\ 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 Still, 6-0 Armstrong bounced through an alphabet soup of minor leagues — USBL, CBA, GBA — then to leagues in Cyprus and Spain, and even returned to Gastonia as a volunteer assistant basketball coach while working the night shift at a yarn factory. Dallas News, "Mavs assistant Darrell Armstrong to be the fifth player inducted into Orlando Magic Hall of Fame," 21 Feb. 2020 But the insulation—a combination of sheep’s wool and United by Blue’s BisonShield yarn—makes the Ultralight winter-ready. Will Egensteiner, Popular Mechanics, "The Coolest New Jackets We Saw at Winter Outdoor Retailer," 7 Feb. 2020 Dig out your magnifying glass and get a ball of red yarn handy — it’s time to play amateur sleuth! Sydney Bucksbaum, EW.com, "Who kills Bryce Walker in 13 Reasons Why season 3? Here are the likeliest suspects," 21 Aug. 2019 The shoeboxes were neatly tied with yarn, thick thread or thin strips of fabric. Sarah Blaskovich, Dallas News, "Dallas barbecue joint Smokey John’s to sell shoebox lunches during Black History Month," 28 Jan. 2020 The fresh yarn is then woven into Fair Harbor's custom fabric which is dyed or printed on. Megan Cerullo, CBS News, "Fair Harbor clothing turns plastic bottles into swimwear," 20 Dec. 2019 High schoolers Ryder Thompson and Chase Kerman sparkle, figuratively and literally, as the Escapologist and Acrobat in the thrilling yarn that Matilda spins for the librarian (a charming Kristin Robinson). oregonlive, "‘Matilda the Musical’ review: Talented cast handles tough story adeptly," 11 Dec. 2019 Knitting for Cancer is a non-profit organization that knits hats and blankets for cancer patients, using the softest yarn on the market. Brian Lisik, cleveland, "Knitting for Cancer founder earns Brunswick Good Neighbor Award," 10 Dec. 2019 Ashman got right to work, transforming the depressing 19th-century yarn into a dynamic Broadway spectacle. Michael Landis, Smithsonian, "‘The Little Mermaid’ Was Way More Subversive Than You Realized," 5 Nov. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb 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

5 Apr 2020

Cite this Entry

“Yarn.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/yarn. Accessed 7 Apr. 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

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