AskDefine | Define keen

Dictionary Definition

keen adj
1 having or demonstrating ability to recognize or draw fine distinctions; "an acute observer of politics and politicians"; "incisive comments"; "icy knifelike reasoning"; "as sharp and incisive as the stroke of a fang"; "penetrating insight"; "frequent penetrative observations" [syn: acute, discriminating, incisive, knifelike, penetrating, penetrative, piercing, sharp]
2 intense or sharp; "suffered exquisite pain"; "felt exquisite pleasure" [syn: exquisite]
3 very penetrating and clear and sharp in operation; "an incisive mind"; "a keen intelligence"; "of sharp and active intellect" [syn: incisive, sharp]
4 very good; "he did a bully job"; "a neat sports car"; "had a great time at the party"; "you look simply smashing" [syn: bang-up, bully, corking, cracking, dandy, great, groovy, neat, nifty, not bad(p), peachy, slap-up, swell, smashing]
5 as physically painful as if caused by a sharp instrument; "a cutting wind"; "keen winds"; "knifelike cold"; "piercing knifelike pains"; "piercing cold"; "piercing criticism"; "a stabbing pain"; "lancinating pain" [syn: cutting, knifelike, piercing, stabbing, lancinate, lancinating]
6 having a sharp cutting edge or point; "a keen blade" n : a funeral lament sung with loud wailing v : express grief verbally; "we lamented the death of the child" [syn: lament]

User Contributed Dictionary

see Keen

English

Pronunciation

Etymology 1

Old English cēne 'bold, brave' < Proto-Germanic *kōnjaz

Alternative spellings

Adjective

  1. Sharp; having a fine edge or point; as, a keen razor, or a razor with a keen edge.
    "A bow he bare and arwes [arrows] bright and kene." -Chaucer.
    "That my keen knife see not the wound it makes." -Shak.
  2. Acute of mind; sharp; penetrating; having or expressing mental acuteness; as, a man of keen understanding; a keen look; keen features.
    "To make our wits more keen." -Shak.
    "Before the keen inquiry of her thought." -Cowper.
  3. Bitter; piercing; acrimonious; cutting; stinging; severe; as, keen satire or sarcasm.
    "Good father cardinal, cry thou amen to my keen curses." -Shak.
  4. Piercing; penetrating; cutting; sharp; -- applied to cold, wind, etc,; as, a keen wind; the cold is very keen.
    "Breasts the keen air, and carols as he goes." -Goldsmith.
  5. Eager; vehement; fierce; as, a keen appetite.
    "Of full keen will." -Piers Plowman.
    "So keen and greedy to confound a man." -Shak.
Translations
Usage notes
Keen is often used in the composition of words, most of which are of obvious signification; as, keen-edged, keen-eyed, keen-sighted, keen-witted, etc.

Verb

  1. To sharpen; to make cold. [R.]
    "Cold winter keens the brightening flood." -Thomson.

Etymology 2

Irish caoin 'keen, weep, cry'

Noun

  1. A prolonged wail for a deceased person.

Verb

  1. In the context of "Ireland|intransitive": To utter a keen.
Related terms

Extensive Definition

Keen may refer to the following:

Television series

Music

Video games

See also

keen in German: Keen
keen in Dutch: Keen

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

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