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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Synonyms for yawn

Synonyms: Noun

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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 There are also township government elections in the south and southwest suburbs, but don’t yawn them off, the Southtown’s Ted Slowik writes. Lisa Donovan, chicagotribune.com, "The Spin: Duckworth pushes back on Trump’s threat to hold up COVID-19 relief package | Two on Trump clemency list have Chicago ties | Pritzker: 100K vaccinated so far in Illinois," 23 Dec. 2020 Sometimes someone would yawn or freeze with a tortured expression. Sam Anderson, New York Times, "What I Learned Inside the N.B.A. Bubble," 30 Sep. 2020 In America there is a yawning partisan gap in trust (see chart 2). The Economist, "Return of the paranoid style Fake news is fooling more conservatives than liberals. Why?," 3 June 2020 His dancers are often caught in awkward, ungainly poses, stretching and yawning, or slumped, exhausted. Carol Strickland, The Christian Science Monitor, "Degas painted dancers and musicians with deftness and authority," 4 May 2020 There is time to make up the yawning gap between cities and suburbs before this census year is over, but the novel coronavirus makes the task more daunting. Dan Horn, Cincinnati.com, "Will the pandemic shrink Cincinnati? It might if the census count keeps lagging," 24 Apr. 2020 Anything less will ensure that the digital divide in this country will remain a yawning gap. Gigi Sohn, Wired, "During the Pandemic, the FCC Must Provide Internet for All," 28 Apr. 2020 As more firms like Amazon go to $15 per hour minimum wage, the yawning pay gap with the federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour creates a dichotomy that should not continue, even for small businesses. Bill George, Fortune, "The coronavirus pandemic is changing work forever," 10 Apr. 2020 Israel: Forces on both sides of the country’s yawning political divide were maneuvering to gain advantage, two days after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu won another election but fell three parliamentary seats short of a majority. Mike Ives, New York Times, "Coronavirus, Italy, Israel: Your Thursday Briefing," 4 Mar. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The study, published last month in the journal Animal Behaviour, finds that after a yawn sweeps through a group of lions, the animals tend to coordinate their subsequent movements, reports Mary Bates for National Geographic. Alex Fox, Smithsonian Magazine, "Contagious Yawning May Keep Lion Prides in Sync," 8 Apr. 2021 Asuka yawned during this match and her yawn was a more charismatic than a lot of promos in WWE. Alfred Konuwa, Forbes, "WWE Raw Results: Winners, News And Notes On April 5, 2021," 5 Apr. 2021 Surovell asked about abolishing the death penalty — and got a big yawn. Washington Post, "Virginia is about to abolish the death penalty. It was a long, surprising road to get there.," 23 Mar. 2021 And Ernie would emit a great big yawn, or a yelp, or a prolonged, chirruping cry. Lauren Markham, Harper's Magazine, "The Crow Whisperer," 16 Mar. 2021 Sometimes hours would go by without so much as a yawn. Ambar Pardilla, NBC News, "How the Slip silk eye mask helps me fall asleep and stay asleep," 11 Mar. 2021 The Chicago Tribune marked the birth of a baseball league for Black players with a yawn and an occasional box score atop a list of semiprofessional teams’ results. Ron Grossman, chicagotribune.com, "Flashback: A ‘Giant’ of the Negro Leagues: Founder Rube Foster sparked a revolution for elite Black ballplayers," 22 Jan. 2021 By comparison, American regulators’ detailed charge-sheets against tech giants such as Facebook and Google in recent weeks elicited a yawn from investors. The Economist, "Mo money, Ma problems Chinese trustbusters’ pursuit of Alibaba is only the start," 30 Dec. 2020 American regulators, whose detailed charge-sheets against tech giants such as Facebook and Google in recent weeks elicited a yawn from investors, must have looked on with envy. The Economist, "Mo money, Ma problems Chinese trustbusters’ pursuit of Alibaba is only the start," 28 Dec. 2020

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

Cite this Entry

“Yawn.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/yawn. Accessed 15 May. 2021.

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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

More from Merriam-Webster on yawn

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for yawn

Nglish: Translation of yawn for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of yawn for Arabic Speakers

Comments on yawn

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