\ 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
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Another can't-miss markdown is this boxy ribbed sweater made of soft yarn. Isabel Garcia, PEOPLE.com, 8 Jan. 2022 Not so with Where the Light Fell, at once a deconstruction of fundamentalist faith but also an incredible yarn with twists and turns. John Brandon, Forbes, 28 Dec. 2021 This creates a stronger yarn that mimics the performance characteristics of synthetic fibers. Harris Quinn, Wired, 28 Dec. 2021 Today an average of 1 million pieces of microplastics are released in every wash using yarn from plastics (from sportswear for example). Felicia Jackson, Forbes, 23 Dec. 2021 Perhaps no mill has democratized the fabric-selling process as much as Fox Brothers, which has been spinning yarn in Somerset for close to 250 years. Eric Twardzik, Robb Report, 15 Dec. 2021 There’s also a long yarn told by a postal worker, which makes for a wonderful, near-mythic embedded narrative. The New Yorker, 13 Dec. 2021 There’s no more fantastical yarn than the one spun here, nor a portrait so profoundly human. Washington Post, 7 Dec. 2021 Westerns almost always wrestle with masculinity in some way, whether through a simple yarn about heroes and villains in the open country, or through a darker reckoning with Americans’ desire to conquer land that is not their own. David Sims, The Atlantic, 3 Dec. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb 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 The store sold everything from Sharpies to yarn to sketchbooks, the vast majority of which was amassed from donations, which can still be mailed, delivered, or picked up locally. BostonGlobe.com, 8 Aug. 2021 Transportation documents from cotton grower to yarn maker. Rick Helfenbein, Forbes, 20 May 2021 China exports unprocessed cotton to 14 countries, including Vietnam, Thailand, India, Pakistan and Bangladesh, and yarn to 190 countries, according to the International Cotton Advisory Committee, an international trade association in Washington. New York Times, 6 Apr. 2021 Suddenly yarn that once required days to spin could be had in hours, or even minutes. Virginia Postrel, Star Tribune, 20 Mar. 2021

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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Last Updated

16 Jan 2022

Cite this Entry

“Yarn.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/yarn. Accessed 26 Jan. 2022.

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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 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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