\ 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

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
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The show’s centerpiece is a large, site-specific installation of off-white yarn wrapped between and around two pillars. Washington Post, 3 Mar. 2022 The yarn-dyed polyester canopy is water-repellant and blocks UV rays, and there's a pedal at the base to rotate it 360 degrees. Rachel Klein, Popular Mechanics, 13 May 2022 Texloop, a recycling process that repurposes consumer waste into useful fibers, yarn, and fabrics. Vogue, 29 Apr. 2022 In preparation for the exchange, donate yarn and craft supplies to the library from Monday, April 25, through Friday, April 29. Hartford Courant, 14 Apr. 2022 Spinning whorls are used to twist (spin) fibers into a continuous thread or yarn. Smithsonian Magazine, Smithsonian Magazine, 1 Apr. 2022 The company has accumulated larger stocks of yarn and other raw materials in response to rising prices and higher shipping costs. New York Times, 29 Nov. 2021 Colorado’s agriculture department also wants to buy two decortication machines — which prepare raw hemp to be made into yarn and other products — and set them up for farmers to use. Sophie Quinton, Anchorage Daily News, 12 July 2021 Season 2 offers a more conventionally enjoyable (and more surreal) yarn, hopping decades, continents and bodies. Washington Post, 20 Apr. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The soft blanket is made from a blend of acrylic and wool yarn that's lightweight yet warm enough to keep you cozy on movie nights. Lily Gray, Better Homes & Gardens, 17 Mar. 2022 The soft blanket is made from a blend of acrylic and wool yarn that's lightweight yet warm enough to keep you cozy on movie nights. Lily Gray, Better Homes & Gardens, 17 Mar. 2022 The soft blanket is made from a blend of acrylic and wool yarn that's lightweight yet warm enough to keep you cozy on movie nights. Lily Gray, Better Homes & Gardens, 15 Mar. 2022 Learn about how wool goes from lamb to yarn, meet barnyard animals and thoroughbred horses, explore fields filled with dahlias, ride a donkey and, of course, shop for fresh vegetables, cheese, meat and other farm products. Washington Post, 17 Oct. 2020 After speaking her peace, which included explaining the historical and cultural links to yarn for Black people, Moore exerted her motherly authority by summoning her daughter Sharon to speak. Scott Talley, Freep.com, 7 Jan. 2022 The candle burns for up to 110 hours, and after all of the wax has melted away, you'll be left with a stunning skeleton of the fabric and yarn pieces. Kristen Shirley, Travel + Leisure, 24 Nov. 2021 Wind white yarn around two fingers or an 11 ⁄4-inch cardboard square at least 15 times. Bethany Kunzler, Better Homes & Gardens, 26 Oct. 2021 On a pragmatic level, the single cotton yarn that features in every piece is machine-washable, easily packable and naturally breathable. Kareem Rashed, Robb Report, 9 Nov. 2021 See More

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.

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

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Last Updated

28 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Yarn.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/yarn. Accessed 28 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for yarn


\ 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

More from Merriam-Webster on yarn

Nglish: Translation of yarn for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of yarn for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about yarn


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