yearn·​ing | \ ˈyər-niŋ How to pronounce yearning (audio) \

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

Buckley can relate to the character’s stasis and yearning for renewal. Christopher Wallenberg,, "Betty Buckley has found her match with ‘Hello, Dolly!’," 8 Aug. 2019 Saoirse was fierce, both in her love for her family and yearning for justice. Martha Ross, The Mercury News, "Saoirse Kennedy Hill went for a sunrise swim in the Atlantic hours before her death, report says," 6 Aug. 2019 Saoirse was fierce, both in her love for her family and yearning for justice. Maeve Mcdermott, USA TODAY, "Saoirse Kennedy Hill, RFK's granddaughter, to be laid to rest at Monday funeral," 2 Aug. 2019 The Fed is not supposed to respond directly to anything else—not the pressures of investors and especially not the yearnings of politicians for easy money to juice short-term growth in an election year. Gwynn Guilford, Quartz, "With today’s rate cut, the Fed is jeopardizing its credibility," 31 July 2019 Who knows in how many directorial breasts a conflict rages between a desire for intimacy and the yearning for the very grandest of effects? James Fenton, The New York Review of Books, "James Fenton," 9 May 2019 For American nonfiction writers, the yearning to revisit younger days seems to take longer. Bryan Burrough, WSJ, "‘The Last Stone’ Review: The Past Isn’t Even Past," 12 Apr. 2019 But his yearning to be loved by the Eurosceptic extremists who dominate his party’s membership led him into a trap the hardliners had set for him. The Economist, "The loneliness of Boris Johnson," 25 July 2019 Judy Garland is over the rainbow and across the pond yearning to be reunited with her children in a new trailer for the upcoming biopic Judy. Rachel Desantis,, "Renée Zellweger's Judy Garland Cries Over Kids, Sings 'The Trolley Song' in New Judy Trailer," 8 July 2019

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

19 Aug 2019

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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 How to pronounce yearning (audio) \

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

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