yearn·ing | \ ˈyər-niŋ \

Definition of yearning 

: a tender or urgent longing a yearning for justice

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Examples of yearning in a Sentence

had a sudden yearning for something sweet

Recent Examples on the Web

But the vacuum created by Mr. Crowley’s exit seemed to only deepen the yearning for Ms. Pelosi, Mr. Hoyer and Mr. Clyburn to clear the path for a new generation of leaders. Jonathan Martin, New York Times, "Top Democrat’s Defeat Throws Party Leadership Into Turmoil," 27 June 2018 But for those precious few yearning to return to the days of nonstop tax increases, deficit spending and massive job losses then Martin O’Malley has done them a favor by endorsing Rushern Baker. Doug Donovan,, "Rushern Baker unleashes O'Malley on Gov. Hogan in Democratic campaign for Maryland governor," 21 June 2018 Moving to haunting ephemeral music by LUXI, the dancers creating a palpable sense of yearning, touching emotions and evoking memories without dependence on a narrative through-line. Elaine Schmidt, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Milwaukee Ballet sticks the landing on creative 'MXE' program," 9 Feb. 2018 And the Parliament obliged that yearning, hoping to regain control with a little bit of old-fashioned suppression. Franklin Foer, The Atlantic, "The Death of the Public Square," 6 July 2018 Some of this yearning can be attributed to the period: Summerfield’s novel is set in the 1980s, a time when co-parenting wasn’t yet really a concept. Dean Bakopoulos, New York Times, "A Debut Novel Sees Divorce Through the Eyes of a Child," 11 May 2018 As Jam and Smith take turns on the verses, the video exemplifies the unifying effect of sports and serves as inspiration to any budding athlete yearning for a chance to kick it at the World Cup. Abby Jones, Billboard, "Nicky Jam & Will Smith's World Cup Anthem 'Live It Up!' Video Honors Soccer Everywhere: Watch," 8 June 2018 In leagues like the MAC, regular season success doesn't satisfy any yearnings. Bill Livingston,, "The hungry desperation of the MAC Tournament: Bill Livingston (photos)," 8 Mar. 2018 Chalk it up to the fact that fashion and design trends are notoriously cyclical, or consider that maybe there’s a deeper yearning among many of us for a time when things felt simpler., "Why Are Ashtrays Trending Again? Well, We'll Be Blunt...," 11 July 2018

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

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined above

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Statistics for yearning

Last Updated

16 Sep 2018

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Time Traveler for yearning

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

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More Definitions for yearning


yearn·ing | \ ˈyər-niŋ \

Kids Definition of yearning

: an eager desire

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More from Merriam-Webster on yearning

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for yearning

Spanish Central: Translation of yearning

Nglish: Translation of yearning for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of yearning for Arabic Speakers

Comments on yearning

What made you want to look up yearning? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


occurring twice a year or every two years

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