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verb \ˈyərn\

: to feel a strong desire or wish for something or to do something

Full Definition of YEARN

intransitive verb
:  to long persistently, wistfully, or sadly <yearns to make a difference>
:  to feel tenderness or compassion
yearn·er noun
yearn·ing·ly \ˈyər-niŋ-lē\ adverb

Origin of YEARN

Middle English yernen, from Old English giernan; akin to Old High German gerōn to desire, Latin hortari to urge, encourage, Greek chairein to rejoice
First Known Use: before 12th century

Synonym Discussion of YEARN

long, yearn, hanker, pine, hunger, thirst mean to have a strong desire for something. long implies a wishing with one's whole heart and often a striving to attain <longed for some rest>. yearn suggests an eager, restless, or painful longing <yearned for a stage career>. hanker suggests the uneasy promptings of unsatisfied appetite or desire <always hankering for money>. pine implies a languishing or a fruitless longing for what is impossible <pined for a lost love>. hunger and thirst imply an insistent or impatient craving or a compelling need <hungered for a business of his own> <thirsted for power>.

Rhymes with YEARN

YEARN Defined for Kids


verb \ˈyərn\

Definition of YEARN for Kids

:  to desire very much

Synonym Discussion of YEARN

yearn, long, and pine mean to desire something very much. yearn is used of a very eager desiring along with restless or painful feelings. <They're yearning for freedom.> long is used when someone truly wants something and often tries very hard to get it. <She longed to become a successful writer.> pine is used when someone is growing weak while continuing to want something that is impossible to get. <She was pining away for her long lost friend.>


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