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Keene vs. Keen — Which is Correct Spelling?

Copy edited by Tayyaba Rehman — By Fiza Rafique — Updated on April 27, 2024
Keene is the incorrect spelling of keen. Keen means having a sharp edge or being intellectually sharp and enthusiastic.
Keene vs. Keen — Which is Correct Spelling?

Which is correct: Keene or Keen

How to spell Keen?


Incorrect Spelling


Correct Spelling

Key Differences

Remember that "keen" relates directly to sharpness or eagerness, without an extra "e" at the end.
Keen comes from Old English "cēne" which means brave or fierce, not ending in an "e."
Keep in mind that the adjective form is "keen," straightforward and ending immediately after the "n."
The word keen rhymes with seen, which also does not have a double "e" at the end.

How Do You Spell Keen Correctly?

Incorrect: They were keene observers of nature.
Correct: They were keen observers of nature.
Incorrect: His keene intellect made him a top student.
Correct: His keen intellect made him a top student.
Incorrect: She had a keene sense of smell.
Correct: She had a keen sense of smell.
Incorrect: She looked at the problem with a keene interest.
Correct: She looked at the problem with a keen interest.
Incorrect: He was not very keene on the idea.
Correct: He was not very keen on the idea.

Keen Definitions

Being highly developed or acute.
She has a keen sense of smell, detecting scents easily.
Showing eagerness or enthusiasm.
He was keen to start his new job.
Intense or piercing.
There was a keen wind blowing from the north.
Having or showing eagerness or enthusiasm
A keen gardener
John was keen to help
(of a sense) highly developed
I have keen eyesight
(of the edge or point of a blade) sharp
The keen blade went through the weeds
(of activity or feeling) intense
There could be keen competition to provide the service
I would soon fly to distant stars—how keen!
Wail in grief for a dead person
The body of Johnny was taken by his own people who keened over him
Their keening womenfolk
An Irish funeral song accompanied by wailing in lamentation for the dead.
Having a fine, sharp cutting edge or point.
Having or marked by intellectual quickness and acuity.
Acutely sensitive
A keen ear.
Sharp; vivid; strong
"His entire body hungered for keen sensation, something exciting" (Richard Wright).
Intense or bracing
A keen wind.
Pungent; acrid
A keen smell of skunk was left behind.
Ardent; enthusiastic
A keen chess player.
Eagerly desirous
Keen on going to Europe in the spring.
(Slang) Great; splendid; fine
What a keen day!.
A loud wailing or lament for the dead.
To wail in lamentation, especially for the dead.
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.
She’s keen to learn another language.
“Do you want to go on holiday with me?”   “Yes, I’m keen.”
Fierce, intense, vehement.
This boy has a keen appetite.
Having a fine edge or point; sharp.
Acute of mind, having or expressing mental acuteness; penetrating, sharp.
Acrimonious, bitter, piercing.
Keen satire or sarcasm
Of cold, wind, etc.: cutting, penetrating, piercing, sharp.
A keen wind
The cold is very keen
(Britain) Of prices, extremely low as to be competitive.
I just got this peachy keen new dress.
(obsolete) Brave, courageous; audacious, bold.
To make cold, to sharpen.
(transitive) To utter with a loud wailing voice or wordless cry.
(transitive) To mourn.
A prolonged wail for a deceased person.
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.
That my keen knife see not the wound it makes.
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.
Before the keen inquiry of her thought.
Bitter; piercing; acrimonious; cutting; stinging; severe; as, keen satire or sarcasm.
Good father cardinal, cry thou amenTo my keen curses.
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.
Eager; vehement; fierce; as, a keen appetite.
So keen and greedy to confound a man.
Wonderful; delightful; marvelous; as, that would be keen.
To sharpen; to make cold.
Cold winter keens the brightening flood.
To wail as a keener does.
A prolonged wail for a deceased person. Cf. Coranach.
A funeral lament sung with loud wailing
Express grief verbally;
We lamented the death of the child
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
Intense or sharp;
Suffered exquisite pain
Felt exquisite pleasure
Very penetrating and clear and sharp in operation;
An incisive mind
A keen intelligence
Of sharp and active intellect
Very good;
He did a bully job
A neat sports car
Had a great time at the party
You look simply smashing
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
Having a sharp cutting edge or point;
A keen blade
Having a sharp edge or point.
The keen blade cut through the paper effortlessly.
Vigorously sharp in thought or intellect.
Her keen mind solved complex problems quickly.

Keen Meaning in a Sentence

They shared a keen understanding of classical music.
She expressed a keen interest in joining the club.
The surgeon's keen eyes spotted the tiny fracture immediately.
He has always been keen on learning new languages.
She has a keen ability to notice details that others miss.
Her keen wit always lightened the mood at meetings.
The scientist had a keen awareness of the recent research.
His keen judgement was invaluable to the team.
His observations about the weather were incredibly keen.
He made some keen observations during the debate.
The keen aroma of coffee woke her up every morning.
He approached his new project with a keen determination.
His keen sense of timing made him an excellent comedian.
She navigated the busy streets with keen awareness.
Her ability to solve puzzles is incredibly keen.
His interest in art was particularly keen.
He has always had a keen mind for mathematics.
She handled the delicate negotiations with keen sensitivity.
Her keen sense of duty kept her at work late.
They had a keen competition in the sales department.
She has a keen eye for fashion trends.
The dog’s keen hearing alerted it to the approaching car.
She was keen to prove her capabilities in the new role.
The lecture sparked a keen interest in ancient history.
Their keen rivalry has pushed each of them to perform better.

Keen Idioms & Phrases

Keen sense

A highly developed particular ability, like sight or hearing.
Owls have a keen sense of hearing which they use to hunt in the dark.

Keen on

To have a strong interest or enthusiasm for something.
She’s really keen on taking up yoga classes.

Sharp and keen

Describes someone who is smart and quick in thinking or understanding.
The new manager is sharp and keen, quickly solving office issues.

Keen as mustard

Extremely enthusiastic about doing something.
He's as keen as mustard to get his new business off the ground.

Keen edge

The sharpest part of a blade or a highly honed skill.
Her keen edge in negotiation makes her a formidable opponent.

Common Curiosities

How do we divide keen into syllables?

Keen is not divided; it is a single syllable.

What is a stressed syllable in keen?

The entire word keen is stressed as it is a monosyllable.

How is keen used in a sentence?

Keen is used as an adjective describing sharpness, eagerness, or acuteness.

What is the root word of keen?

The root word of keen is the Old English word "cēne."

Why is it called keen?

It is called keen because it conveys sharpness in physical and metaphorical senses.

How many syllables are in keen?

Keen has one syllable.

What is another term for keen?

Another term for keen is sharp or eager.

What is the singular form of keen?

Keen is an adjective and does not change in form for singular or plural.

What is the plural form of keen?

Keen remains the same as it is an adjective.

Is keen a noun or adjective?

Keen is an adjective.

What is the verb form of keen?

Keen is primarily used as an adjective; it does not have a standard verb form.

Is keen a negative or positive word?

Keen generally has a positive connotation as it implies sharpness and alertness.

Is keen a countable noun?

Keen is an adjective and not a noun, so it is not countable.

Is keen a collective noun?

No, keen is an adjective.

Is the word “keen” a Direct object or an Indirect object?

Keen cannot be a direct or indirect object as it is an adjective.

What is the pronunciation of keen?

Keen is pronounced as /kiːn/.

What part of speech is keen?

Keen is an adjective.

Is the word keen imperative?

No, keen is not an imperative form; it's an adjective.

What is the opposite of keen?

The opposite of keen could be dull (for sharpness) or indifferent (for eagerness).

Is keen an adverb?

No, keen is not an adverb.

Is keen a vowel or consonant?

The word keen starts with the consonant 'k.'

Is the keen term a metaphor?

Keen can be used metaphorically when referring to intellectual sharpness.

Is the word keen a Gerund?

No, keen is not a gerund; it is an adjective.

Is keen an abstract noun?

No, keen is an adjective, not a noun.

Which vowel is used before keen?

The vowel used before keen depends on the previous word in a sentence; no specific vowel precedes it usually.

Which preposition is used with keen?

Common prepositions used with keen include on and for, as in keen on something or keen for something.

Which article is used with keen?

The definite article "the" or indefinite "a" can be used depending on whether the noun it modifies is specific or general, e.g., a keen interest, the keen edge.

Which determiner is used with keen?

Determiners used with keen depend on the noun it modifies, e.g., a keen observer.

Which conjunction is used with keen?

Conjunctions do not specifically interact with keen; usual conjunctions like and, but can connect phrases containing keen.

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Inhance vs. Enhance

Author Spotlight

Written by
Fiza Rafique
Fiza Rafique is a skilled content writer at, where she meticulously refines and enhances written pieces. Drawing from her vast editorial expertise, Fiza ensures clarity, accuracy, and precision in every article. Passionate about language, she continually seeks to elevate the quality of content for readers worldwide.
Copy edited by
Tayyaba Rehman
Tayyaba Rehman is a distinguished writer, currently serving as a primary contributor to As a researcher in semantics and etymology, Tayyaba's passion for the complexity of languages and their distinctions has found a perfect home on the platform. Tayyaba delves into the intricacies of language, distinguishing between commonly confused words and phrases, thereby providing clarity for readers worldwide.

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