yearn

play
verb \ˈyərn\

Definition of yearn

  1. intransitive verb
  2. 1 :  to long persistently, wistfully, or sadly <yearns to make a difference>

  3. 2 :  to feel tenderness or compassion

yearner

noun

yearningly

play \ˈyər-niŋ-lē\ adverb

Origin and Etymology of yearn

Middle English yernen, from Old English giernan; akin to Old High German gerōn to desire, Latin hortari to urge, encourage, Greek chairein to rejoice


First Known Use: before 12th century

Synonym Discussion of yearn

long, yearn, hanker, pine, hunger, thirst mean to have a strong desire for something. long implies a wishing with one's whole heart and often a striving to attain <longed for some rest>. yearn suggests an eager, restless, or painful longing <yearned for a stage career>. hanker suggests the uneasy promptings of unsatisfied appetite or desire <always hankering for money>. pine implies a languishing or a fruitless longing for what is impossible <pined for a lost love>. hunger and thirst imply an insistent or impatient craving or a compelling need <hungered for a business of his own> <thirsted for power>.

YEARN Defined for English Language Learners

yearn

play
verb \ˈyərn\

Definition of yearn for English Language Learners

  • : to feel a strong desire or wish for something or to do something


YEARN Defined for Kids

yearn

play
verb \ˈyərn\

Definition of yearn for Students

yearned

yearning

  1. :  to desire very much



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