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  1. keen or ardent in desire or feeling; impatiently longing: I am eager for news about them. He is eager to sing.
  2. characterized by or revealing great earnestness: an eager look.
  3. Obsolete. keen; sharp; biting.

Origin of eager

1250–1300; Middle English egre < Anglo-French, Old French egre, aigre < Vulgar Latin *ācrus for Latin ācer sharp
Related formsea·ger·ly, adverbea·ger·ness, noun

Synonyms for eager

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1. enthusiastic, desirous. See avid. 2. fervent, zealous, fervid, intent, intense, earnest.

Antonyms for eager

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for eagerly


  1. (postpositive; often foll by to or for) impatiently desirous (of); anxious or avid (for)he was eager to see her departure
  2. characterized by or feeling expectancy or great desirean eager look
  3. archaic tart or biting; sharp
Derived Formseagerly, adverbeagerness, noun

Word Origin for eager

C13: from Old French egre, from Latin acer sharp, keen


  1. a variant spelling of eagre
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for eagerly



late 13c., "strenuous, ardent, fierce, angry," from Old French aigre "sour, acid; harsh, bitter, rough; eager greedy; lively, active, forceful," from Latin acrem (nominative acer) "keen, sharp, pointed, piercing; acute, ardent, zealous" (see acrid).

Meaning "full of keen desire" (early 14c.) seems to be peculiar to English. The English word kept an alternative meaning of "pungent, sharp-edged" till 19c. (e.g. Shakespeare's "The bitter clamour of two eager tongues," in "Richard II"). Related: Eagerly; eagerness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper