ears.
- having or showing great mental penetration or acumen: keen reasoning; a keen mind.
- animated by or showing strong feeling or desire: keen competition.
- intense, as feeling or desire: keen ambition; keen jealousy.
- eager; interested; enthusiastic (often followed by about, on, etc., or an infinitive): She is really keen on going swimming.
- Slang. great; wonderful; marvelous.
Origin of keen1
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
- a wailing lament for the dead.
- to wail in lamentation for the dead.
- to mourn for by or with such keening or wailing: keening his mother while kneeling at her grave.
Origin of keen2
Examples from the Web for keen
Would a state with a keen understanding of the power of propaganda be so willing to just throw away such a trove of information?No, North Korea Didn’t Hack Sony
December 24, 2014
Manttan is keen to carry out research on that Burmese side of the railway as his father worked on that section.Riding Thailand’s WWII Death Railway
December 21, 2014
And because millions of us are so keen to do just that, our behavioral habits are changing.Why Every Home Needs a Drone This Holiday
December 8, 2014
The Telegraph reports that he is fluent in Swahili and a keen zoologist.How A British Aristocrat Used Big Game Hunter’s Sperm To Get Pregnant Without His Permission
December 2, 2014
What results is a kind of mashup concert, a virtuoso mixed-media DJ set tuned to a keen emotional pitch.War Is About More Than Heroes, Martyrs, and Patriots
Nathan Bradley Bethea
November 12, 2014
Nor, my dear, does your own mother always escape the keen edge of your vivacity.Clarissa, Volume 1 (of 9)
So keen the blade, so soft the touch, the sleeper did not wake!
His keen eyes had perceived Mary Turner's graces of form, her loveliness of face.Within the Law
She had meant to wait; but, with his keen eyes on her, she could not dissemble.K
Mary Roberts Rinehart
But you would pardon me if you knew how much I have suffered from it, and how keen my remorse has been.The Dream
- eager or enthusiastic
- (postpositive foll by on) fond (of); devoted (to)keen on a girl; keen on golf
- intellectually acutea keen wit
- (of sight, smell, hearing, etc) capable of recognizing fine distinctions
- having a sharp cutting edge or point
- extremely cold and penetratinga keen wind
- intense or stronga keen desire
- mainly British extremely low so as to be competitivekeen prices
- slang, mainly US and Canadian very good
- to lament the dead
- a dirge or lament for the dead
Word Origin and History for keen
c.1200, from Old English cene "bold brave," later "clever, wise," from Proto-Germanic *kan- "be able to" (see can). Original prehistoric senses seem to have been both "brave" and "skilled;" cognate with Old Norse kænn "skillful, wise," Middle Dutch coene "bold," Dutch koen, Old High German kuon "pugnacious, strong," German kühn "bold, daring." Sense of "eager" is from mid-14c. The meaning "sharp" is peculiar to English: of blades and edges early 13c., of sounds c.1400, of eyesight c.1720. A popular word of approval in teenager and student slang from c.1900.
"lament," 1811, from Irish caoinim "I weep, wail, lament," from Old Irish coinim "I wail." Related: Keened; keening. As a noun from 1830.