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yen

1
[yen]
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noun, plural yen.
  1. an aluminum coin and monetary unit of Japan, equal to 100 sen or 1000 rin. Symbol: ¥; Abbreviation: Y
  2. a former silver coin of Japan.
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Origin of yen

1
1870–75; < Japanese (y)en < Chinese yuán yuan

yen

2
[yen]Informal.
noun
  1. a desire or craving: I had a yen for apple pie.
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verb (used without object), yenned, yen·ning.
  1. to have a craving; yearn.
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Origin of yen

2
1905–10, Americanism; probably < dialectal Chinese (OAGuangdong) yáhn, akin to Chinese yǐn craving, addiction

Synonyms for yen

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

Related Words for yen

desire, urge, itch, hankering, longing, hunger, thirst, lust, yearning, passion, craving

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British Dictionary definitions for yen

yen

1
noun plural yen
  1. the standard monetary unit of Japan, (notionally) divided into 100 sen
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Word Origin for yen

C19: from Japanese en, from Chinese yüan circular object, dollar

yen

2
noun
  1. a passionate, ardent, or intense longing or desire
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verb yens, yenning or yenned
  1. (intr) to yearn
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Word Origin for yen

perhaps from Chinese (Cantonese) yăn a craving, addiction
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 yen

n.1

Japanese monetary unit, 1875, from Japanese yen, from Chinese yuan "round, round object, circle, dollar."

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n.2

"sharp desire, hunger," 1906, earlier yin "intense craving for opium" (1876), from Chinese (Cantonese) yan "craving," or from a Beijing dialect word for "smoke." Reinforced in English by influence of yearn.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with yen

yen

see have a yen for.

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The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.