- 1Having or showing eagerness or enthusiasm: keen believers in the monetary system a keen desire to learnMore example sentences
- He was very keen and enthusiastic about learning.
- He was an ardent fisherman, a keen gardener, and an active naturalist.
- The areas round the house, where the borders are filled with herbaceous plants, were the territory of his wife, Elisabeth, an equally keen gardener, who died last year.
- 1.1 [predic.] (keen on) Interested in or attracted by (someone or something): Bob makes it obvious he’s keen on herMore example sentences
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
- He's particularly keen on photographs or other interesting items from the past.
- At the moment, the shares are no obvious bargain for investors keen on value.
- Advocates of social software are keen on seeking alternatives to mainstream politics.
- 2Sharp or penetrating, in particular.More example sentences
- St. John has a particularly roman face and expression, a sharp nose and a keen ability to perceive the interior state of his subject, at all costs.
- I look forward to you incisive commentary and keen analysis of this woefully neglected issue.
- She also had an unusually keen grasp of the subtleties of croquet.
- 2.1(Of a sense) highly developed: I have keen eyesightMore example sentences
- With their poor eyesight and keen sense of smell, they can get dangerously close.
- They have keen hearing and good senses of vision and smell.
- The sense of smell is keen and the snout is used to probe when searching for food.
- 2.2(Of mental faculties) quick to understand or function: her keen intellectMore example sentences
- Of course, it takes a keen military intellect to understand the strategic importance of blowing up empty buildings.
- He had a gentle, kindly manner, twinkling eyes and quick smile, a keen sense of humour and a penetrating wit.
- His sharp intellect, keen wit and urbane presence have been an asset of varying value to the Labour Party for almost 40 years.
- 2.3(Of the air or wind) extremely cold; biting.More example sentences
- The day was blessed with bright sunshine, although a keen wind cut through Windsor's streets.
- Gone was Friday's bright sunshine, replaced by cloud and a keen wind that made hardy souls of those camped out overnight outside Westminster Abbey or along The Mall.
- The steering arm thrums under their hand, the deck heaves beneath their feet and the keen salt wind cuts like a knife through even a good sealskin cloak.
- 2.4(Of the edge or point of a blade) sharp.More example sentences
- Seizing an opportunity, he slashed upwards with his knife, the keen edge of his blade taking grip on the dog's neck.
- After many modifications, the end result is an extremely tough, durable and sturdy blade that retains a keen edge over many years.
- I stared at the knife in my hand for a long time, turning it over and over in my hands, admiring the keen edge and the gleaming metal that made the blade.
- 2.5 • literary (Of a smell, light, or sound) penetrating; clear.More example sentences
- Claire gritted her teeth against the pain, a high, keen sound escaping her lips.
- 4British (Of prices) very low; competitive.More example sentences
- Most well-run companies will have mainstream costs under control and will have professional buyers negotiating keen prices for all raw materials.
- Prices are keen, starting at €19,500 for the 1.4 litre saloon and an extra €200 for the estate body.
- Ex-company cars at two to three years old can represent very good value for money if bought at keen prices, as they will have been serviced regularly under a lease plan.
- More example sentences
- He was keenly aware of the terrible dangers of the atomic age and did his best to warn the world.
- Nowhere is the pathos of this tradition felt more keenly than in the post-colonial world.
- You observe personal relationships keenly and express yourself in subtle terms.
Old English cēne 'wise, clever', also 'brave, daring', of Germanic origin; related to Dutch koen and German kühn 'bold, brave'. Current senses date from Middle English.
- 1Wail in grief for a dead person; sing a keen.More example sentences
- She could hear voices speaking in soothing tones, but Anna keened and wailed, and Kathleen tried not to imagine the scene on the other side of the door.
- Act Three ends powerfully, with the village in flames, good Soviet citizens hanging by their necks, and keening women, including one who is given a ‘mad scene’ of sorts.
- They cried, they keened, they wailed.
- 1.1 (usually as noun keening) Make an eerie wailing sound: the keening of the cold night windMore example sentences
- Her seminal musical works use what are called extended vocal techniques, such as overtone and throat singing, yodeling, keening, percussive sounds, and micro-tonality.
- Then there was the high keening wail of the emergency vehicles.
- His pleasantly keening voice is just not enough.
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mid 19th century: from Irish caoinim 'I wail'.