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 In the anger and the yearning for vengeance that followed, not many Americans at that time realized, that among the three thousand killed in the Twin Towers, more than 60 were Muslims. Ashfaq Taufique, al, 10 Sep. 2021 After the pandemic hit, the yearning for connection registered more as an emergency than as an inducement to lyrical reflection. Katy Waldman, The New Yorker, 16 July 2021 The pandemic, which has kept people apart from each other, has amplified the yearning for connection, say therapists. Time, 21 June 2021 All the yearning in the world for more original fare from Hollywood won’t matter if the original fare is made to look and feel like everything we’re already being bombarded with. Alison Willmore, Vulture, 10 June 2021 The piece revealed an explicit yearning for intimacy that almost seemed frightening in its raw need. Sheila Regan, Star Tribune, 7 June 2021 This yearning is not driven by some wish that people of color will someday rule over Whites. John Blake, CNN, 4 Sep. 2021 And in some buildings, the yearning for clean sweatpants has resulted in neighbors forging closer bonds. Orla Mccaffrey, WSJ, 17 Aug. 2021 That’s not a bad thing -- the yearning for a little more adventure, the wonder of what’s beyond that next bend or peak. Joshua Gunter, cleveland, 4 Aug. 2021

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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Time Traveler for yearning

Time Traveler

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

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Dictionary Entries Near yearning



year of confusion

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Statistics for yearning

Last Updated

8 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Yearning.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 16 Oct. 2021.

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More Definitions for yearning


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

Kids Definition of yearning

: an eager desire

More from Merriam-Webster on yearning

Nglish: Translation of yearning for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of yearning for Arabic Speakers


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