\ˈyärn \

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 : 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

Examples of yarn in a Sentence


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

The retailer, a favorite with teens, becomes the latest store chain to ban the yarn in the wake of a video by PETA that shows the goats that are the fabric's source being mist treated by harvesters in South Africa. Charisse Jones, USA TODAY, "Forever 21 joins H&M, Zara in banning mohair, pledging to be rid of it by the year 2020," 4 June 2018 Mercifully, Solo takes a breather from these galaxy-shattering storylines and just tells a simple yarn about a train heist gone awry with a dizzying number of double-crosses to tie things together. Darren Orf, Popular Mechanics, "'Solo: A Star Wars Story' Is Good, But It Could've Been Great," 29 May 2018 Open the other days of the week, the Shaker Store sells hanks of yarn, Shaker seeds, herbal teas, and Shaker brooms. Patricia Harris And David Lyon, BostonGlobe.com, "Goin’ up the country: The rustic appeal of Maine’s Route 26," 21 June 2018 Brockhoeft and a friend saw a yarn rug hooking demonstration on a trip to Nova Scotia and bought a kit. Sarah Bonnette, NOLA.com, "North Shore group turns rug making into an art form," 14 Mar. 2018 Local entertainer Jake Boland will spin a few delightful Irish yarns, interwoven with historical facts and songs about everyone's favorite Emerald Isle. Chagrin Valley Little Theatre, cleveland.com, "Jake Boland brings Irish songs and tales to Chagrin Falls on March 17," 28 Feb. 2018 The River Why Set in the Pacific Northwest, David James Duncan's novel is a fishing yarn, love story, paean to the natural world, and tale of self- discovery all beautifully knitted into one. Jon Gluck, Popular Mechanics, "How to Get Started In Fly-Fishing," 19 May 2017 But, there's a fresh sense of looseness, lots of play and pockets of weird humor, like Scott's buddy/business partner Luis (Michael Pena) and his penchant for epic yarns. Author: Katie Walsh, Anchorage Daily News, "Review: Playfulness makes ‘Ant-Man and the Wasp’ sing, not sting," 3 July 2018 For example, Roberts pointed to the 6.25 percent sales tax on regular deodorant in Texas, as opposed to deodorant with antiperspirant, which is not taxed, and the tax exemption for yarn earmarked specifically for sweaters in New Jersey. Klint Finley, WIRED, "Why the Supreme Court Sales Tax Ruling May Benefit Amazon," 21 June 2018

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, from Old English gearn; akin to Old High German garn yarn, Greek chordē string, Latin hernia rupture, Sanskrit hira band

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Dictionary Entries near yarn






yarning iron

yarn man

Statistics for yarn

Last Updated

5 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for yarn

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

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More Definitions for yarn



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 \

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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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).


playful or foolish behavior

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