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

Example Sentences

… 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 While automakers seem eager to make these subscription packages a part of the car-buying process, consumers (so far) have been vocally opposed to them. Chris Morris, Fortune, 23 Nov. 2022 The personal is political, sure, but oftentimes the biographies of female artists are too eager to make the monster into a victim. Jessica Ferri, Los Angeles Times, 21 Nov. 2022 Most are also eager to hear from Ms. Holmes, who will have an opportunity to address the court. Heather Somerville, WSJ, 18 Nov. 2022 With a bit of love and patience, the curly-haired pup comes out of his shell and is eager to make new friends (at his pace, of course). The Republic, The Arizona Republic, 18 Nov. 2022 Brunschwig’s biggest challenge may be fending off more requests from friends (and those eager to make his acquaintance) jockeying to get access to the latest Rolex release. Rachel Cormack, Robb Report, 17 Nov. 2022 Biden’s advisers were eager to hear if Xi would reveal any tension with Russian President Vladimir Putin’s aggression. Evan Osnos, The New Yorker, 14 Nov. 2022 Landgraf asks in every meeting, eager to hear about the movies, shows, podcasts and novels that aren’t on his radar. Lacey Rose, The Hollywood Reporter, 4 Nov. 2022 Banks has been eager to make a third film for some time now. Maureen Lee Lenker, EW.com, 1 Nov. 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'eager.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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 4 Dec. 2022.

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

More from Merriam-Webster on eager

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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