See also: Keen, keéṇ, and kɛ́ɛn

English edit

Pronunciation edit

 
A sharp cleaver has a cutting edge that is keen (etymology 1, sense 3)

Etymology 1 edit

From Middle English kene (bold, brave, sharp), from Old English cēne (keen, fierce, bold, brave, warlike, powerful; learned, clever, wise), from Proto-Germanic *kōniz (knowledgeable, skilful, experienced, clever, capable), from Proto-Indo-European *ǵneh₃- (to know).

Cognate with Danish køn (handsome, pretty), Dutch kien (smart, wise, able), koen (daring, valiant, doughty, courageous), German kühn (bold, daring, audacious, hardy, valiant, venturesome), Icelandic kænn (wise, crafty, clever, able), Faroese kønur (expert (in, on), experienced, skilful, able, capable), Scots keen (lively, brisk; avaricious). Related to Old English cunnan (to know how to, be able to). More at cunning, can.

Alternative forms edit

Adjective edit

keen (comparative keener or more keen, superlative keenest or most keen)

  1. (chiefly Commonwealth) Often with a prepositional phrase, or with to and an infinitive: showing a quick and ardent responsiveness or willingness; eager, enthusiastic, interested.
    I’m keen on computers.
    I’m keen on you.I like you.
    She’s keen to learn another language.
    “Do you want to go on holiday with me?”   “Yes, I’m keen.”
  2. Fierce, intense, vehement.
    This boy has a keen appetite.
  3. Having a fine edge or point; sharp.
  4. Acute of mind, having or expressing mental acuteness; penetrating, sharp.
  5. Acrimonious, bitter, piercing.
    keen satire or sarcasm
  6. Of cold, wind, etc.: cutting, penetrating, piercing, sharp.
    a keen wind
    the cold is very keen
  7. (Britain) Of prices, extremely low as to be competitive.
  8. (US, informal, dated) Marvelous.
    I just got this peachy keen new dress.
    • 1985, Douglas Adams, The Original Hitchhiker Radio Scripts, New York, N.Y.: Harmony Books, →ISBN, page 82:
      Well our hosts here attacked us with a fantastic Dismodulating Anti Phase stun ray and then invited us to this amazingly keen meal by way of making it up to us.
  9. (obsolete) Brave, courageous; audacious, bold.
Usage notes edit

Keen is often used to create compounds, the meaning of most of them being fairly obvious, for example, keen-edged, keen-eyed, keen-sighted, keen-witted, etc.

Synonyms edit
Derived terms edit
Translations edit
The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.

Verb edit

keen (third-person singular simple present keens, present participle keening, simple past and past participle keened)

  1. (transitive, rare) To make cold, to sharpen.
    • 1730, James Thomson, “Autumn”, in The Seasons, London: [] A[ndrew] Millar, and sold by Thomas Cadell, [], published 1768, →OCLC, page 93, lines 1256–1259:
      This is the pureſt exerciſe of health, / The kind refreſher of the ſummer-heats; / Nor, when cold Winter keens the brightening flood, / Would I weak-ſhivering linger on the brink.

Etymology 2 edit

From Irish caoin (to cry, weep; to keen).

Noun edit

keen (plural keens)

  1. A prolonged wail for a deceased person.
    • 1922, Michael Arlen, “3/5/1”, in “Piracy”: A Romantic Chronicle of These Days, London: W[illiam] Collins Sons & Co., →OCLC, →OL:
      [S]he went so swiftly that he could only follow her to the door. The large shape of the car swallowed her up; and the car twisted softly around the little drive and away to the London road. Minutes later he heard its Klaxon, just one sharp keen, like the harsh cry of a sea-bird.

Verb edit

keen (third-person singular simple present keens, present participle keening, simple past and past participle keened)

  1. (intransitive) To utter a keen.
    • 20th century, Stuart Howard-Jones (1904–1974), “Hibernia”, in Kingsley Amis, comp., The New Oxford Book of English Light Verse, New York, N.Y.: Oxford University Press, 1978, →ISBN, page 243:
      Last night he had put down too much Potheen / (A vulgar blend of Methyl and Benzene) / That, at some Wake, he might the better keen. / (Keen—meaning 'brisk'? Nay, here the Language warps: / 'Tis singing bawdy Ballads to a Corpse.)
  2. (transitive) To utter with a loud wailing voice or wordless cry.
  3. (transitive) To mourn.
    • 1996, Virginia Warner Brodine, Seed of the Fire, New York, N.Y.: International Publishers, →ISBN, page 28:
      I keened my Gran, I keened my babies, but then my words poured out of my grief. I don't have the full heart like that for Owen, sorry as I am for his goin. Without the heavy grief on me I can maybe think of the words easier.
    • 2017, Neil Gaiman, Norse Mythology, Bloomsbury Publishing, page 113:
      She sniffed and nodded and cried and wailed and keened for her husband, who would never come back to her.
Related terms edit

References edit


Anagrams edit

Basque edit

Noun edit

keen

  1. genitive plural of ke

Central Franconian edit

Alternative forms edit

  • jeen (westernmost Ripuarian)
  • kein (Kölsch; Westerwald)
  • kään (eastern Moselle Franconian)

Etymology edit

From Middle High German (en) kein, from nechein, from Old High German nehhein. Cognate with German kein, Dutch geen.

Pronunciation edit

Determiner edit

keen

  1. (most of Ripuarian, western Moselle Franconian) no, not a, not any
    Ich hann keen Belder. / Belder hann ich er keen.
    I have no pictures.

Declension edit

  • The declension is equivalent to that of een (one), which see. Keen has additional plural forms, however, which are the same as the feminine forms (but dative plural usually keene). Moreover, keen cannot be used after other determiners.

Hunsrik edit

Pronunciation edit

Particle edit

keen

  1. no, not any, not a
    Ich sin keen Becker.
    I am not a baker.
    Du host keen Grund fer sowas se denke.
    You have no reason to think so.

Declension edit

1Form used when the plural of the noun is the same as the singular

Further reading edit

Luxembourgish edit

Etymology edit

From Middle High German kein, from the merger of dechein, dehein ("someone; anyone", from Old High German dehein) and Middle High German nechein, nehein ("not any", from Old High German nihein).

Pronunciation edit

Particle edit

keen m or n

  1. no, not any, not a

Declension edit

Luxembourgish negative articles
masculine feminine neuter plural
nom./acc. keen keng keen keng
dative kengem kenger kengem kengen

Narragansett edit

Etymology edit

From Proto-Algonquian *kiᐧlawa. Compare Ojibwe giin.[1]

Pronoun edit

keèn

  1. you, thou (second-person singular pronoun)

Usage notes edit

Usually precedes a verb or noun, like neèn but unlike ewò.[2]

References edit

  1. ^ Hewson, John (2017), “*kiᐧlawa”, in Proto-Algonquian Online Dictionary, Carleton University, School of Linguistics and Applied Language Studies
  2. ^ F. O'Brien & J. Jennings (2001) Introduction to the Narragansett Language[1], Newport: Aquidneck Indian Council, →LCCN, page 71

Further reading edit

Somali edit

Verb edit

keen

  1. bring

Yola edit

Alternative forms edit

Etymology edit

From Middle English kene, from Old English cēne.

Adjective edit

keen

  1. sharp

References edit

  • Jacob Poole (1867), William Barnes, editor, A Glossary, With some Pieces of Verse, of the old Dialect of the English Colony in the Baronies of Forth and Bargy, County of Wexford, Ireland, London: J. Russell Smith, page 49