- 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 keened
And then Brigit came and keened her son with shrieking and with crying.
And they buried him, and put a flag-stone over his grave, and keened him there.
On other rolls, she keened and chanted oddly to herself, eyes closed, and pinched down most of the stock.Vigorish
Gordon Randall Garrett
Pheola moaned, then keened, and waved her hands in front of her face, as if to ward off a swarm of bees.The Right Time
From behind the first keened once more that ghastly and smothered escape of suffering, scarcely audible.The Gray Mask
- 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 keened
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.