ea·​ger | \ ˈē-gər How to pronounce eager (audio) \

Definition of eager

1 : marked by enthusiastic or impatient desire or interest
2a archaic : sharp
b obsolete : sour

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Other Words from eager

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

eager, anxious, and keen mean having or showing a strong desire or interest. eager is used when there is much enthusiasm and often impatience. Eager travelers waited for their train. anxious is used when there is fear of failure or disappointment. I was anxious to learn who won. keen is used when there is great interest and readiness to act. The new scouts are keen to learn.

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.
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Recent Examples on the Web This contrast—of women raring to assert their agency in one context, then willing, even eager, to relinquish it another—captured my interest in part because of its familiarity. Sarah Resnick, The New Yorker, "Can a Novel Capture the Contradictions of Female Desire?," 24 Jan. 2020 Over the next three months, more than 400,000 Hungarian Jews were transported to Auschwitz, with eager assistance from local authorities. Bojan Pancevski, WSJ, "A Survivor’s Diary Emerges From Auschwitz," 24 Jan. 2020 The kids are all high maintenance, and Randall’s always been the one who’s good in school, eager to please, has this really special relationship with his parents. Dan Snierson, EW.com, "This Is Us producers break down Randall's 'breaking point,' Kevin's cliffhanger," 22 Jan. 2020 That would help election year Senators eager to be seen as hardline backers of Trump, like Sen. Thom Tillis of North Carolina and Sen. David Perdue of Georgia. Philip Elliott, Time, "To Understand Mitch McConnell's Impeachment Priorities, Look at the 2020 Senate Map," 22 Jan. 2020 The notorious collapse of China's bike-sharing industry, which featured startups with eager investors and unsustainable high growth, in late 2018, was one such wake up call. Naomi Xu Elegant, Fortune, "China tech’s venture capital boom is going cold," 22 Jan. 2020 None of it is anywhere near over, but Trump himself seems perfectly happy and not a little eager to be done with it. David Roth, The New Republic, "The Windbag of War," 21 Jan. 2020 Representatives went to conferences like that of the American Library Association (ALA) with great enthusiasm, eager to partner with various groups, and especially to find librarians who might help scan books. Joanne Mcneil, Harper's magazine, "Search and Destroy," 20 Jan. 2020 Pennsylvania granted the Shell plant a tax break valued at $1.6 billion — one of the biggest in state history — and officials in Ohio and West Virginia are wooing firms eager to build more ethane crackers, storage facilities, and pipelines. Beth Gardiner, Wired, "A Surge of New Plastic Is About to Hit the Planet," 20 Jan. 2020

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.

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First Known Use of eager

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

History and Etymology for eager

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

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Time Traveler for eager

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for eager

Last Updated

27 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Eager.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/eagerly. Accessed 27 January 2020.

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More Definitions for eager


How to pronounce eager (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of eager

: very excited and interested : feeling a strong and impatient desire to do something or for something


ea·​ger | \ ˈē-gər How to pronounce eager (audio) \

Kids Definition of eager

: very excited and interested … bright eager eyes were looking up into hers …— Lewis Carroll, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland

Other Words from eager

eagerly adverb
eagerness noun

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More from Merriam-Webster on eager

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for eager

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with eager

Spanish Central: Translation of eager

Nglish: Translation of eager for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of eager for Arabic Speakers

Comments on eager

What made you want to look up eager? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


one that suddenly gains wealth or power

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