AskDefine | Define yearn

The Collaborative Dictionary

Yearn \Yearn\, v. i. & t. [See Yearnings.] To curdle, as milk. [Scot.] [1913 Webster]
Yearn \Yearn\, v. i. [OE. yernen, [yogh]ernen, [yogh]eornen, AS. geornian, gyrnan, fr. georn desirous, eager; akin to OS. gern desirous, girnean, gernean, to desire, D. gaarne gladly, willingly, G. gern, OHG. gerno, adv., gern, a., G. gier greed, OHG. gir[imac] greed, ger desirous, ger[=o]n to desire, G. begehren, Icel. girna to desire, gjarn eager, Goth. fa['i]huga['i]rns covetous, ga['i]rnjan to desire, and perhaps to Gr. chai`rein to rejoice, be glad, Skr. hary to desire, to like. [root]33.] 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. [1913 Webster] Joseph made haste; for his bowels did yearn upon his brother; and he sought where to weep. --Gen. xliii.
[1913 Webster] Your mother's heart yearns towards you. --Addison. [1913 Webster]
Yearn \Yearn\ (y[~e]rn), v. t. [imp. & p. p. Yearned; p. pr. & vb. n. Yearning.] [Also earn, ern; probably a corruption of OE. ermen to grieve, AS. ierman, yrman, or geierman, geyrman, fr. earm wretched, poor; akin to D. & G. arm, Icel. armr, Goth. arms. The y- in English is perhaps due to the AS. ge (see Y-).] To pain; to grieve; to vex. [Obs.] "She laments, sir, for it, that it would yearn your heart to see it." --Shak. [1913 Webster] It yearns me not if men my garments wear. --Shak. [1913 Webster]
Yearn \Yearn\, v. i. To be pained or distressed; to grieve; to mourn. [Obs.] "Falstaff he is dead, and we must yearn therefore." --Shak. [1913 Webster]

Word Net



1 desire strongly or persistently [syn: hanker, long]
2 have a desire for something or someone who is not present; "She ached for a cigarette"; "I am pining for my lover" [syn: ache, yen, pine, languish]
3 have affection for; feel tenderness for




  1. In the context of "intransitive|construed with for": To have a strong, melancholy desire (for something).
    • All I yearn for is a simple life.


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