She crinkles her brow and then, on cue, she emits a keening howl.
But nothing they essayed could fully drown out the keening of their lust to return to high office.
The natives stopped their keening, and made room for the two men.
The room was filled with the keening staccato of the alien transmission.
The stillness was long perturbed by the mournful cries of the madwoman, like the keening of some bird of evil omen.
The huge brain was alert now, with a supernal sense of keening.
He wrapped his arms around his knees and rocked back and forth, sobbing and keening in the way of his people.
There was a keening of wind, and a cracking of the frozen ground.
When he had done this the old woman found herself able to get on with the keening.
The wailing song of Owny Hea rose through the wet air above the keening of the women in the bawn.
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.