yearn

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English[edit]

Pronunciation[edit]

Etymology 1[edit]

From Old English giernan, from Proto-Germanic *girnijaną.

Verb[edit]

yearn ‎(third-person singular simple present yearns, present participle yearning, simple past and past participle yearned)

  1. (intransitive, construed with for) To long, have a strong desire (for something).
    • All I yearn for is a simple life.
  2. (intransitive, construed with for) To long for something in the past with melancholy, nostalgically
  3. (intransitive) To be pained or distressed; to grieve; to mourn.
    • Shakespeare
      Falstaff he is dead, and we must yearn therefore.
  4. (transitive) To pain; to grieve; to vex.
    • Shakespeare
      It would yearn your heart to see it.
    • Shakespeare
      It yearns me not if men my garments wear.
Derived terms[edit]
Translations[edit]
The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Help:How to check translations.

Etymology 2[edit]

See yearning ‎(rennet).

Verb[edit]

yearn ‎(third-person singular simple present yearns, present participle yearning, simple past and past participle yearned)

  1. (Scotland) To curdle, as milk.

Etymology 3[edit]

Conflation of yearn and yen ‎(desire, craving).

Noun[edit]

yearn ‎(plural yearns)

  1. (nonstandard) yen; yearning
    • 1917 August 12, "A YEARN FOR PEACE; Pan-Germanism Denounced" Sunday Times (Perth, WA) p.1
    • 1979 Norman Mailer, The Executioner's Song
      Gibbs now said he wasn't going to pull any punches with Gary when he knew how jealous a man could get, so he also wanted to tell him that Phil Hansen was reputed to have a yearn for attractive ladies.
    • 2010 Frank Buchmann-Moller Someone to Watch Over Me: The Life and Music of Ben Webster (University of Michigan Press) ISBN 0472025988 p.57
      "After he had made a record date with us in 1935, I always had a yearn for Ben," he said years later.
    • 2014 February 13, AFP, "Why internet adultery numbers are soaring" New Zealand Herald
      "My guess, however, is that it has because there are many people who have a yearn for sex outside their relationship but wouldn't have the slightest idea about how to do it or do it safely," Prof Schwartz added.

Anagrams[edit]