\ 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

anecdote, story, tale

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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 next step in sustainability was in how to use the yarn. Shannon Fitzgerald, Fortune, "How Sustainable Startup Rothy’s Found Success Turning Recycled Water Bottles into Fashionable Footwear," 15 Sep. 2019 The book grew out of Urbina’s reporting about the sea for the New York Times, and as a result, it is constructed as a series of seafaring yarns. Alyssa Rosenberg, Washington Post, "How lawlessness and ignorance are harming our oceans," 12 Sep. 2019 In the 1960s a mill like this would have employed 2,000 workers; today, about 125 work here producing about 2 million pounds of yarn a week. CBS News, "Made in USA: Bringing manufacturing jobs back to the homeland," 1 Sep. 2019 The yarn is actually manufactured in China, where tariffs and the trade war are increasing costs of goods. Laura Hancock, cleveland.com, "Massive ad buy underway to thwart HB 6 referendum: Capitol Letter," 27 Aug. 2019 The yarn was so precious to us that there was no cutting involved with production. Chelsey Sanchez, Harper's BAZAAR, "Set Your Alarm: Volume 3 of Fall Risk Drops This Saturday," 13 Aug. 2019 For another Calvin show, models walked through ankle-deep drifts of popcorn under looming barn façades, from whose rafters hung cheerleaders’ pompoms, created, by Ruby, out of blood-red yarn. Christina Binkley, The New Yorker, "Sterling Ruby’s Mixed Media," 2 Sep. 2019 On the artistic side, four tons of clay were used to make pottery at Muddy’s Studio, and some 73,000 yards of yarn were used to teach guests to make 4,000 pompoms at the Home Arts Craft Table. Hillary Davis, Daily Pilot, "O.C. Fair draws nearly 1.4 million for ‘Acres of Fun’," 13 Aug. 2019 For the first two years, the public knitting and yarn bombing occurred outside the Park Ridge Public Library, where a monthly knitting group, the Park Ridge Fiber Artists, meets. Jennifer Johnson, chicagotribune.com, "World Wide Knit in Public Day ties Park Ridge crafters together," 11 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 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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Dictionary Entries near yarn






yarning iron

yarn man

Statistics for yarn

Last Updated

21 Sep 2019

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 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

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with yarn

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for 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

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).


formidable, illustrious, or eminent

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