from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • intransitive verb To open the mouth wide with a deep inhalation, usually involuntarily from drowsiness, fatigue, or boredom.
  • intransitive verb To open wide; gape.
  • intransitive verb To utter wearily, as while yawning.
  • noun The act of yawning.
  • noun Informal One that provokes yawns; a bore.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun The act of gaping or opening wide.
  • noun An involuntary opening of the mouth from drowsiness; oscitation. See yawning.
  • noun An opening; a chasm.
  • To gape; open; stand wide.
  • Specifically
  • To open the mouth wide.
  • Involuntarily, as through drowsiness or dullness; gape; oscitate. Compare yawning.
  • To gape, as in hunger or thirst for something; hence, to be eager; long.
  • To be open-mouthed with surprise, bewilderment, etc.; be agape.
  • To open; form by opening.
  • To express or utter with a yawn.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • intransitive verb To open the mouth involuntarily through drowsiness, dullness, or fatigue; to gape; to oscitate.
  • intransitive verb To open wide; to gape, as if to allow the entrance or exit of anything.
  • intransitive verb To open the mouth, or to gape, through surprise or bewilderment.
  • intransitive verb To be eager; to desire to swallow anything; to express desire by yawning.
  • noun An involuntary act, excited by drowsiness, etc., consisting of a deep and long inspiration following several successive attempts at inspiration, the mouth, fauces, etc., being wide open.
  • noun The act of opening wide, or of gaping.
  • noun rare A chasm, mouth, or passageway.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • verb To open the mouth widely and take a long, rather deep breath, often because one is tired and sometimes accompanied by pandiculation.
  • verb To present an opening that appears able to swallow one up, literally or metaphorically:
  • noun The action of yawning; opening the mouth widely and taking a long, rather deep breath, often because one is tired.
  • noun A particularly boring event.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • verb utter a yawn, as from lack of oxygen or when one is tired
  • verb be wide open
  • noun an involuntary intake of breath through a wide open mouth; usually triggered by fatigue or boredom


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

[Middle English yanen, alteration of yonen, yenen, from Old English geonian.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

(1) Partly from Middle English yanen ‘to yawn’, from Old English ġānian, from Proto-Germanic *ganōnan (cf. North Frisian jåne, German gähnen, Swedish dialect gana ‘to gape, gawk’), denominative of *ganaz (cf. Swedish gan ‘gullet, maw’); (2) and partly from Middle English yenen, yonen ‘to yawn’, from Old English ġinian, ġionian, frequentative of ġīnan, from Proto-Germanic *gīnanan (compare Norwegian gina ‘to gape’), from Proto-Indo-European *ǵʰih₁-neh₂ (compare Russian зинуть (zínutʹ), Greek χαίνω (chaínō)); (3) both from *ǵʰeh₂u- ‘to yawn, gape’ (compare Dutch geeuwen, Latin hiō, Tocharian A śew, Tocharian B kāyā, Lithuanian žióti, Russian зиять (zijátʹ), Sanskrit vijihite).


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