yearn

verb
\ ˈyərn \
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 \ 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

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.

Examples of yearn in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Yet despite these accomplishments, be assured most university presidents and faculty yearn for Mr. Daniels’s failure and ignominious exit. WSJ, "Boilermakers Are a Model for College Cost Cuts," 19 Dec. 2018 My heart is still yearning for a special piece of land where our family can live more sustainably, grow, create, hold space for community gatherings, and thrive in a more natural setting. Glamour, "Broken Harts, Episode 1: Fear," 4 Dec. 2018 Word, Edge, OneDrive, Teams, Yammer, and Skype—and yearn for a return to the golden glory days. Peter Bright, Ars Technica, "Microsoft Office has pretty new icons but they have a fatal flaw," 30 Nov. 2018 Young kids often yearn to give money to good causes, and that’s sweet. Jeff Bogle, Good Housekeeping, "14 Reasons Parenting Teenagers Is Better Than You Think It Will Be," 10 Jan. 2019 That the darker parts of life were just as invigorating as the brightness, and that romance is based in yearning as much as love. Meagan Fredette, refinery29.com, "Alexander McQueen Documentary Showcases The Rise Of His Tragic Genius," 3 June 2018 Eventually, all converging story lines meet when the Pavho transmit the Klingon's coordinates directly to the Discovery, since the species yearns to bring balance and peace to the galaxy. Darren Orf, Popular Mechanics, "Last Night's 'Star Trek Discovery' Was a Maze of Confusion," 6 Nov. 2017 Against this backdrop, a rise in violent crime has left some voters yearning for order and security, which Bolsonaro — an ex-military officer — promised to deliver. Jen Kirby, Vox, "4 things to know about Jair Bolsonaro, Brazil’s new far-right president," 29 Oct. 2018 The consequence of this transfer of power is that people yearn for a place where politics can actually be done. Ben Sasse, WSJ, "Blame Congress for Politicizing the Court," 5 Sep. 2018

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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Statistics for yearn

Last Updated

17 Feb 2019

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Time Traveler for yearn

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

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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 \
yearned; yearning

Kids Definition of yearn

: to desire very much

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More from Merriam-Webster on yearn

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with yearn

Spanish Central: Translation of yearn

Nglish: Translation of yearn for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of yearn for Arabic Speakers

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