[ yaw-ning ]
/ ˈyɔ nɪŋ /


being or standing wide open; gaping: the yawning mouth of a cave.
indicating by yawns one's weariness or indifference: The lecturer was oblivious to his yawning audience.

Origin of yawning

before 900; Middle English; Old English geniendum. See yawn, -ing2

Related forms

yawn·ing·ly, adverb

Definition for yawning (2 of 2)


[ yawn ]
/ yɔn /

verb (used without object)

verb (used with object)

to say with a yawn.
Archaic. to open wide, or lay open, as if by yawning.


Origin of yawn

before 900; Middle English yanen, yonen (v.), alteration of yenen, Old English ge(o)nian; akin to Old English gānian, ginan, Old Norse gīna, G gähnen, Latin hiāre (see hiatus), Greek chaínein to gape (see chasm)

Can be confused

yawn yon
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for yawning

British Dictionary definitions for yawning


/ (jɔːn) /


(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

Derived Forms

yawner, nounyawning, adjectiveyawningly, adverb

Word Origin for yawn

Old English gionian; related to Old Saxon ginōn, Old High German ginēn to yawn, Old Norse gjā gap
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Medicine definitions for yawning


[ yôn ]


To open the mouth wide with a deep inhalation, usually involuntarily from drowsiness, fatigue, or boredom.


The act of yawning.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.