keen 2 (kēn)
A loud wailing or lament for the dead.
intr.v. keened, keen·ing, keens
To wail in lamentation, especially for the dead. See Synonyms at cry.
[From Irish Gaelic caoineadh, from caonim, I lament, from Old Irish caínim, coínim, perhaps of Brittonic origin.]
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Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.