- 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 yearned
Growing up as a teen in the 1960s, she had yearned to wear the same clothes her girlfriends wore.Inside A Finishing School for Transwomen
December 27, 2014
Mrs. Clinton gave them just the sizzle they yearned for in a recent interview in The Atlantic.Here's How to Dig Out of This 'Stupid Sh*t' U.S. Foreign Policy
Leslie H. Gelb
August 13, 2014
He more likely yearned to be a hero like the men in the movie posters.Hollywood, Shootings, and ‘2 Guns’: When Is Stylized Violence Obscene?
July 30, 2013
She yearned to do something that would affect the poorest people—the people on the ground who get lost in the shuffle.Luci: A Revolutionary Solar-Powered Lantern That Shines a Light on Poverty
Janine di Giovanni
May 26, 2013
McConnell's claim to the historical legacy he once yearned for might lie, ironically, in having made Obama's possible.Concern-Trolling Mitch McConnell
May 13, 2013
But much as he yearned to do so, he dared not search the wall.Way of the Lawless
No other woman since the world began had been so fit for love, had yearned for it so hungrily.The Bacillus of Beauty
How she had yearned for the comfort of it when her children were born.Dust
Mr. and Mrs. Haldeman-Julius
Perhaps he yearned for companionship and welcomed the sight of living things.The Long Labrador Trail
The daughter fed the horse day by day, but she was lonely and yearned for her father.The Chinese Fairy Book
- (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 yearned
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.