keen

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 adjective 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 like Old Norse, German, Dutch, but apparently 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!

Primary Meanings of keen

1.
adj
intense or sharp
2.
nv
a funeral lament sung with loud wailing
express grief verbally
Full Definitions of keen
1

adj intense or sharp

Synonyms:
exquisite
intense
possessing or displaying a distinctive feature to a heightened degree

adj having a sharp cutting edge or point

“a keen blade”
Synonyms:
sharp
having or made by a thin edge or sharp point; suitable for cutting or piercing

adj painful as if caused by a sharp instrument

keen winds”
Synonyms:
cutting, knifelike, lancinate, lancinating, piercing, stabbing
sharp
keenly and painfully felt; as if caused by a sharp edge or point

adj having or demonstrating ability to recognize or draw fine distinctions

Synonyms:
acute, discriminating, incisive, knifelike, penetrating, penetrative, piercing, sharp
perceptive
having the ability to perceive or understand; keen in discernment

adj very good

Synonyms:
bang-up, bully, corking, cracking, dandy, great, groovy, neat, nifty, not bad, peachy, slap-up, smashing, swell
good
having desirable or positive qualities especially those suitable for a thing specified
2

n a funeral lament sung with loud wailing

Type of:
coronach, dirge, lament, requiem, threnody
a song or hymn of mourning composed or performed as a memorial to a dead person

v express grief verbally

Synonyms:
lament
Type of:
express emotion, express feelings
give verbal or other expression to one's feelings

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