Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • intransitive v. To bear young. Used of sheep and goats.
  • transitive v. To give birth to; bear. Used of sheep and goats.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. To give birth to.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • v. To bring forth young, as a goat or a sheep; to ean.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To bring forth young, as a goat or sheep; lamb.

Etymologies

Middle English iyenen, yenen, from Old English *geēanian : ge-, verb pref.; + ēanian, to bear young.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Middle English *yenen, *ȝenen, eanen, from Old English *ġeēanian, ēanian ("to yean, bring forth young (usually lambs), bring forth as a ewe") (for the prefixed form, compare Old English ġeēane ("yeaning")), from Proto-Germanic *gaaunōnan, *aunōnan (“to yean, lamb”), from Proto-Indo-European *agʷn- (“lamb”). Cognate with Scots yean ("to yean"), West Frisian eandsje, inje ("to yean"), Dutch onen ("to yean"), Swedish dialectal öna ("to yean"). Akin also to Latin agnus, Greek ἀμνός (amnos)[2], Old Irish úan ("lamb"), and to ewe[1]. See also ean. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Each participant must donate 100 yean equal to 3 US dollars to prove his will.

    NY Sun: Good article on Shih, Lin, and Political Assaults on President Chen

  • Parents of chronic underachievers are also likely to link large rewards to unrealistic improvements in performance, such as straight As for a child who has been making Ds and Fs for the last two yean.

    The Unmotivated Child

  • There was speculation he'd be quickly assigned as PPS to the Foreign Secretary and even more speculation that he'd be Prime Minister within fifteen yean.

    In the Presence of the Enemy

  • I know I haven't been very nice the past few yean.

    Once An Angel

  • In Montgomery he suffered many regrets, not because of his treatment there, but because he felt it was indecent for him to live on his pension and stock from American Petroleum when he had failed them so signally: 'They hired me to help them maintain good relations with the Mexican government, and I had to sit by in impotence when CArdenas stole our entire operation and hundreds of yean of oil reserves.

    Mexico

  • This man died over two thousand yean ago, Nicole thought to herself, remembering her history.

    Rama Revisited

  • But we would like it also to be understood that our Soviet nation too is young, in terms of the yean since the yoke of Csarist oppression and injustice was thrown aside.

    Northlight

  • He was swaggering, they told me, about the town in his old regimentals, every pomp of the foreign soldier assumed again as if they had never been relaxed in all those yean of peace and commerce.

    John Splendid The Tale of a Poor Gentleman, and the Little Wars of Lorn

  • For there the ewes yean thrice within the full circle of a year; there neither lord nor shepherd lacketh aught of cheese or flesh or of sweet milk, but ever the flocks yield store of milk continual.

    Book IV

  • She did not live long - only about two yean - but before she died, Nellie Conroy stood up before a great audience in Cooper State, and told them how God had saved her.

    Revival Addresses

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