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 Saliba, who sources EVs from all over the US, even bought some Teslas direct from the company to flip to eager New Yorkers. Aarian Marshall, WIRED, 21 Nov. 2023 The lackluster recruiting has caused hand-wringing among USC fans eager to turn the page on Riley’s disappointing second season. Thuc Nhi Nguyen, Los Angeles Times, 20 Nov. 2023 Those eager to bid even earlier can check out the online auction, which will feature around 300 lots and run from Jan. 30 to Feb. 8 on Bonhams.com. Janine Henni, Peoplemag, 20 Nov. 2023 Buenos Aires -- Argentina is a beautiful and charming country filled with people eager to show it off to visitors. John Fund, National Review, 18 Nov. 2023 And that’s where Scheck found an eager audience of people also stuck at home with nothing to do. Kendra Nordin Beato, The Christian Science Monitor, 16 Nov. 2023 Roth was keenly aware of the perception behind casting a social media star, but Rae was eager to put in the work and dispel any skepticism. Brian Davids, The Hollywood Reporter, 16 Nov. 2023 Every June, more than 150 daily flights deliver tourists eager to witness the Da Nang International Fireworks Festival. Cnt Editors, Condé Nast Traveler, 15 Nov. 2023 In the case of The Rock, specifically, Noah was eager to explore much, much more than his IMDB profile. Lacey Rose, The Hollywood Reporter, 9 Nov. 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 6 Dec. 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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