yawn

verb
\ ˈyȯn How to pronounce yawn (audio) , ˈyän \
yawned; yawning; yawns

Definition of yawn

 (Entry 1 of 2)

intransitive verb

1 : to open wide : gape
2 : to open the mouth wide and take a deep breath usually as an involuntary reaction to fatigue or boredom

transitive verb

1 : to utter with a yawn
2 : to accomplish with or impel by yawns his grandchildren yawned him to bed— L. L. King

yawn

noun

Definition of yawn (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : gap, cavity
2 : an opening of the mouth wide while taking a deep breath often as an involuntary reaction to fatigue or boredom also : a reaction resembling a yawn a … success at the box office but drew only yawns from critics Current Biography
3 : bore entry 5 this book is kind of a yawn— Ilene L. Cooper

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Examples of yawn in a Sentence

Verb Students were yawning in class. Noun I tried to stifle a yawn. as neither candidate was willing to make an unequivocal statement about anything, the debate proved to be a complete yawn
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb For years, our leaders had yawned about Silk Road neo-imperialism in Africa and Asia, and gross abuses of human rights against Chinese religious minorities and political dissidents. Victor Davis Hanson, National Review, "How China ‘Woke’ America," 3 Oct. 2019 Prop Kyle Sinckler was able to carve through a yawning gap in the Wallabies’ defensive line for England’s third try, and his first at international level. Steve Douglas, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Cheika unlikely to survive as Australia stumbles to RWC exit," 19 Oct. 2019 The yawning gap in poverty levels of blacks and whites partly results from the centuries of discrimination faced by black Americans before the civil-rights era. The Economist, "RacePoverty in America continues to affect people of colour most," 26 Sep. 2019 Despite relying on some hypothetical assumptions, the calculations highlight what could be a key question in Thursday’s debate among Democratic Party presidential contenders: What should the U.S. do to address yawning income and wealth inequality? Laura Davison, Fortune, "Richest Americans Would Have Lost Half Their Wealth Under Elizabeth Warren’s Tax Plan," 10 Sep. 2019 What if Trump’s fans swamp their precincts, and Democrats yawn about pulling the Biden lever in November 2020? Deroy Murdock, National Review, "What Makes Joe Run?," 6 Sep. 2019 But now, with the Puerto Rico Trench yawning beneath him, the whole enterprise was in jeopardy. The Economist, "The last of the great explorers," 6 Sep. 2019 In a 1968 editorial, the San Diego Union yawned at the controversy and predicted something that has proven to be true: Many (if not most) of the people who live here just call it the Coronado bridge. San Diego Union-Tribune, "50 years later, Coronado bridge’s iconic status masks its controversial origins," 4 Aug. 2019 All of this is good news for defending champ Novak Djokovic, who won in four sets against Hubert Hukacz and whose side of the draw has yawned open. Jon Wertheim, SI.com, "Teenage Coco Cauff Rallies to Continue Her Run; More Thoughts From Day 5 at Wimbledon," 5 July 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun These assets are perceived as ultra-safe, even yawn-worthy. Washington Post, "China’s Scariest Assets Are Hiding Under Your Bed," 23 Apr. 2019 The first features baby Hal in bed wrapped snugly in a blanket, while the second reveals Hal with his arms spread wide for a stretch, and the third shows Hal enjoying a yawn. Perri Ormont Blumberg, Southern Living, "WATCH: Jenna Bush Hager Shares the Sweetest New Photos of Baby Hal," 7 Oct. 2019 Older kids can swallow or yawn (which can make for an interesting game). NBC News, "How to fly with babies and kids ... without losing it," 19 Sep. 2019 Macho, our dog, used to curl up on the patio and yawn. Diana Marie Delgado, New York Times, "Poem: Never Mind I’m Dead," 5 Sep. 2019 Just as Baltimore let out a collective yawn for the final days of a dismal Orioles season, an act of kindness caught on camera has stolen the hearts of thousands. Yvonne Wenger, baltimoresun.com, "Orioles fans captured on camera give beleaguered city something to smile about," 24 Aug. 2019 Indeed, what could have been a predictable yawn of a true story about a gifted performer that couldn’t tame her own demons instead feels fresh and intimate. Mara Reinstein, Billboard, "A Star is Re-Born! Renee Zellweger Shines as Judy Garland in 'Judy' Biopic," 31 Aug. 2019 The reaction at the time (from the 62 people still tuned in to preseason garbage time): yawn. Eric Branch, SFChronicle.com, "Five 49ers to watch in preseason opener," 10 Aug. 2019 The winner was, yawn, yet another John Sadler horse. Los Angeles Times, "Racing! Stewards’ rulings are back," 2 Sep. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'yawn.' 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 yawn

Verb

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1

Noun

1602, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for yawn

Verb

Middle English yenen, yanen, from Old English ginian; akin to Old High German ginēn to yawn, Latin hiare, Greek chainein

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Time Traveler for yawn

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for yawn

Last Updated

28 Nov 2019

Cite this Entry

“Yawn.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/yawned. Accessed 7 December 2019.

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More Definitions for yawn

yawn

verb
How to pronounce yawn (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of yawn

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to open your mouth wide while taking in breath usually because you are tired or bored
of an opening, hole, etc. : to be deep, large, etc.

yawn

noun

English Language Learners Definition of yawn (Entry 2 of 2)

: an act of opening your mouth wide while taking in breath : an act of yawning
informal : something that is very boring

yawn

verb
\ ˈyȯn How to pronounce yawn (audio) \
yawned; yawning

Kids Definition of yawn

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : to open the mouth wide and take a deep breath usually as an involuntary reaction to being tired or bored
2 : to open wide A pit yawned below.

yawn

noun

Kids Definition of yawn (Entry 2 of 2)

: an opening of the mouth while taking a deep breath usually as an involuntary reaction to being tired or bored
\ ˈyȯn, ˈyän How to pronounce yawn (audio) \

Medical Definition of yawn

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to open the mouth wide and take a deep breath usually as an involuntary reaction to fatigue or boredom

yawn

noun

Medical Definition of yawn (Entry 2 of 2)

: an opening of the mouth wide while taking a deep breath often as an involuntary reaction to fatigue or boredom

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More from Merriam-Webster on yawn

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for yawn

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with yawn

Spanish Central: Translation of yawn

Nglish: Translation of yawn for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of yawn for Arabic Speakers

Comments on yawn

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