- 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
Examples from the Web for keener
Of the two, Harry was the keener to get the relationship going again.Inside the Harry and Cressie Make Up: Britain’s Favorite Royal Is In Love
October 3, 2014
He is single, claiming not to be good at relationships, and keener to focus on work.Barkhad Abdi: From Limo Driver to Oscar Contender
February 23, 2014
Back then—as now—Sharron Angle was a crusader, Keener said, and her greatest joy came from her faith.
Angle was a pious woman, Keener said, not one for earthly indulgences.
But Tóibín was keener on blogging which he compared to the thriving pamphlet industry during the 18th Century.Can the Author Survive the Internet?
April 28, 2010
The keener the competition, the greater the honor of success.The Story of the Malakand Field Force
Sir Winston S. Churchill
That I could elude Rima's keener eyes I doubted; but that did not trouble me.Green Mansions
W. H. Hudson
But he was man enough to look at her with a keener interest than he had felt before.Good Indian
B. M. Bower
It helped him to a clearer and keener perception of the place assigned him by the family.Little Dorrit
Unhappy is that man, of necessity, whose perceptions are keener than his faith is strong.A Dish Of Orts
- Canadian informal a person, esp a student, who is keen, enthusiastic, or zealous
- 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 keener
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.