\ ˈyen How to pronounce yen (audio) \
plural yen

Definition of yen

 (Entry 1 of 3)

the basic monetary unit of Japan — see Money Table

Definition of yen (Entry 2 of 3)

: a strong desire or propensity a yen for the sea also : urge, craving a yen for ice cream


yenned; yenning

Definition of yen (Entry 3 of 3)

intransitive verb

: to have an intense desire : long

First Known Use of yen

Noun (1)

1875, in the meaning defined above

Noun (2)

1906, in the meaning defined above


circa 1919, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for yen

Noun (1)

Japanese en

Noun (2)

obsolete English argot yen-yen craving for opium, from Chin (Guangdong) yīn-yáhn, from yīn opium + yáhn craving

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Cite this Entry

“Yen.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/yen. Accessed 1 Jun. 2020.

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More Definitions for yen


\ ˈyen How to pronounce yen (audio) \

Kids Definition of yen

: a strong desire : longing

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More from Merriam-Webster on yen

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for yen

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with yen

Spanish Central: Translation of yen

Nglish: Translation of yen for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of yen for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about yen

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