yen

noun (1)
\ ˈyen How to pronounce yen (audio) \
plural yen

Definition of yen

 (Entry 1 of 3)

the basic monetary unit of Japan — see Money Table

yen

noun (2)

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

yen

verb
yenned; yenning

Definition of yen (Entry 3 of 3)

intransitive verb

: to have an intense desire : long

Did you know?

Although yen suggests no more than a strong desire these days (as in "a yen for a beach vacation"), at one time someone with a yen was in deep trouble: the first meaning of yen was an intense craving for opium. The word comes from Cantonese yīn-yáhn, a combination of yīn, meaning "opium," and yáhn, "craving." In English, the Chinese syllables were translated as yen-yen.

First Known Use of yen

Noun (1)

1875, in the meaning defined above

Noun (2)

1906, in the meaning defined above

Verb

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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Dictionary Entries Near yen

Yemen

yen

yender

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Cite this Entry

“Yen.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/yen. Accessed 16 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for yen

yen

noun
\ ˈyen How to pronounce yen (audio) \

Kids Definition of yen

: a strong desire : longing

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