yearn

verb
\ ˈyərn How to pronounce yearn (audio) \
yearned; yearning; yearns

Definition of yearn

intransitive verb

1 : to long persistently, wistfully, or sadly yearns to make a difference
2 : to feel tenderness or compassion

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Other Words from yearn

yearner noun
yearningly \ ˈyər-​niŋ-​lē How to pronounce yearn (audio) \ adverb

Choose the Right Synonym for 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

Examples of yearn in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Even as workplaces around the country have begun to open back up, employees have not knocked down the doors, leaving executives like Mr. Sitt to yearn for the example of a big municipal work force like New York’s. New York Times, "They Want You Back at the Office," 30 Apr. 2021 Consider stellar Star Clippers — a cruise company beloved by small ship aficionados who yearn for the grandeur of tall ship adventure that layers yesteryear’s sea-faring romance and authenticity with modern-day conveniences and indulgences. Laura Manske, Forbes, "G0 Wild: Discover The Best Post-Pandemic Trips Of A Lifetime," 26 Apr. 2021 It’s in being the steady, friendly voice of reason so many people yearn for in their local paper. Nick Martin, The New Republic, "The Fracking Shill Local Newspapers Love to Publish," 25 Mar. 2021 Malnourished by their phones and computer screens, people yearn for real-life visceral experiences. New York Times, "Up to My Eyeballs in Art at Superblue," 18 Mar. 2021 Most kids yearn for social connection with their peers and teachers, and the pandemic has caused many of them to fall behind. Avriel Epps-darling, The Atlantic, "Virtual Learning Might Be the Best Thing to Happen to Schools," 17 Mar. 2021 Customers largely see interactions with companies as transactional, while companies yearn for so much more. Expert Panel®, Forbes, "15 Ways To Develop A Customer-Centric Content Strategy," 25 Feb. 2021 Young fans will yearn wistfully for their own failed first loves. Billboard Staff, Billboard, "Five Burning Questions: Olivia Rodrigo's 'Drivers License' Makes Historic Debut Atop Hot 100," 20 Jan. 2021 Many Americans yearn for escapist heroes of this caliber. Washington Post, "Zorro at 100: Why the original swashbuckler is still the quintessential American action hero," 1 Jan. 2021

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.

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First Known Use of yearn

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for 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

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Time Traveler for yearn

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for yearn

Last Updated

4 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Yearn.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/yearn. Accessed 7 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for yearn

yearn

verb

English Language Learners Definition of yearn

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

yearn

verb
\ ˈyərn How to pronounce yearn (audio) \
yearned; yearning

Kids Definition of yearn

: to desire very much

Choose the Right Synonym for yearn

yearn, long, and pine mean to desire something very much. yearn is used of a very eager desiring along with restless or painful feelings. They're yearning for freedom. long is used when someone truly wants something and often tries very hard to get it. She longed to become a successful writer. pine is used when someone is growing weak while continuing to want something that is impossible to get. She was pining away for her long lost friend.

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More from Merriam-Webster on yearn

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for yearn

Nglish: Translation of yearn for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of yearn for Arabic Speakers

Comments on yearn

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