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 Kip, a military veteran whose girlfriend is newly pregnant, has begun to suffer a crisis of conscience and wants to go straight, even while their younger brother, Boots, proves eager to enter the family business. Frank Scheck, The Hollywood Reporter, "'Inherit the Viper': Film Review," 9 Jan. 2020 Peng Kuan Chin pulled out his phone, eager to show the future of online manipulation. Robert Hackett, Fortune, "Missile Strike vs. Cyberattack: How Iran Retaliates," 8 Jan. 2020 Still, Bolton sure signaled that the impeachment story is eager and ready to return to center stage. NBC News, "It's still Biden and Sanders jockeying for the heart and soul of the Democratic Party," 7 Jan. 2020 Feeling blessed, happy, excited, inspired , eager and ready for this year! Charles Trepany, USA TODAY, "Chris Pratt, Katherine Schwarzenegger celebrate New Year's Eve in a most relatable way," 6 Jan. 2020 Massive debates put the four or five serious contenders onstage with some half dozen hecklers eager to savage the front-runner dramatically enough to make the next news cycle. Kevin Baker, Harper's magazine, "On Courage," 6 Jan. 2020 Suddenly though, the interview was crashed by none other than Kidman, too eager to greet her Monterey sister-in-arms to wait even a moment longer. Anne Cohen, refinery29.com, "Laura Dern’s Golden Globes Interview Got Crashed By Nicole Kidman, Paul Rudd & Keith Urban," 5 Jan. 2020 Monthly Monitor: Wariness resurfaces as Fed signals it isn’t eager to cut rates again soon after last week’s quarter-point reduction. WSJ, "Investing in Funds & ETFs," 2 Jan. 2020 The murder cage memories and surprise twists found in the second season of You are still fresh in our memories, but there's great news for those eager to return to a world narrated by Joe Goldberg. Lauren Rearick, Teen Vogue, "Penn Badgley "Unofficially" Confirmed a Third Season of You Is Likely Coming to Netflix," 30 Dec. 2019

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

13 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Eager.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/eagerness. Accessed 20 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).


not to be intimidated or subdued

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