from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun The state or quality of being keen in any sense of that word; sharpness; acuteness; intensity.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun The quality or state of being keen.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun sharpness or cutting ability
  • noun astuteness or sagacity

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun a positive feeling of wanting to push ahead with something
  • noun a quick and penetrating intelligence
  • noun thinness of edge or fineness of point


from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

keen +‎ -ness


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  • "John is still after the caves," and Harry laughed, as he recalled the keenness with which John had arranged the trips.

    The Wonder Island Boys: Adventures on Strange Islands Roger Thompson Finlay

  • Love is frightened at the intervals of insensibility and callousness that encroach by little and little on the dominion of grief, and it makes efforts to recall the keenness of the first anguish.

    Pearls of Thought Maturin Murray Ballou 1857

  • For a moment he gazed around with that peculiar, all-observing keenness which is given to those whose lives are spent in countries where human habitation is sparse -- where the work of man is lost in the immensity of

    The Story of the Foss River Ranch Ridgwell Cullum 1905

  • This sacristan has that simple keenness which is a rarity in Venice.

    A Wanderer in Venice Harry [Illustrator] Morley 1903

  • The interest and excitement of each member of the party often seems to affect the others, and to lead up to an intense mutual keenness which is often superior even to that experienced in single play.

    The Complete Golfer Harry Vardon 1903

  • Then, of course, you must observe the individual traits that characterize the new farmer, such as keenness, business instinct, readiness to adopt new methods, and, in fact, all the qualities that make a man a success today in any calling.

    Chapters in Rural Progress 1901

  • As a matter of fact, the keenness which is as a rule most developed in the public school product is keenness about athletic exercises.

    The Silent Isle Arthur Christopher Benson 1893

  • America, and its approaching the pole nearer than Europe or Asia, and from the immense continent stretching from the St. Lawrence towards the pole and to the westward; and also from the enormous chain of mountains which extend to an unknown distance through that frozen region, covered with eternal snow and frost; over which the wind in its passage acquires that piercing keenness which is felt as far as the Gulf of

    History of New Brunswick Peter Fisher 1815

  • There are men who, when in difficulties, originate at the moment vast ideas or dazzling projects; who, under the influence of excitement, are able to cast a light, almost as if from inspiration, on a subject or course of action which comes before them; who have a sudden presence of mind equal to any emergency, rising with the occasion, and an undaunted magnanimous bearing, and an energy and keenness which is but made intense by opposition.

    The Idea of a University Defined and Illustrated: In Nine Discourses Delivered to the Catholics of Dublin John Henry Newman 1845

  • "keenness" to invest in South Africa and had raised several "ideas" to contribute in this regard.

    ANC Daily News Briefing 1994


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