Keen a. [Compar. Keener superl. Keenest.]
1. Sharp; having a fine edge or point; as, a keen razor, or a razor with a keen edge.
A bow he bare and arwes [arrows] bright and kene. --Chaucer.
That my keen knife see not the wound it makes. --Shak.
2. Acute of mind; sharp; penetrating; having or expressing mental acuteness; as, a man of keen understanding; a keen look; keen features.
To make our wits more keen. --Shak.
Before the keen inquiry of her thought. --Cowper.
3. Bitter; piercing; acrimonious; cutting; stinging; severe; as, keen satire or sarcasm.
Good father cardinal, cry thou amen
To my keen curses. --Shak.
4. Piercing; penetrating; cutting; sharp; -- applied to cold, wind, etc.; as, a keen wind; the cold is very keen.
Breasts the keen air, and carols as he goes. --Goldsmith.
5. Eager; vehement; fierce; as, a keen appetite. “Of full kene will.”
So keen and greedy to confound a man. --Shak.
Note: ☞ Keen is often used in the composition of words, most of which are of obvious signification; as, keen-edged, keen-eyed, keen-sighted, keen-witted, etc.
Syn: -- Prompt; eager; ardent; sharp; acute; cutting; penetrating; biting; severe; sarcastic; satirical; piercing; shrewd.
Keen, v. t. To sharpen; to make cold. [R.]
Cold winter keens the brightening flood. --Thomson.
Keen, n. A prolonged wail for a deceased person. Cf. Coranach. [Ireland]
Keen, v. i. To wail as a keener does. [Ireland]
adj 1: having or demonstrating ability to recognize or draw fine
distinctions; "an acute observer of politics and
politicians"; "incisive comments"; "icy knifelike
reasoning"; "as sharp and incisive as the stroke of a
fang"; "penetrating insight"; "frequent penetrative
observations" [syn: acute, discriminating, incisive,
knifelike, penetrating, penetrative, piercing,
2: intense or sharp; "suffered exquisite pain"; "felt exquisite
pleasure" [syn: exquisite]
3: very penetrating and clear and sharp in operation; "an
incisive mind"; "a keen intelligence"; "of sharp and
active intellect" [syn: incisive, sharp]
4: very good; "he did a bully job"; "a neat sports car"; "had a
great time at the party"; "you look simply smashing" [syn:
bang-up, bully, corking, cracking, dandy, great,
groovy, neat, nifty, not bad(p), peachy, slap-up,
5: as physically painful as if caused by a sharp instrument; "a
cutting wind"; "keen winds"; "knifelike cold"; "piercing
knifelike pains"; "piercing cold"; "piercing criticism";
"a stabbing pain"; "lancinating pain" [syn: cutting, knifelike,
piercing, stabbing, lancinate, lancinating]
6: having a sharp cutting edge or point; "a keen blade"
n : a funeral lament sung with loud wailing
v : express grief verbally; "we lamented the death of the child"