ea·​ger ˈē-gər How to pronounce eager (audio)
: marked by enthusiastic or impatient desire or interest
archaic : sharp
obsolete : sour
eagerly adverb
eagerness noun
Choose the Right Synonym for eager

eager, avid, keen, anxious, athirst mean moved by a strong and urgent desire or interest.

eager implies ardor and enthusiasm and sometimes impatience at delay or restraint.

eager to get started

avid adds to eager the implication of insatiability or greed.

avid for new thrills

keen suggests intensity of interest and quick responsiveness in action.

keen on the latest fashions

anxious emphasizes fear of frustration or failure or disappointment.

anxious not to make a social blunder

athirst stresses yearning but not necessarily readiness for action.

athirst for adventure

Examples of eager in a Sentence

… wine connoisseurs eager to visit cellars and late-fall pilgrims seeking the increasingly rare white truffle … Corby Kummer, Atlantic, August 2000
… so many religions were steeped in an absolutist frame of mind—each convinced that it alone had a monopoly on the truth and therefore eager for the state to impose this truth on others. Carl Sagan, The Demon-Haunted World, 1996
She was eager to get started. The crowd was eager for more.
Recent Examples on the Web Carneros already has a farm that grows dozens of different organic vegetables and herbs, and Bianco is eager to work with many farmers in the surrounding area. Andy Wang, Robb Report, 13 Sep. 2023 With a mass of fashion press on hand, the powerhouses were eager to speak to everyone about the OutLaw Agency and SHAO. Hedy Phillips, Peoplemag, 12 Sep. 2023 The Lahainaluna High School football team practiced for the first time since the fires struck and the players were eager to get back in the game. Ashley Riegle, ABC News, 12 Sep. 2023 And for all the big pronouncements about reform after the leak of the recording, people with power are typically not eager to give it up. Soumya Karlamangla, New York Times, 12 Sep. 2023 Not all House Republicans are eager for impeachment proceedings. CBS News, 11 Sep. 2023 With that history in mind, Major League Baseball schedulers traditionally reserve a series in September to pit the longstanding American League foes against each other, eager for the fireworks, drama, and high stakes surely to follow. Globe Staff, BostonGlobe.com, 11 Sep. 2023 While much bigger games are to come, Tigers fans are eager for the restart after two seasons of struggles, mostly under Bryan Harsin. Creg Stephenson | Cstephenson@al.com, al, 2 Sep. 2023 More:Luke Fickell eager to stop talking and start playing as Wisconsin vies for a championship Wisconsin vs. Buffalo betting odds Odds courtesy of BetMGM as of Sept. 1. Emmett Prosser, Journal Sentinel, 1 Sep. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'eager.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Middle English egre, from Anglo-French egre, aigre, from Latin acer — more at edge

First Known Use

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 2a

Time Traveler
The first known use of eager was in the 14th century

Dictionary Entries Near eager

Cite this Entry

“Eager.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/eager. Accessed 25 Sep. 2023.

Kids Definition


ea·​ger ˈē-gər How to pronounce eager (audio)
: having or showing an impatient or enthusiastic desire or interest
was eager to get going
eagerly adverb
eagerness noun

Middle English egre "sharp, sour, keen," from early French aigre (same meaning), from Latin acer (same meaning) — related to vinegar

More from Merriam-Webster on eager

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