- to open the mouth somewhat involuntarily with a prolonged, deep inhalation and sighing or heavy exhalation, as from drowsiness or boredom.
- to open wide like a mouth.
- to extend or stretch wide, as an open and deep space.
- to say with a yawn.
- Archaic. to open wide, or lay open, as if by yawning.
- an act or instance of yawning.
- an opening; open space; chasm.
- Also yawner. Informal. something so boring as to make one yawn: Critics say the new fashions are one big yawn.
Origin of yawn
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for yawn
My greatest fear is that we will find out they are spying on us, and the American public will yawn.Big Brother Is Watching Your Cell Phone
June 6, 2013
He would read her his poetry, and she would stretch and yawn like a cat.Baudelaire’s Femme Fatale Muse
May 7, 2013
When it comes to Christian Zionism, the gap between perception and reality continues to yawn wide.Christian Zionism: An Overdue Reality Check
July 10, 2012
Most Americans greeted the end of the Iraq War the same way they responded to the beginning of it—with a shrug and a yawn.The List: Accounting for the Iraqi Allies America Left Behind
April 24, 2012
“We want to take this around the world,” Gary says, stifling a yawn.Decentralized Dance Parties: Raves’ Next Wave
February 3, 2012
They passed a frowzy chambermaid, who stared at them with a yawn.The Greater Inclination
We lightly debate, we hesitate, we yawn, unconscious of the brink.Ruggles of Red Gap
Harry Leon Wilson
"The most agreeable house to me now is my own," I said, with a yawn, and I got up to go.A Hero of Our Time
M. Y. Lermontov
And for many a cause for which men have suffered and died, posterity has but a yawn.Mountain Meditations
It was only half-past ten when she forced a yawn and asked him to get her a taxi.The Education of Eric Lane
- (intr) to open the mouth wide and take in air deeply, often as in involuntary reaction to tiredness, sleepiness, or boredom
- (tr) to express or utter while yawning
- (intr) to be open wide as if threatening to engulf (someone or something)the mine shaft yawned below
- the act or an instance of yawning
Word Origin and History for yawn
c.1300, yenen, yonen, from Old English ginian, gionian "open the mouth wide, gape," from Proto-Germanic *gin- (cf. Old Norse gina "to yawn," Dutch geeuwen, Old High German ginen, German gähnen "to yawn"), from PIE *ghai- "to yawn, gape" (cf. Old Church Slavonic zijajo "to gape," Lithuanian zioju, Czech zivati "to yawn," Greek khainein, Latin hiare "to yawn, gape," Sanskrit vijihite "to gape, be ajar"). Related: Yawned; yawning.
"act of yawning," 1690s, from yawn (v.). Meaning "boring thing" is attested from 1889.
- To open the mouth wide with a deep inhalation, usually involuntarily from drowsiness, fatigue, or boredom.
- The act of yawning.