• synonyms


verb (used without object)
  1. (of a sheep or goat) to bring forth young.
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Origin of yean

1375–1425; late Middle English yenen, probably continuing Old English *geēanian to bring forth young, equivalent to ge- y- + ēanian to yean, akin to Latin agnus, Greek ámnos lamb
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for yean

Historical Examples

  • Thank heaven, I haven't had a woman in the house these seven yean; so all's snug.

    Three Courses and a Dessert


British Dictionary definitions for yean


  1. (of a sheep or goat) to give birth to (offspring)
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Word Origin

Old English geēanian; related to Dutch oonen to bring forth young, Latin agnus lamb; see ewe
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

Word Origin and History for yean


Old English eanian "to bring forth" (young), especially in reference to sheep or goats, from Proto-Germanic *agwnojanan (cf. Dutch oonen), perhaps from PIE *agwhnos "lamb" (cf. Greek amnos "lamb," Latin agnus, Old Church Slavonic agne, Old Irish van, Welsh oen). Yeanling "young lamb, kid" is recorded from 1630s.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper