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

None, apparently, has the same yearning to have 70% percent of his upper body covered in ink. Peter King,, "Colin Kaepernick Does Not Care What You Think About His Tattoos," 23 July 2013 The popularity of the admirably self-deprecating Three Lions represents a yearning for the happier times of the mid-90s. Jonathan Wilson,, "England's World Cup Run, Southgate Represent More for a Nation in Political Upheaval," 12 July 2018 For adventure travelers with a yearning to get off the grid, this is the spot. Carla Minsky, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Wetsuits, Whitewater and the Whoosh of Spring," 13 Apr. 2018 But just maybe, Hero Cow shared a yearning with her cousin in the east — some notion that her life and death should be hers to control, some ancestral memory of wild herds and deep woods. Avi Selk, Washington Post, "The briefly inspirational and ultimately depressing story of the most heroic cow in Poland," 25 Feb. 2018 Contrary to his flawed analysis, Trumpism appealed to the yearning for an economy free from excessive bureaucratic oversight and focused on job creation and productive growth. WSJ, "Examining China’s Challenge to Democracy," 4 May 2018 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

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

11 Nov 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

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by force of circumstances

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