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

Keep scrolling for more

Synonyms for yawn

Synonyms: Noun

bore, drag, drip, droner, dullsville, nudnik (also nudnick), snooze, snoozer, yawner

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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
See More

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Giuliani also, notably, has repeatedly alluded to other things for which the money Trump repaid Cohen was used, and there's a yawning gap between the $130,000 Daniels was paid and the at least $460,000 in payments Trump made to Cohen. Aaron Blake, Washington Post, "It sure sounds like other women may have gotten payoffs from Michael Cohen," 7 May 2018 Todd McNair slipped into the front row in the fifth-floor room at the Stanley Mosk Courthouse on Wednesday afternoon, rested a foot-thick sheaf of documents on his lap and yawned. Nathan Fenno, latimes.com, "Seven years after suing the NCAA, Todd McNair will finally take the witness stand on Thursday," 3 May 2018 The gap between long-maturity bond yields and nominal growth, which historically have tended to track each other, is yawning wider. Richard Barley, WSJ, "Global Bonds Need to Catch Up on the News," 30 July 2018 Get your z's... Ever found yourself yawning a ton while driving and barely able to keep your eyes open or concentrate on the road? Seventeen Editors, Seventeen, "7 Driving Tips For Teens That'll Seriously Help You Become a Pro On The Road," 14 Dec. 2018 There was James Neal moments later, misfiring onto a yawning net with goalie Braden Holtby watching helplessly nearby and … PING! Alex Prewitt, SI.com, "After Game 4 Win, the Capitals Are on the Cusp of Finishing Their Story in Stanley Cup Final," 5 June 2018 Amid yawning deficits, Mr. Brown redirected $331 million to the Justice Department and debt service on housing bonds issued in 2002 and 2006. The Editorial Board, WSJ, "California’s Mortgage Raid," 23 Sep. 2018 Britain’s turn from its welfare state in the face of yawning budget deficits is a conspicuous indicator that the world has been refashioned by the crisis. Peter S. Goodman, New York Times, "In Britain, Austerity Is Changing Everything," 28 May 2018 Your mainstream media is yawning, paying very little attention. Fox News, "DiGenova: It's clear the Mueller team is acting in bad faith," 4 May 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

And people like Kent Ekeroth who, as spokesperson for Sweden Democrats, another (yawn) far-right party, was captured on video arming himself with an aluminum pipe after trying to pick a fight with a comedian of Kurdish descent. Corey Seymour, Vogue, "I Watched the New Steve Bannon Documentary, The Brink, So You Don’t Have To," 27 Mar. 2019 Where a few new planets once shook up our picture of our own place in the cosmos, data dumps about hundreds of newfound planets now elicit a yawn. Andrew Moseman, Popular Mechanics, "Kepler's Last Light, and Its Towering Legacy," 8 Feb. 2019 Look no further than a pathetically boring campaign that unfolded this week, to the yawns of the handful of people who followed it and the utter disinterest of the vast majority of Europe’s voters. Joseph C. Sternberg, WSJ, "Europeans Wish They Had a Midterm Election," 8 Nov. 2018 But squeezing your facial muscles during a yawn can temporarily close off these ducts, keeping those tears in your eyes a little longer than usual. Korin Miller, SELF, "Why Do My Eyes Water When I Yawn?," 25 Sep. 2018 As for the team itself, the 76ers were on the rise after years of yawn-inducing mediocrity. Scott Cacciola, New York Times, "Sixers’ Throwback Anthem Becomes the Soundtrack of a Comeback," 4 Jan. 2018 The ratings for the show have been consistently low, and until now most of the responses involved yawns or Jon Stewart falling asleep. Charlotte Hilton Andersen, Redbook, "Explaining the "All-American Muslim" Controversy to Our Kids," 15 Dec. 2011 For decades, the O in O Street downtown might as well have symbolized a big yawn. Tony Bizjak, sacbee, "This may be downtown Sacramento's most boring corridor. Would a facelift change that?," 27 June 2018 But the media, of course, didn't report, barely yawn. Fox News, "Questions remain after Wray and Horowitz testify," 19 June 2018

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about yawn

Dictionary Entries near yawn

yawing moment

yawl

yawmeter

yawn

yawner

yawnful

yawning

Statistics for yawn

Last Updated

13 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for yawn

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for yawn

yawn

verb

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

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on yawn

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with yawn

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for yawn

Spanish Central: Translation of yawn

Nglish: Translation of yawn for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of yawn for Arabic Speakers

Comments on yawn

What made you want to look up yawn? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

standardized text or formulaic language

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Finance Words Quiz

  • a-piggy-bank
  • The etymology of mortgage is related most closely to which two words?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Bee Cubed

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!