Keen Definition

kēn
keened, keenest, keening, keens, keener
adjective
keenest, keener
Having a sharp edge or point; that can cut well.
A keen knife, a keen edge.
Webster's New World
Having or marked by intellectual quickness and acuity.
American Heritage
Sharp or cutting in force; piercing.
A keen appetite, a keen wind.
Webster's New World
Acutely sensitive.
A keen ear.
American Heritage
Sharp and quick in seeing, hearing, thinking, etc.; acute.
Keen eyes, a keen intelligence.
Webster's New World
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noun
keens
A wailing for the dead; dirge.
Webster's New World

A prolonged wail for a deceased person.

Wiktionary
verb
keened, keening, keens
To utter in a wailing tone.
Webster's New World
To lament or wail for the dead.
Webster's New World
To make a wailing, shrill, or mournful sound suggestive of a keen.
Webster's New World
(rare) To sharpen; to make cold.
Wiktionary
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Other Word Forms of Keen

Noun

Singular:
keen
Plural:
keens

Adjective

Base Form:
keen
Comparative:
keener
Superlative:
keenest

Origin of Keen

  • From Middle English kene (“bold, brave, sharp”), from Old English cēne (“keen, fierce, bold, brave, warlike, powerful, learned, clever, wise”), from Proto-Germanic *kōniz (“knowledgeable, skillful, experienced, clever, capable”), from Proto-Indo-European *ǵenə-, *ǵnō- (“to know”). Cognate with Scots keen (“lively, brisk, avaricious”), Dutch koen (“daring, valiant, doughty, courageous”), German kühn (“bold, daring, audacious, hardy, valiant, venturesome”), Danish køn (“handsome, pretty”), Icelandic kænn (“wise, crafty, clever, able”). Related to Old English cunnan (“to know how to, be able to”). More at cunning, can.

    From Wiktionary

  • From Irish Gaelic caoineadh from caonim I lament from Old Irish caínim, coínim perhaps of Brittonic origin

    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition

  • Middle English kene from Old English cēne brave

    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition

  • From Irish caoin (“keen, weep, cry”).

    From Wiktionary

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