American English

Definition of keen adjective from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



    (keener, keenest)
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  1. 1wanting to do something or wanting something to happen very much synonym eager keen (to do something) John was very keen to help. keen (on doing something) I wasn't too keen on going to the party.
  2. 2[usually before noun] enthusiastic about or interested in an activity or idea, etc. a keen fisherman one of the keenest supporters of the team She was a star pupil—keen, confident and bright.
  3. intelligence
  4. 3[only before noun] quick to understand synonym acute, sharp a keen mind/intellect
  5. ideas/feelings
  6. 4[usually before noun] strong or deep a keen sense of tradition He took a keen interest in his grandson's education.
  7. senses
  8. 5[only before noun] highly developed synonym sharp Dogs have a keen sense of smell. My friend has a keen eye for (= is good at noticing) a bargain.
  9. competition
  10. 6involving people competing very hard with each other for something There is keen competition to be admitted to the university. They were keen rivals. It was the subject of keen debate.
  11. wind
  12. 7(literary) extremely cold
  13. knife
  14. 8[usually before noun] (literary) having a sharp edge or point
    adverb a keenly fought contest We were keenly aware of the danger.
    noun [uncountable]
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: keen

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