If you have a keen interest in something, you are really, really into it. Keen is an adjective that describes something that is intense, sharp, or focused.

The word keen comes from the Old English word cene that translates to "bold and brave" and while the spelling is now really different, the sounds are similar. Variations of keen as being "bold" and "strong" show up in other languages, but only English has the meaning of "sharp" — relating to "an edge or blade." Keen has a lot of close — and brutal — synonyms, such as caustic, cutting, piercing, and penetrating. It can also be used as a verb to mean "express grief or pain out loud."

Definitions of keen
  1. adjective
    intense or sharp
    synonyms: exquisite, searing
    possessing or displaying a distinctive feature to a heightened degree
  2. adjective
    having a sharp cutting edge or point
    “a keen blade”
    having or made by a thin edge or sharp point; suitable for cutting or piercing
  3. adjective
    painful as if caused by a sharp instrument
    keen winds”
    synonyms: cutting, knifelike, lancinate, lancinating, piercing, stabbing
    keenly and painfully felt; as if caused by a sharp edge or point
  4. adjective
    having or demonstrating ability to recognize or draw fine distinctions
    synonyms: acute, discriminating, incisive, knifelike, penetrating, penetrative, piercing, sharp
    having the ability to perceive or understand; keen in discernment
  5. adjective
    very good
    synonyms: bang-up, bully, corking, cracking, dandy, great, groovy, neat, nifty, not bad, peachy, slap-up, smashing, swell
    having desirable or positive qualities especially those suitable for a thing specified
  6. adjective
    having or showing great excitement and interest
    synonyms: enthusiastic
    ardent, warm
    characterized by strong enthusiasm
    avid, zealous
    marked by active interest and enthusiasm
    crazy, dotty, gaga, wild
    intensely enthusiastic about or preoccupied with
    evangelical, evangelistic
    marked by ardent or zealous enthusiasm for a cause
    highly enthusiastic
    gung ho
    very enthusiastic and dedicated
    unduly enthusiastic
    having or expressing strong emotions
    displaying animation, vigor, or liveliness
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    not enthusiastic; lacking excitement or ardor
    feeling or showing no enthusiasm
    half-hearted, halfhearted, lukewarm, tepid
    feeling or showing little interest or enthusiasm
    not passionate
    lacking ardor or vigor or energy
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  7. adjective
    having or showing keen interest or intense desire or impatient expectancy
    synonyms: agog, eager
    anxious, dying
    eagerly desirous
    having or showing great eagerness or enthusiasm
    impatient, raring
    (usually followed by 'to') full of eagerness
    excessively eager
    having or showing great excitement and interest
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    lacking interest or spirit or animation
    not eager
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  8. noun
    a funeral lament sung with loud wailing
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    type of:
    coronach, dirge, lament, requiem, threnody
    a song or hymn of mourning composed or performed as a memorial to a dead person
  9. verb
    express grief verbally
    synonyms: lament
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    type of:
    express emotion, express feelings
    give verbal or other expression to one's feelings
Word Family

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