\ ˈyärn How to pronounce yarn (audio) \

Definition of yarn

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : a continuous often plied strand composed of either natural or man-made fibers or filaments and used in weaving and knitting to form cloth
b : a similar strand of another material (such as metal, glass, or plastic)
2 [from the idiom spin a yarn "to tell a tale"] : a narrative of adventures especially : a tall tale a roaring good yarn


yarned; yarning; yarns

Definition of yarn (Entry 2 of 2)

intransitive verb

: to tell a yarn

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Other Words from yarn


yarner noun

Synonyms for yarn

Synonyms: Noun

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Examples of yarn in a Sentence

Noun The sheep's wool will be spun into yarn. yarns about ghosts and goblins a storyteller who spins yarns that will keep any audience riveted
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun To make a donation Donations of baby yarn, gift certificates or money may be dropped off or mailed to the Sussex Civic Center at N64 W23760 Main St., Sussex WI, 53089. Cathy Kozlowicz, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "For 11 years, Sussex's Happy Hookers have knit for thousands in hospital, hospice and the homeless," 30 Dec. 2019 The sweater features plackets of thick, braided, water-wicking yarn, as if a sheep had yielded its entire winter coat to enwrap Evans in comfort. Rachel Syme, The New Yorker, "The Curious Case of Chris Evans’s Sweater," 18 Dec. 2019 Thick cotton-blend yarn, perfect for fall football weather, 60% cotton/40% acrylic. Ben Flanagan | Bflanagan@al.com, al, "Alabama Gift Guide 2019: Holiday gift ideas for all kinds of Crimson Tide fans this Christmas," 6 Dec. 2019 Until now, The Mandalorian has been a relatively slow-paced yarn, one with few words and action sequences that are decidedly small scale (like that Jawa chase scene). Darren Orf, Popular Mechanics, "'The Mandalorian' Professes Its Love for Baby Yoda," 22 Nov. 2019 The public is invited to come and learn about alpacas and may also purchase holiday gifts including yarn, hats, gloves, scarves, socks and many other items for gift giving. courant.com, "Community News For The Windham Edition," 15 Nov. 2019 Spoil your four-legged friend in Bespoke Paw’s Cashmere Cable sweater ($98), which is designed in New York, using high-quality yarns and real leather buttons. Jean Chen Smith, Cincinnati.com, "2019 holiday gift guide: The swanky edition," 18 Dec. 2019 Patagonia blended merino wool with a recycled polyester called Capilene to create an ultrafine 18.5-micron-gauge yarn. Wired, "3 Base Layers That Trap Warmth and Don't Chafe," 17 Dec. 2019 Dear Heloise: Hairs, yarns and threads can get wrapped around a vacuum's rotating brush — so annoying! Washington Post, "Hints From Heloise: Dog adoption option," 30 Nov. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Forty-eight vendors sold everything from fresh beef and eggs to yarn made from alpaca fiber, handmade signs and bags, to natural soaps and body products. Denise Coffey, Courant Community, "Winter Farmers Market Draws Hundreds," 21 Mar. 2018 Kaye, who has since created crochet content for the Gap, Valentino, Starbucks, and Miller Lite (in which she yarn bombed an entire 50-by-25 foot billboard in Times Square), started crocheting at 13, selling scarves to her dance studio classmates. Niree Noel, Los Angeles Magazine, "London Kaye Is Bombing L.A. (With Yarn)," 9 Feb. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'yarn.' 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 yarn


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


1812, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for yarn


Middle English yerne, yarne "spun fiber," going back to Old English gearn, going back to Germanic *garna- (whence also Middle Dutch gaern, garen "spun fiber," Old High German & Old Norse garn), masculine noun probably from the same base as feminine *garnō "intestine" (whence Old Norse gǫrn, plural garnar "guts") and *garnja- (in Old English micgern, midirne "fat around the entrails of an animal," Old Saxon midgarni, Old High German mittigarni, with *midja- mid entry 1), going back to Indo-European *ǵhorH-n- (whence also Lithuanian žarnà "intestine" and Greek khordḗ "catgut, string of a musical instrument, sausage," in plural "guts, tripe," if altered from *khornḗ), suffixed o-grade derivative of *ǵhr̥H- "gut, cord made from animal intestines," whence Latin haru- "intestines" (in haruspex haruspex), Sanskrit híraḥ "band, strip," hirā́ "vein"

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Time Traveler for yarn

Time Traveler

The first known use of yarn was before the 12th century

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Statistics for yarn

Last Updated

12 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Yarn.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/yarn. Accessed 20 January 2020.

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More Definitions for yarn


How to pronounce yarn (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of yarn

: a long, thin piece of cotton, wool, etc., that is thicker than thread and that is used for knitting and weaving
: an exciting or interesting story especially : a story that is so surprising or unusual that it is difficult to believe


\ ˈyärn How to pronounce yarn (audio) \

Kids Definition of yarn

1 : a natural or manufactured fiber (as of cotton, wool, or rayon) formed as a continuous thread for use in knitting or weaving
2 : an interesting or exciting story Grandpa said, “How about a story? Spin us a yarn.”— Sharon Creech, Walk Two Moons

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More from Merriam-Webster on yarn

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for yarn

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with yarn

Spanish Central: Translation of yarn

Nglish: Translation of yarn for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of yarn for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about yarn

Comments on yarn

What made you want to look up yarn? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


not to be intimidated or subdued

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