- to have an earnest or strong desire; long: to yearn for a quiet vacation.
- to feel tenderness; be moved or attracted: They yearned over their delicate child.
Origin of yearn
SynonymsSee more synonyms for yearn on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for yearn
Over 2,000 people graduate from university each year in Bhutan, and they yearn for professional work.Can Traditional Bhutan Survive Tourism?
August 17, 2014
We may yearn for them but they are unreachable now, left in a past that seems almost to belong to a distant planet.Obama’s Extravagant Summer Break? More Like, America’s Vacation-Deficit Disorder
August 10, 2014
It's at a time like this that Germans yearn most for Paul the Octopus, the great mollusk soothsayer for Germany.The Amazing Tale of Paul the Psychic Octopus: Germany’s World Cup Soothsayer
July 12, 2014
I yearn for an America where people in positions of leadership actually take actual responsibility for their actual failures.‘No Drama’ Obama Finally Takes Charge and Sacks Shinseki
May 30, 2014
And do we not yearn to do as they did: enable America to “find its ‘greatness’ again”?Embodying Franklin Roosevelt’s Four Freedoms Remains a Vital Challenge
Harvey J. Kaye
April 6, 2014
I like to have a chance of refusing an invitation I yearn for, and then be forced to accept.In the Midst of Alarms
Others may yearn for the strenuous life, but not your humble servant.The Woman-Haters
Joseph C. Lincoln
She yearned as only a mother can yearn for the warm caresses of her children.
He had yearned for it, as a child might yearn for a plaything.
If it should not lead to something further; but I do yearn to repay her.Tony Butler
Charles James Lever
- (usually foll by for or after or an infinitive) to have an intense desire or longing (for); pine (for)
- to feel tenderness or affection
Word Origin and History for yearn
Old English geornan (Mercian), giernan (West Saxon), giorna (Northumbrian), from Proto-Germanic *gernijanan (cf. Gothic gairnjan "to desire," German begehren "to desire"), from *gernaz (cf. Old High German gern, Old Norse gjarn "desirous," Old English georn "eager, desirous," German gern "gladly, willingly"), from PIE root *gher- "to like, want" (see hortatory). Related: Yearned; yearning.