There are 2 definitions of keen in English:

keen1

Line breaks: keen
Pronunciation: /kiːn
 
/

adjective

  • 3British (Of activity or feeling) intense: there could be keen competition to provide the service
    More example sentences
    • Among Earnhardt's many passions was a keen love of deer hunting, fishing, and recreational activities.
    • Cricket was my keen interest, my passion and my everlasting love.
    • The league is set to provide a lot of interest and keen competition among the enthusiasts.
    Synonyms
  • 3(Of prices) very low; competitive: we offer extremely keen rates
    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.
  • 4 [predic.] North American informal , • dated Excellent: I would soon fly to distant stars—how keen!

Phrases

(as) keen as mustard

British informal Extremely eager or enthusiastic.
More example sentences
  • He was keen as mustard to go and help, but we have been missing him and he's been missing us.
  • Being keen as mustard, we decided to walk from the station to the hotel.
  • Smith is just 21 and an emerging talent; bright-eyed, bushy-tailed, keen as mustard.

Derivatives

keenly

adverb
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.

Origin

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.

More definitions of keen

Definition of keen in:

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Word of the day grotesquerie
Pronunciation: grəʊˈtɛskəri
noun
grotesque quality or grotesque things collectively

There are 2 definitions of keen in English:

keen2

Line breaks: keen
Pronunciation: /kiːn
 
/

verb

[no object]
  • 1Wail in grief for a dead person: the body of Johnny was taken by his own people who keened over him (as adjective keening) their keening womenfolk
    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 wind
    More 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.

noun

Back to top  
  • An Irish funeral song accompanied by wailing in lamentation for the dead.

Derivatives

keener

noun
More example sentences
  • The Wangs spent a total of 1,000 yuan on hiring the keeners, all poor men and women who were mobilized to form a band on their own.
  • In the end the keeners stalked the funeral processions screaming and shrieking all the more like vengeful banshees and had to be chased by the priests and their acolytes brandishing huge sticks and launching rocks in their direction.

Origin

mid 19th century: from Irish caoinim 'I wail'.

More definitions of keen

Definition of keen in: