keen


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Related to keen: dictionary

treat them mean, keep them keen

Neglecting a romantic partner (or a potential romantic partner) keeps him or her interested in you. A: "Why hasn't Tom called me yet? I thought he liked me." B: "Maybe he thinks that 'treat them mean, keep them keen' actually works."
See also: keen, keep, treat

be as keen as mustard

To be very enthusiastic about something. These new kids are as keen as mustard to be in the choir, so we can definitely get them to clean up the choir room for us.
See also: keen, mustard

be keen about

To be excited about or interested in something. Rich is very keen about this cruise he's planned for the fall. Don't take this opportunity if you aren't keen about it.
See also: keen

be keen on

To be excited about or interested in someone or something. I'm glad that Jimmy and Lena are finally going on a date, since he's been keen on her for months. Don't take this opportunity if you aren't keen on it.
See also: keen, on

have a keen interest in something

to have a strong interest in something; to be very interested in something. Tom had always had a keen interest in music, so he started a band. The children have a keen interest in having apet, so I bought them a cat.
See also: have, interest, keen

keen on doing something

willing or eager to do something. Dave isn't very keen on going to the opera. The children are keen on swimming this afternoon. Shall I take them?
See also: keen, on

keen on someone or something

 and keen about someone or something
to be enthusiastic about someone or something. I'm not too keen on going to Denver. Sally is fairly keen about getting a new job. Mary isn't keen on her new boss.
See also: keen, on

keen about, be

Be enthusiastic about. For example, He's been keen about this whole endeavor for a long time. It is also put as be keen on, which has the additional meaning "to be ardent about or in love with," as in Jim's been keen on Jane for years. With other adverbs, such as keen at and keen of, keen has been so used since the early 1500s; the current locutions, however, date from the mid-1800s.
See also: keen

keen as mustard

mainly BRITISH, OLD-FASHIONED
If someone is keen as mustard they are very eager to do something. I have an adult pupil who scored very low in assessments but is keen as mustard. Note: You can also describe someone as mustard-keen. Sir Richard was mustard-keen to say his bit. Note: `Keen' means enthusiastic, but is also used to mean sharp when referring to the blade or cutting edge of a tool or weapon. An acidic or sour taste can also be referred to as sharp, so enthusiasm is being likened to the sharp taste or `edge' given to food by mustard.
See also: keen, mustard

peachy (keen)

mod. fine; excellent. Your idea is really peachy!
See also: keen, peachy
References in classic literature ?
From all his occupations he had gathered amusing anecdotes, which he told with a keen pleasure in his own powers of entertainment.
Scarce had the neck of the victim snapped than the carcass was hanging over one of Tarzan's broad shoulders, and an instant later the ape-man was perched once more among the lower branches of a tree above the trail, his keen, gray eyes scanning the pathway down which the deer had fled.
When he had first discovered Werper upon the trail where he had slain Bara, he had thought that his eyes must be playing him false, so certain had he been that the thief had been slain and devoured by Numa; but after following the detachment for two days, with his keen eyes always upon the Belgian, he no longer doubted the identity of the man, though he was put to it to explain the identity of the mutilated corpse he had supposed was the man he sought.
Tarzan let his eye move quickly toward that part of the British line the German seemed to be scanning, his keen sight revealing many excellent targets for a rifle placed so high above the trenches.
Hugging the parados, messengers carried the word in both directions and presently periscopes were leveled above the parados and keen eyes were searching out the traitor.
The mental suffering that Tarzan's sorrowful thoughts induced had the effect of numbing his keen, perceptive faculties, so that the advancing savages were almost upon him before he became aware that he was no longer alone upon the beach.
This one was Mugambi, chief of the Wagambi of Ugambi, and as he disappeared in the tangled luxuriousness of the rank growth upon the ridge's summit only the keen eyes of the ape-man saw the direction of his flight.
He had a keen, strong desire to escape once and for ever from his surroundings.
Their faces were keen and serious, their eyes eloquent with the ecstasy of living that was upon them--for this was living, this game of life and death, and to them it was the only game a man should play, withal they played it in low and cowardly ways, killing from behind in the dim forest gloom and rarely coming out into the open.
He was beginning to feel a keen interest in the slender, barefoot donkey-girl who slipped in and out of the play, singing, like some one winding through a hilly field.
Another mile and a shifting wind brought to his keen nostrils a familiar, pungent odor close at hand, and a moment later there loomed beneath him a huge, gray-black bulk forging steadily along the jungle trail.
In like manner, we shall represent human nature at first to the keen appetite of our reader, in that more plain and simple manner in which it is found in the country, and shall hereafter hash and ragoo it with all the high French and Italian seasoning of affectation and vice which courts and cities afford.
He did so without haste - with a certain deliberation, in fact - yet his eyes were suddenly bright and keen.
He was a man of a practical turn of mind, keen in his dealings and skilful with his hands.
Her eyes and cheeks were still brightened with her childlike enthusiasm in the dance; her whole frame was set to joy and tenderness; even the coming pain could not seem bitter,--she was ready to welcome it as a part of life, for life at this moment seemed a keen, vibrating consciousness poised above pleasure or pain.