Synonyms of keen in English:



  • 1 his publishers were keen to capitalize on his success
    eager, anxious, intent, impatient, determined, ambitious, champing at the bit
    informal raring, itching, dying
    his publishers were keen to capitalize on his success
    [Antonyms] reluctant
  • 3 they are keen on horses a girl he was keen on
    enthusiastic about, interested in, passionate about; attracted to, fond of, taken with, smitten with, enamored of, infatuated with
    informal struck on, hot on/for, mad about, crazy about, nuts about
    they are keen on horses a girl he was keen on
    [Antonyms] indifferent unenthusiastic
  • 4 a keen cutting edge
    sharp, sharpened, honed, razor-sharp
    a keen cutting edge
    [Antonyms] blunt

Choose the right word

keen, acute, astute, penetrating, perspicacious, sharp, shrewd
A knife can be sharp, even keen, but it can't be astute. While keen and sharp mean having a fine point or edge, they also pertain to mental agility and perceptiveness. You might describe someone as having a keen mind, which suggests the ability to grapple with complex problems, or to observe details and see them as part of a larger pattern ( a keen appreciation of what victory would mean for the Democratic party ) or a keen wit, which suggests an incisive or stimulating sense of humor. Someone who is sharp has an alert and rational mind, but is not necessarily well grounded in a particular field and may in some cases be cunning or devious ( sharp enough to see how the situation might be turned to her advantage ). An astute mind, in contrast, is one that has a thorough and profound understanding of a given subject or field ( an astute understanding of the legal principles involved ). Like sharp, shrewd implies both practicality and cleverness, but with an undercurrent of self-interest ( a shrewd salesperson ). Acute is close in meaning to keen, but with more emphasis on sensitivity and the ability to make subtle distinctions ( an acute sense of smell ). While a keen mind might see only superficial details, a penetrating mind would focus on underlying causes ( a penetrating analysis of the plan's feasibility ). Perspicacious is the most formal of these terms, meaning both perceptive and discerning ( a perspicacious remark ; perspicacious judgment ).

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