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See also: Eager and eagre


Part or all of this entry has been imported from the 1913 edition of Webster’s Dictionary, which is now free of copyright and hence in the public domain. The imported definitions may be significantly out of date, and any more recent senses may be completely missing.
(See the entry for eager in
Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, G. & C. Merriam, 1913.)


Etymology 1[edit]

From Middle English egre, eger, from Old French egre (French aigre), from Latin acer (sharp, keen); see acid, acerb, etc. Compare vinegar, alegar.

Alternative forms[edit]


eager (comparative eagerer, superlative eagerest)

  1. (obsolete) Sharp; sour; acid.
  2. (obsolete) Sharp; keen; bitter; severe.
  3. Desirous; keen to do or obtain something.
    • (Can we date this quote by Keble?)
      When to her eager lips is brought / Her infant's thrilling kiss.
    • (Can we date this quote by Hawthorne?)
      a crowd of eager and curious schoolboys
    • 1963, Margery Allingham, chapter 19, in The China Governess[1]:
      When Timothy and Julia hurried up the staircase to the bedroom floor, where a considerable commotion was taking place, Tim took Barry Leach with him. […]. The captive made no resistance and came not only quietly but in a series of eager little rushes like a timid dog on a choke chain.
    The hounds were eager in the chase.
    I was eager to show my teacher how much I'd learned over the holidays.
    You stayed up all night to get to the front of the queue. You must be very eager to get tickets.
  4. Brittle; inflexible; not ductile.
    • (Can we date this quote by John Locke?)
      Gold will be sometimes so eager, as artists call it, that it will as little endure the hammer as glass itself.
  5. (computing theory) Not employing lazy evaluation; calculating results immediately, rather than deferring calculation until they are required.
    an eager algorithm
Derived terms[edit]

Etymology 2[edit]

See eagre.


eager (plural eagers)

  1. Alternative form of eagre (tidal bore).

Further reading[edit]