yearn

play
verb \ˈyərn\

Definition of yearn

  1. intransitive verb
  2. 1 :  to long persistently, wistfully, or sadly yearns to make a difference

  3. 2 :  to feel tenderness or compassion

yearner

noun

yearningly

play \ˈyər-niŋ-lē\ adverb

Recent Examples of yearn from the Web

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.

Origin and Etymology of 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

Synonym Discussion of 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

YEARN Defined for English Language Learners

yearn

play
verb

Definition of yearn for English Language Learners

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


YEARN Defined for Kids

yearn

play
verb \ˈyərn\

Definition of yearn for Students

yearned

;

yearning

  1. :  to desire very much



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