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See more synonyms for yearning on Thesaurus.com
  1. deep longing, especially when accompanied by tenderness or sadness: a widower's yearning for his wife.
  2. an instance of such longing.
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Origin of yearning

before 900; Middle English; Old English gierninge. See yearn, -ing1
Related formsyearn·ing·ly, adverbun·yearn·ing, adjective

Synonym study

1. See desire.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for yearningly

Historical Examples

  • Helen looked up and caught the eyes so yearningly regarding her.

    The Law-Breakers

    Ridgwell Cullum

  • I had feared that the yearningly inquisitive Sarah might also be there.

  • He must go with us—Jimmy,” broke out Helena yearningly: “and so must you.

  • She watched him yearningly until he felt her gaze and looked at her.

  • He slipped an arm around her yearningly, and then the storm within her broke.

British Dictionary definitions for yearningly


  1. an intense or overpowering longing, desire, or need; craving
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Derived Formsyearningly, adverb
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