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 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 But what’s been created in this national movement to recover species is a yawning deficit of local needs. Andrew Mckean, Outdoor Life, "How National Critter Groups Replaced Local Conservation Clubs," 15 Jan. 2020 Ultimately, his aim is to begin to erase the county’s health disparities, the yawning gap in life expectancy and overall health between rich and poor zip codes. Sharon Grigsby, Dallas News, "Meet Dr. Philip Huang, the Lake Highlands grad who is helping direct how Dallas County responds to the coronavirus," 9 Apr. 2020 Deciding what to set to paper requires the ability to imagine where a reader might struggle or yawn. Aaron Gilbreath, Longreads, "Teaching Writing and Breaking Rules," 19 Mar. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Early in the morning, a woman on a train between Johannesburg and Soweto stifles a yawn with a clenched fist. Oluremi C. Onabanjo, The New Yorker, "How Santu Mofokeng Shaped South African Photography," 24 Feb. 2020 Any other team sprinting away with the title might have provoked a collective yawn. Joshua Robinson, WSJ, "Liverpool Is Running Away With the Premier League. Fans Can’t Stop Watching.," 5 Feb. 2020 The theory is that the homemade masks would help reduce the risk of unknowingly spreading the virus through coughs, sneezes, even yawns or simple conversation. NBC News, "Do you need a mask? The science hasn't changed, but public guidance might," 31 Mar. 2020 About 150 miles downriver from Tuluksak, where the wide and slow Kuskokwim yawns open into Kuskokwim Bay, is the village of Kwigillingok, population 374. Lawless, ProPublica, "An Elementary School Repeatedly Dismissed Allegations Against Its Principal. Then, an FBI Agent Pretended to Be a 13-Year-Old Girl.," 12 May 2011 In bed, Sweetin removes the blanket covering her face, looks at the camera, yawns, and promptly pulls the blanket back over her. Isabel Garcia, House Beautiful, "The Full House Cast Redid the Show's Opening Sequence to Encourage Viewers to Stay Home," 9 Apr. 2020 Big giant yawns and mentioning the time aren't working. Marianne Garvey, CNN, "Ryan Reynolds has the perfect solution for getting rid of unwanted guests," 19 Dec. 2019 At some point, a scientist played by Elliott Gould sits in a restaurant after spending a lot of brain power thinking about a vaccine and watches a waiter yawn while drying glasses and a coughing woman take a swig of water. Wesley Morris, New York Times, "For Me, Rewatching ‘Contagion’ Was Fun, Until It Wasn’t," 10 Mar. 2020 The sixth time Robert De Niro or Alec Baldwin shows up, what once caused a jolt of excitement turns into a yawn. Travis M. Andrews, Washington Post, "The real Elizabeth Warren meets Kate McKinnon’s Elizabeth Warren in SNL’s cold open," 8 Mar. 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

Last Updated

29 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Yawn.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/yawn. Accessed 31 May. 2020.

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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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