[ yur-ning ]
/ ˈyɜr nɪŋ /


deep longing, especially when accompanied by tenderness or sadness: a widower's yearning for his wife.
an instance of such longing.

Origin of yearning

before 900; Middle English; Old English gierninge. See yearn, -ing1


yearn·ing·ly, adverbun·yearn·ing, adjective

synonym study for yearning

1. See desire.

Definition for yearning (2 of 2)

[ yurn ]
/ yɜrn /

verb (used without object)

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

before 900; Middle English yernen, Old English giernan derivative of georn eager; akin to Old Norse girna to desire, Greek chaírein to rejoice, Sanskrit háryati (he) desires


1 Yearn, long, hanker, pine all mean to feel a powerful desire for something. Yearn stresses the depth and passionateness of a desire: to yearn to get away and begin a new life; to yearn desperately for recognition. Long implies a wholehearted desire for something that is or seems unattainable: to long to relive one's childhood; to long for the warmth of summer. Hanker suggests a restless or incessant craving to fulfill some urge or desire: to hanker for a promotion; to hanker after fame and fortune. Pine adds the notion of physical or emotional suffering as a result of the real or apparent hopelessness of one's desire: to pine for one's native land; to pine for a lost love.


yearn·er, nounun·yearned, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

Examples from the Web for yearning

British Dictionary definitions for yearning (1 of 2)

/ (ˈjɜːnɪŋ) /


an intense or overpowering longing, desire, or need; craving

Derived forms of yearning

yearningly, adverb

British Dictionary definitions for yearning (2 of 2)

/ (jɜːn) /

verb (intr)

(usually foll by for or after or an infinitive) to have an intense desire or longing (for); pine (for)
to feel tenderness or affection

Derived forms of yearn

yearner, noun

Word Origin for yearn

Old English giernan; related to Old Saxon girnian, Old Norse girna, Gothic gairnjan, Old High German gerōn to long for, Sanskrit haryati he likes
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