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.
How to use yen in a sentence
Negative real rates also make dollars less attractive to funds and folks with savings abroad, so they will increasingly invest in their home countries, or invest elsewhere in euro or yen securities, because our returns don’t even match inflation.The biggest economic threat facing the next administration: A weak dollar|Shawn Tully|October 11, 2020|Fortune
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
The amount of vanished bitcoins was 650,000 BTC (or 24.7 billion yen).Japanese Bitcoin Heist ‘an Inside Job,’ Not Hackers Alone|Nathalie-Kyoko Stucky, Jake Adelstein|January 1, 2015|DAILY BEAST
The cops say Kakehi gained several hundred million yen in inheritance from the deaths over the years.
The ministry pours an estimated 700 million yen (6.8 million dollars) into whale research per year.Welcome to Japan’s Whale Week, Featuring Curried Whale Meat And Exploding Harpoons|Angela Erika Kubo, Jake Adelstein|June 12, 2014|DAILY BEAST
This is a country where an estimated two trillion yen ($19.3 billion) are spent each year on the legal sex industry.Japan’s Desperate Housewives Opting for Adulterous Online Dating|Angela Erika Kubo, Jake Adelstein|April 2, 2014|DAILY BEAST
Day tickets at Asahidake (www.wakasaresort.com) cost 4,000 yen.Olympians Dish on Their Favorite Spots to Ski & Snowboard|The Daily Beast|October 26, 2013|DAILY BEAST
Long-yen is somewhat smaller, but is also white and tender, though the taste is rather watery.A Woman's Journey Round the World|Ida Pfeiffer
The one I liked best was (even in Japanese things my fancy usually hits on the most expensive) just a thousand yen in price!A Journal from Japan|Marie Carmichael Stopes
I had rather a time getting old Hiraoka to rent it, but an auctioneer will do anything for enough yen.Winona of the Camp Fire|Margaret Widdemer
They plundered a sum of 200,000 yen from the Ono Company, and made a successful raid upon the prefectural offices of Kumamoto.
But for its passage, the deficit of the next fiscal year would have reached beyond forty-six millions of yen.
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.