yearn

verb
\ ˈyərn How to pronounce yearn (audio) \
yearned; yearning; yearns

Definition of yearn

intransitive verb

1 : to long persistently, wistfully, or sadly yearns to make a difference
2 : to feel tenderness or compassion

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Other Words from yearn

yearner noun
yearningly \ ˈyər-​niŋ-​lē How to pronounce yearn (audio) \ adverb

Choose the Right Synonym for yearn

long, yearn, hanker, pine, hunger, thirst mean to have a strong desire for something. long implies a wishing with one's whole heart and often a striving to attain. longed for some rest yearn suggests an eager, restless, or painful longing. yearned for a stage career hanker suggests the uneasy promptings of unsatisfied appetite or desire. always hankering for money pine implies a languishing or a fruitless longing for what is impossible. pined for a lost love hunger and thirst imply an insistent or impatient craving or a compelling need. hungered for a business of his own thirsted for power

Examples of yearn in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Customers largely see interactions with companies as transactional, while companies yearn for so much more. Expert Panel®, Forbes, "15 Ways To Develop A Customer-Centric Content Strategy," 25 Feb. 2021 Young fans will yearn wistfully for their own failed first loves. Billboard Staff, Billboard, "Five Burning Questions: Olivia Rodrigo's 'Drivers License' Makes Historic Debut Atop Hot 100," 20 Jan. 2021 Many Americans yearn for escapist heroes of this caliber. Washington Post, "Zorro at 100: Why the original swashbuckler is still the quintessential American action hero," 1 Jan. 2021 So the disdain DeTrinis — a native New Yorker, no less! — professes for the Big Apple and all who yearn to live there has a transgressive, heretical audacity. Margaret Gray, Los Angeles Times, "Review: The one-man show for Angelenos sick of everybody who loves New York," 23 Dec. 2020 Will white-collar workers yearn for their old cubicles and face-to-face contact with friends and colleagues? Paul Wiseman And Alexandra Olson, chicagotribune.com, "From restaurants to retail, travel to telecommuting, COVID-19 has transformed the economy. Which changes will stick?," 16 Dec. 2020 Many people yearn for connection, even if that connection is glancing. Amy Dickinson, oregonlive, "Ask Amy: Aging man cuts stepson out of his will over political differences," 6 Nov. 2020 Many people yearn for connection, even if that connection is glancing. Amy Dickinson, Detroit Free Press, "Political differences impact father’s bequest," 6 Nov. 2020 Experts express concern an even stronger resurgence of the virus is ahead, especially as people yearn to gather for Halloween, Thanksgiving and the winter holidays — when the weather will keep them indoors even more. Michael Smolens Columnist, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Column: Rolling back re-openings under debate as COVID spread picks up steam," 25 Oct. 2020

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

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

History and Etymology for yearn

Middle English yernen, from Old English giernan; akin to Old High German gerōn to desire, Latin hortari to urge, encourage, Greek chairein to rejoice

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Time Traveler for yearn

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for yearn

Last Updated

5 Mar 2021

Cite this Entry

“Yearn.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/yearn. Accessed 8 Mar. 2021.

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More Definitions for yearn

yearn

verb

English Language Learners Definition of yearn

: to feel a strong desire or wish for something or to do something

yearn

verb
\ ˈyərn How to pronounce yearn (audio) \
yearned; yearning

Kids Definition of yearn

: to desire very much

Choose the Right Synonym for yearn

yearn, long, and pine mean to desire something very much. yearn is used of a very eager desiring along with restless or painful feelings. They're yearning for freedom. long is used when someone truly wants something and often tries very hard to get it. She longed to become a successful writer. pine is used when someone is growing weak while continuing to want something that is impossible to get. She was pining away for her long lost friend.

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More from Merriam-Webster on yearn

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for yearn

Nglish: Translation of yearn for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of yearn for Arabic Speakers

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