keening

[ kee-ning ]
/ ˈki nɪŋ /

noun

the act of a person who keens.
a wailing lament for the dead; keen.

Origin of keening

First recorded in 1875–80; keen2 + -ing1

Definition for keening (2 of 2)

keen

2
[ keen ]
/ kin /

noun

a wailing lament for the dead.

verb (used without object)

to wail in lamentation for the dead.

verb (used with object)

to mourn for by or with such keening or wailing: keening his mother while kneeling at her grave.

Origin of keen

2
1805–15; < Irish caoine (noun), caoin- (v., stem of caoinim) lament

Related forms

keen·er, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for keening

British Dictionary definitions for keening (1 of 2)

keen

1
/ (kiːn) /

adjective

Derived Forms

keenly, adverbkeenness, noun

Word Origin for keen

Old English cēne; related to Old High German kuoni brave, Old Norse koenn wise; see can 1, know

British Dictionary definitions for keening (2 of 2)

keen

2
/ (kiːn) /

verb (intr)

to lament the dead

noun

a dirge or lament for the dead

Derived Forms

keener, noun

Word Origin for keen

C19: from Irish Gaelic caoine, from Old Irish coīnim I wail
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