Eager Ea"ger, a. [OE. egre sharp, sour, eager, OF. agre, aigre, F. aigre, fr. L. acer sharp, sour, spirited, zealous; akin to Gr. ? highest, extreme, Skr. a?ra point; fr. a root signifying to be sharp. Cf. {Acrid}, {Edge}.] 1. Sharp; sour; acid. [Obs.] ``Like eager droppings into milk.'' --Shak. [1913 Webster]

2. Sharp; keen; bitter; severe. [Obs.] ``A nipping and an eager air.'' ``Eager words.'' --Shak. [1913 Webster]

3. Excited by desire in the pursuit of any object; ardent to pursue, perform, or obtain; keenly desirous; hotly longing; earnest; zealous; impetuous; vehement; as, the hounds were eager in the chase. [1913 Webster]

And gazed for tidings in my eager eyes. --Shak. [1913 Webster]

How eagerly ye follow my disgraces! --Shak. [1913 Webster]

When to her eager lips is brought Her infant's thrilling kiss. --Keble. [1913 Webster]

A crowd of eager and curious schoolboys. --Hawthorne. [1913 Webster]

Conceit and grief an eager combat fight. --Shak. [1913 Webster]

4. Brittle; inflexible; not ductile. [Obs.] [1913 Webster]

Gold will be sometimes so eager, as artists call it, that it will as little endure the hammer as glass itself. --Locke.

Syn: Earnest; ardent; vehement; hot; impetuous; fervent; intense; impassioned; zealous; forward.

Usage: See {Earnest}. -- {Eager}, {Earnest}. Eager marks an excited state of desire or passion; thus, a child is eager for a plaything, a hungry man is eager for food, a covetous man is eager for gain. Eagerness is liable to frequent abuses, and is good or bad, as the case may be. It relates to what is praiseworthy or the contrary. Earnest denotes a permanent state of mind, feeling, or sentiment. It is always taken in a good sense; as, a preacher is earnest in his appeals to the conscience; an agent is earnest in his solicitations. [1913 Webster]

The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.


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