Definition of yearn
1 : to long persistently, wistfully, or sadly yearns to make a difference
2 : to feel tenderness or compassion
yearninglyplay \ˈyər-niŋ-lē\ adverb
Recent Examples of yearn from the Web
The loyalty and affection toward Chris Hansen from those yearning for a new arena and the return of the Sonics is understandable.
To those who have been waiting for this picture their entire lives, who have yearned to see ‘
Nixon was an actor and a musician, a romantic whose tough childhood and distant mother left him yearning for approval.
Both practices soon will take root in Glenville, the poor, primarily black neighborhood sandwiched between University Circle and Bratenahl that yearns to regain its former status as one of the city's most desirable districts.
Her two-bedroom house is packed with people yearning for space.
But until now, few of the thousands who have chanted her name know what drives Kasey Cooper to yearn to be on the right end of a zero-sum game that has been her escape.
Musicians have long yearned to take advantage of the Net without losing property rights.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'yearn'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
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 centurySee Words from the same year
Synonym Discussion of yearn
YEARN Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of yearn for English Language Learners
: to feel a strong desire or wish for something or to do something
YEARN Defined for Kids
Definition of yearn for Students
: to desire very much
Seen and Heard
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