From Middle English yernful, from Old English ġiernful (“desirous, eager, zealous, diligent, anxious”), equivalent to yearn + -ful.
yearnful (comparative more yearnful, superlative most yearnful)
- Filled with yearning; desirous; mournful; distressing.
1570, Richard Edwards, “Damon and Pithias”, in A select collection of old English plays, Volume 4, page 43:
- So now lend me thy yearnful tunes to utter my sorrow.
1886, Jerome K. Jerome, Idle Thoughts of an Idle Fellow:
- Ah! they were grand days, those deep, full days, when our coming life, like an unseen organ, pealed strange, yearnful music in our ears, and our young blood cried out like a war-horse for the battle.
1919, Albert Payson Terhune, “The Strike”, in O Henry Memorial Award Prize Stories of 1919:
- I am yearnful to know who was the unhappy person the wicked general threatened.
- This term was once widely and disapprovingly attributed to the poet John Keats.
1900, Rupert Hughes, Contemporary American Composers:
- It abounded in emotion, and was--to use the impossible word Keats coined--"yearnful."
**, 1902, Leon Mead[Word-coinage], page 19:
- Men of genius have been guilty of some queer word-coinages. Keats coined the impossible word yearnful; but this was not his gravest offense.
1903, Rupert Hughes, The Love Affairs of Great Musicians, Volume 1:
- This is the last of these letters to which one could apply so fitly the barbarous word "yearnful," once coined by Keats.