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yearn

verb

  1. (desire)  to desire strongly or persistently
    Synonyms: hanker, long. Type of: desire
  2. (ache)  to have a desire for something or someone who isn't present
    Synonyms: ache, languish, pine, yen. Type of: hanker
  3. (care for)  to have affection for; to feel tenderness for
    Type of: care for

Etymology summary

Middle English yernen, from Old English giernan; akin to Old High German gerōn...
(Source: Merriam-Webster)  [more]

Definition references

Collins Dictionary:

yearn | yearner [noun, derived]

[followed by] for or after or an infinitive to have an intense desire or longing (for); pine (for) | to feel tenderness or affection (23 of 472 words, 2 definitions, 9 usage examples, pronunciation)

www​.collinsdictionary​.com​/dictionary​/english​/yearn

Oxford Dictionary:

yearn | yearner [derived]

have an intense feeling of longing for something, typically something that one has lost or been separated from | [archaic] : be filled with compassion ... (24 of 84 words, 2 definitions, 3 usage examples, pronunciation)

oxforddictionaries​.com​/definition​/english​/yearn

Merriam-Webster:

yearn | yearner [noun, related] | yearningly [adverb, related]

to long persistently, wistfully, or sadly | to feel tenderness or compassion (11 of 72 words, 2 definitions, 1 usage example, pronunciations)

www​.merriam-webster​.com​/dictionary​/yearn

Macmillan British Dictionary:

yearn [intransitive, literary] | yearned [past tense] | yearning [present participle] | yearns [3rd-person singular present]

to want something a lot, especially something that you know you may not be able to have (17 of 58 words, 2 usage examples, pronunciation)

www​.macmillandictionary​.com​/dictionary​/british​/yearn

Wiktionary:

yearn | yearned [past tense] | yearning [present participle] | yearns [3rd-person singular present]

[intransitive, with "for"] To long, have a strong desire (for something). | [intransitive, with "for"] To long for something in the past with melancholy, nostalgically | To be pained or distressed; to grieve; to mourn. (33 of 48 words, 3 definitions, 1 usage example)

en​.wiktionary​.org​/wiki​/yearn

American Heritage Dictionary:

yearn | yearned [past tense] | yearning [present participle] | yearns [3rd-person singular present] | yearner [noun, related]

To have a strong, often melancholy desire. | To feel deep pity, sympathy, or tenderness (14 of 43 words, 2 definitions, 1 usage example, pronunciation)

www​.yourdictionary​.com​/yearn

Cambridge Dictionary:

yearn

to wish very strongly, especially something that you cannot have or something that is very difficult to have (18 of 42 words, 2 usage examples, pronunciations)

dictionary​.cambridge​.org​/dictionary​/british​/yearn

Random House Dictionary:

yearn

to have an earnest or strong desire; long. | to feel tenderness; be moved or attracted. (15 of 34 words, 2 definitions, 2 usage examples, pronunciation)

dictionary​.infoplease​.com​/yearn

New World Dictionary:

yearn | yearner [noun, related]

to be filled with longing or desire | to feel tenderness or sympathy (12 of 33 words, 2 definitions, pronunciation)

www​.yourdictionary​.com​/yearn

Encarta Dictionary:

yearn | yearned [past tense] | yearning [present participle] | yearns [3rd-person singular present]

to have a strong desire for somebody or something, especially when the desire is tinged with sadness | to feel affection, tenderness, or compassion (23 of 64 words, 2 definitions, pronunciation)

encarta​.msn​.com​/dictionary 1861706895​/definition​.html  [offline]

Etymology references

Merriam-Webster:

yearn

First use: before 12th century

Origin: Middle English yernen, from Old English giernan; akin to Old High German gerōn to desire, Latin hortari to urge, encourage, Greek chairein to rejoice

www​.merriam-webster​.com​/dictionary​/yearn

Collins Dictionary:

yearn

Origin: Old English giernan; related to Old Saxon girnian, Old Norse girna, Gothic gairnjan, Old High German gerōn to long for, Sanskrit haryati he likes

www​.collinsdictionary​.com​/dictionary​/english​/yearn

New World Dictionary:

yearn

Origin: Middle English yernen from Old English gyrnan from georn, eager, akin to German gern, gladly: see "hortatory"

www​.yourdictionary​.com​/yearn

American Heritage Dictionary:

yearn | yearned [past tense] | yearning [present participle] | yearns [3rd-person singular present]

Origin: Middle English yernen, from Old English geornan, giernan; see gher- [entry 2] in Indo-European roots.

www​.yourdictionary​.com​/yearn

Oxford Dictionary:

yearn

Origin: Old English giernan, from a Germanic base meaning "eager"

oxforddictionaries​.com​/definition​/english​/yearn

Wiktionary:

yearn | yearned [past tense] | yearning [present participle] | yearns [3rd-person singular present]

Origin: Old English giernan, from Proto-Germanic *girnijaną.

en​.wiktionary​.org​/wiki​/yearn

Encarta Dictionary:

yearn | yearned [past tense] | yearning [present participle] | yearns [3rd-person singular present]

Origin: Old English giernan from Indo-European, "to want"

encarta​.msn​.com​/dictionary 1861706895​/definition​.html  [offline]

Audio references

Collins Dictionary:

yearn

Audio: North American English pronunciation of "yearn"

www​.collinsdictionary​.com​/dictionary​/english​/yearn

Macmillan British Dictionary:

yearn [intransitive, literary] | yearned [past tense] | yearning [present participle] | yearns [3rd-person singular present]

Audio: British English pronunciation of "yearn"

www​.macmillandictionary​.com​/dictionary​/british​/yearn

Macmillan American Dictionary:

yearn [intransitive, literary] | yearned [past tense] | yearning [present participle] | yearns [3rd-person singular present]

Audio: North American pronunciation of "yearn"

www​.macmillandictionary​.com​/dictionary​/american​/yearn

Cambridge Dictionary:

yearn

Audio 1: British English pronunuciation of "yearn"

Audio 2: North American English pronunuciation of "yearn"

dictionary​.cambridge​.org​/dictionary​/british​/yearn

the Free Dictionary:

yearn

Audio 1: North American English pronunciation of "yearn"

Audio 2: British English pronunciation of "yearn"

Audio 3: North American English pronunciation of "yearn" by speech synthesizer

www​.thefreedictionary​.com​/yearn

Google Dictionary:

yearn | yearned [past tense] | yearning [present participle] | yearns [3rd-person singular present]

Audio: English pronunciation of "yearn"

www​.google​.com​/#hl=en&tbs=dfn​:1&fp=1&q=yearn

Merriam-Webster Pronunciation:

yearn

Audio: North American pronunciation of "yearn"

www​.merriam-webster​.com​/audio​.php file=yearn​001 word=yearn

YourDictionary Audio:

yearn

Audio: North American English pronunciation of "yearn" by speech synthesizer

www​.yourdictionary​.com​/yearn

Page last updated: 2013-06-26

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