- The definition of keen is something sharp or intense.
- An example of keen is a sharp knife.
- An example of keen is a witty sense of humor.
A keen knife.Licensed from iStockPhoto
- having a sharp edge or point; that can cut well: a keen knife, a keen edge
- sharp or cutting in force; piercing: a keen appetite, a keen wind
- sharp and quick in seeing, hearing, thinking, etc.; acute: keen eyes, a keen intelligence
- sharp-witted; mentally acute; shrewd
- eager; enthusiastic; much interested: often with about, on, etc.
- strongly felt or perceived; intense; strong: keen desire, a keen scent
- ☆ Slang good, fine, etc.: a generalized term of approval
Origin: Middle English kene from Old English cene, wise, learned, akin to German kühn, bold from Indo-European base an unverified form ĝen-, to know: the principal senses spring from the basic notion “capable”
Origin: Ir caoine from caoinim, I wail
- Irish to lament or wail for the dead
- to make a wailing, shrill, or mournful sound suggestive of a keen
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adjective keen·er, keen·est
- Having a fine, sharp cutting edge or point.
- Having or marked by intellectual quickness and acuity. See Synonyms at sharp.
- Acutely sensitive: a keen ear.
- Sharp; vivid; strong: “His entire body hungered for keen sensation, something exciting” (Richard Wright).
- Intense; piercing: a keen wind.
- Pungent; acrid: A keen smell of skunk was left behind.
- a. Ardent; enthusiastic: a keen chess player.b. Eagerly desirous: keen on going to Europe in the spring.
- Slang Great; splendid; fine: What a keen day!
Origin: Middle English kene, from Old English cēne, brave.
- keenˈly adverb
- keenˈness noun
Origin: From Irish Gaelic caoineadh, from caoninim, I lament, from Old Irish caínim, coínim, perhaps of Brittonic origin.
- keenˈer noun