\ 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 The yarn Guimarães tells about encountering one of his idols, a storied cardsharp who could effortlessly pull off any sleight of hand necessary to tilt a high-stakes game in his favor, gets lost in the shuffle of the show’s activities. Los Angeles Times, "Review: Helder Guimarães peers into ‘The Future’ for more Zoom magic. The view is fuzzy," 13 Dec. 2020 Some ready-to-make kits included yarn birds, Dungeon and Dragons miniatures, DIY Dream Catchers, and sweater pumpkins. Karen Dybis, Detroit Free Press, "Libraries are helping communities cope in big and small ways during pandemic," 8 Oct. 2020 That’s one reason that right before nonessential stores closed, the yarn aisles were almost bare. Washington Post, "What do yarn, RVs, exercise gear and snowshoes share? They all could be hot winter buys.," 5 Oct. 2020 The kit includes six crochet hooks and two yarn needles. Popsci Commerce Team, Popular Science, "Art sets to encourage your tiny Picasso," 22 Sep. 2020 Speaking of hobbies, the emoji of a woman doing yoga (in lotus pose specifically) was up 161 percent, the yarn emoji was up 67 percent, and the joystick emoji grew 88 percent even though Nintendo Switch systems were sold out across the planet. Travel + Leisure, "Camping, Bread, and Toilet Paper: Here’s What People Tweeted About Most During Lockdown," 15 Sep. 2020 Each yarn cone was hand-dyed and then wound using a special device. Kelly Corbett, House Beautiful, "Joanna Gaines Reveals Magnolia Market’s Fall Display," 11 Sep. 2020 To order a set of Busters, patients can e-mail Anderson (thebustersproject@gmail.com) with their preferred bra cup size, favorite yarn colors and mailing address. Pam Kragen, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Escondido cancer survivor, 87, passes 1,000 mark in breast-knitting campaign," 9 Sep. 2020 As with all of Reichardt’s movies, this one obeys its own rhythms and rhymes, treating viewers not just to an engaging yarn, but to something more contemplative and poetic. Washington Post, "Best movies of 2020: Diverse thrills, chills, Dickensian laughs and a pandemic-friendly trip to Greece," 8 Dec. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Renee Charley spins yarn using a drop spindle, as a baby naps in his cradleboard. Kiliii Yüyan, Travel + Leisure, "From Everyday Life to Winter Rituals, These Photographs Show the Life of the Navajo Nation in Arizona," 26 Nov. 2020 The cotton yarn that Brackens dyes by hand, sometimes using tea or bleach, is a nod to the crop’s weighted history in the South; his own grandmother picked cotton as a girl. Marley Marius, Vogue, "With “Darling Divined,” Textile Artist Diedrick Brackens Plumbs His Southern Roots," 13 Oct. 2020 Wrap embroidered burlap fabric and yarn around your pumpkins, and secure everything in place with hot glue. Shelby Deering, Better Homes & Gardens, "12 Festive Ways to Feature Fall Pumpkin Decor in Your Home," 10 Sep. 2020 Order some beads and yarn to make friendship bracelets with. Hadley Mendelsohn, House Beautiful, "25 Ways to Recreate Summer Camp at Home," 16 June 2020 What will yarn stores look like while social distancing? Radhika Marya, Fortune, "How yarn stores are adapting to and preparing for social distancing," 10 June 2020 Many others have turned, like me, to yarn crafts as a form of stress relief, hoping to lose themselves in a simple, repetitive activity or to make the most of their time in quarantine by learning a new skill. Rosa Inocencio Smith, The Atlantic, "How Crafting Can Help Ease Pandemic Anxiety," 1 Apr. 2020 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

16 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Yarn.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/yarn. Accessed 17 Jan. 2021.

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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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