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 Her gift for language and propulsive yearning shines in any setting and at any length. Maureen Lee Lenker,, "Hot Stuff: New fall romances range from fluffy to fiery," 5 Oct. 2020 My yearning for answers came from personal experience with discrimination as a Jewish woman and the daughter of immigrants; my parents fled to the U.S. from the former Soviet Union in 1979. Abigail Libers, Scientific American, "How to Unlearn Racism," 1 Oct. 2020 The film’s true subject is connection, or the lack of it—the daughter’s spiritual isolation, her yearning for what her parents haven’t given her. Joe Morgenstern, WSJ, "‘Kajillionaire’ Review: Lowbrow Larceny," 24 Sep. 2020 The gleaming sport utility vehicles, sedans and other cars were aimed at China’s consumers, who have emerged from Covid-19 lockdowns with a yearning to spend. Keith Bradsher, New York Times, "China’s Economy Comes Roaring Back, Led by Wealthy Consumers," 28 Sep. 2020 Over the years, many expressed their yearning for Brazil in samba nights, Carnival parades and meals of feijoada, a Brazilian black bean stew. Washington Post, "They rap about growing up in Japan. But they are labeled outsiders because their families left generations ago.," 9 Sep. 2020 Has there ever been a military base this radiant with hedonistic pansexual yearning? Darren Franich,, "We Are Who We Are is mostly vibes, but what vibes! — Review," 1 Sep. 2020 But Malia's yearning to find a way to watch the Indy 500 in person — one that will be held without fans due to COVID-19 concerns — was no joke. Dana Hunsinger Benbow, The Indianapolis Star, "One fan will watch Indy 500 in person — from a tree top overlooking the track," 23 Aug. 2020 Throughout, Simón’s yearning for paternal affection is as persistent and strong as his protective feelings toward the boy. Christian Lorentzen, Harper's Magazine, "Coetzee’s Radical Masterpiece," 18 Aug. 2020

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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Last Updated

19 Oct 2020

Cite this Entry

“Yearning.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Oct. 2020.

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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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