keen on


1 [keen]
adjective, keener, keenest.
finely sharpened, as an edge; so shaped as to cut or pierce substances readily: a keen razor.
sharp, piercing, or biting: a keen wind; keen satire.
characterized by strength and distinctness of perception; extremely sensitive or responsive: keen eyes; keen ears.
having or showing great mental penetration or acumen: keen reasoning; a keen mind.
animated by or showing strong feeling or desire: keen competition.
intense, as feeling or desire: keen ambition; keen jealousy.
eager; interested; enthusiastic (often followed by about, on, etc., or an infinitive): She is really keen on going swimming.
Slang. great; wonderful; marvelous.

before 900; 1930–35 for def 8; Middle English kene, Old English cēne; cognate with German kühn, Old High German chuoni bold, Old Norse kœnn wise, skillful

keenly, adverb
keenness, noun

1, 4. See sharp. 2. cutting, bitter, caustic. 3. piercing, penetrating, acute. 4. discerning, acute, astute, sagacious, shrewd, clever. 5. See avid. 7. earnest, fervid.

1, 3, 4. dull. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
keen1 (kiːn)
adj (foll by on)
1.  eager or enthusiastic
2.  fond (of); devoted (to): keen on a girl; keen on golf
3.  intellectually acute: a keen wit
4.  (of sight, smell, hearing, etc) capable of recognizing fine distinctions
5.  having a sharp cutting edge or point
6.  extremely cold and penetrating: a keen wind
7.  intense or strong: a keen desire
8.  chiefly (Brit) extremely low so as to be competitive: keen prices
9.  slang chiefly (US), (Canadian) very good
[Old English cēne; related to Old High German kuoni brave, Old Norse koenn wise; see can1, know]

keen2 (kiːn)
1.  to lament the dead
2.  a dirge or lament for the dead
[C19: from Irish Gaelic caoine, from Old Irish coīnim I wail]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

O.E. cene "bold brave," later "clever, wise," from P.Gmc. *kan- "be able to" (see can). Original prehistoric senses seem to have been both "brave" and "skilled;" cf. O.N. kænn "skillful, wise," M.Du. coene "bold," O.H.G. kuon "pugnacious, strong," Ger. Kühn "bold,
daring." Sense of "eager" is from mid-14c. The meaning "sharp" is peculiar to Eng.: of blades and edges early 13c., of sounds c.1400, of eyesight c.1720. A popular word of approval in teenager and student slang from c.1900.

"lament," 1811, from Ir. caoinim "I weep, wail, lament," from O.Ir. coinim.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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