noun, plural yen.
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Origin of yen1
Words nearby yen
Definition for yen (2 of 2)
verb (used without object), yenned, yen·ning.
Origin of yen2
What does yen mean?
Yen is a monetary unit of Japan similar to a dollar. It comes in the form of a coin that’s also called a yen.
The symbol for yen is ¥. Like a dollar, it can be divided into 100 parts called sen (though sen are not used in practice).
The plural of yen is yen.
Unrelatedly, yen is a slang term meaning a strong craving, desire, or yearning. It’s especially used in the phrase have a yen for. It can also be used as a verb meaning to crave or strongly desire.
Example: Ever since I came back from Italy, I’ve had a yen for fresh pasta.
Where does yen come from?
The first records of the word yen in English in reference to the currency come from the 1870s. It comes from the Chinese word yüan, meaning “circular object” or something like “dollar.” This word is also the basis of the Chinese unit of currency called the yuan. Yen coins are indeed circle-shaped, but yen banknotes come in varying denominations, just like the dollar.
The slang sense of the word yen was first used in the U.S. The first records of this use come from the early 1900s. It grew out of an earlier use referring to a craving for opium due to addiction, and in fact the word comes from a Chinese term that means “addiction” or “craving.”
If you have a yen for something, it means you have a craving for it. If you yen for something, you yearn for it. In both cases, the desire is strong, perhaps even passionate.
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How is yen used in real life?
When it refers to currency, yen is used in all the same ways that dollar is (except that the plural of yen is yen). The slang sense of yen is not so commonly used.
pro tip: change all your apps' currency to yen and you will feel like a baller
— Liam Ronan (@liampronan) May 6, 2020
I have a yen for some deep fried whitebait. How do I make this happen pic.twitter.com/p6CLuXIBcB
— oh. (@the_obald) May 19, 2020
Was yenning for an iPad, but I don't do proprietary, so I bought a new LG monitor instead.
— RebellionIsGood (@RebellionisGood) April 4, 2010
Try using yen!
Is yen used correctly in this sentence?
We dropped a lot of yen to quench our yen for authentic sushi.
Example sentences from the Web for yen
So even though it correctly touted trades such as going long equities, buying gold and betting on the yen against the dollar, it failed to benefit from its own foresight.The losses continue to pile up for hedge fund king Ray Dalio|Bernhard Warner|September 15, 2020|Fortune
Japan’s benchmark stock index sank 2% on Friday, while the yen strengthened, suggesting investors fear Abe’s exit doesn’t augur well for future growth.The legacy Shinzo Abe, Japan’s longest-serving Prime Minister, will leave after resigning|claychandler|August 28, 2020|Fortune
Day tickets at Asahidake (www.wakasaresort.com) cost 4,000 yen.
Lift Tickets: Day tickets at Niseko (www.niseko.ne.jp) are 5,900 yen, during the high season; multi-day passes are available.
Her yen for juxtaposition of pretty and ugly, water and tar, public and private, can be seen in the smallest moments.
The value of the yen is falling exactly as planned, and Japanese stocks on the Nikkei are doing very well.
He says his payments include 100,000 yen a month for “mental damage.”Fukushima Nuclear Cleanup Bogged Down in Bureaucracy, Could Take Decades|Lennox Samuels|March 11, 2013|DAILY BEAST
Yen Sin held it up before his eyes in the full glow of the lamp.The Best Short Stories of 1917|Various
Yen shrugged his shoulders and, looking straight in front of him, held voluble discourse with his comrade.Mortmain|Arthur Cheny Train
He receives considerable gifts of rice, perhaps to the value of 120 yen, at any rate enough for the whole year.
The budgets often of these men, who own their own land, show a balance of 85 yen.
The maximum deposit in one year of any depositor is limited to 500 yen (about £50).The Empire of the East|H. B. Montgomery
British Dictionary definitions for yen (1 of 2)
noun plural yen
Word Origin for yen
British Dictionary definitions for yen (2 of 2)
verb yens, yenning or yenned
Word Origin for yen
Idioms and Phrases with yen
see have a yen for.