American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- v. To have a strong, often melancholy desire.
- v. To feel deep pity, sympathy, or tenderness: yearned over the child's fate.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- To long for something; desire eagerly; feel desire or longing.
- To cry out eagerly; give tongue, as a dog.
- To grieve; mourn; sorrow.
- To grieve; trouble; vex.
- Same as earn.
- Same as earn.
- n. A dialectal (Scotch) form of earn.
- v. intransitive To long, have a strong desire (for something).
- v. intransitive To long back with melancholy, nostalgically
GNU Webster's 1913
- v. obsolete To pain; to grieve; to vex.
- v. obsolete To be pained or distressed; to grieve; to mourn.
- v. Scot. To curdle, as milk.
- v. To be filled with longing desire; to be harassed or rendered uneasy with longing, or feeling the want of a thing; to strain with emotions of affection or tenderness; to long; to be eager.
- v. desire strongly or persistently
- v. have a desire for something or someone who is not present
- v. have affection for; feel tenderness for
- From Old English giernan, from Proto-Germanic *girnijanan. (Wiktionary)
- Middle English yernen, from Old English geornan, giernan. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“Sure, it's mildly entertaining to read an essay excerpt where a kid uses the word "urine" in place of the word "yearn.”
“For some odd reason when people other than whites for lack of a better term yearn to preserve their heritage and culture, it is generally encouraged.”
“My beloved Perishers always travelled by train for their annual parent-free holidays, and I do kind of yearn to have that experience.”
“I kind of yearn for the days where I was completely anonymous and could spew forth brain dumps without repercussion, but recent times have taught me that if I Write It About Them, They Will Find It.”
“Then it descends into a monster/horror movie which as a 7 year old I loved to pieces but much older and wiser now, having seen so many superior monster films… I kind of yearn for that Close Encounters feeling again during re-runs.”
“I just heard one say, "Use 'yearn'," and the response: “how do you spell that?””
“The notion that even educated middle-class American women had to put out in order to get a damn refrigerator — even that they might "yearn" for one — just steams me.”
“Yet the severe and strait-laced censors are not perhaps so much of a nuisance as the sternly-cultured and emotional persons who "yearn" a great deal.”
“Their utmost up and on", v. 23, to be construed with "yearn", v. 21.”
“Thy path, how could Thy true lovers be recognized; and were it not for the trials which are borne for love of Thee, how could the station of such as yearn for Thee be revealed?”
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