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Word of the Day
Monday, June 11, 2001

Definitions for yen

  1. A desire or craving.
  2. An aluminum coin and monetary unit of Japan, equal to 100 sen or 1000 rin.
  3. To have a craving; yearn.

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Citations for yen
If you have a yen for real-life adventure stories, here are five paperbacks you want to be sure to slip into your vacation bag this summer. Marjorie Kehe, "5 gripping real-life adventure stories", Christian Science Monitor, May 2010.
"But the thing here is, Darcy, I've had a bit of a ... of a yen for him for ... well, forever. I just thought it was time to act on it or I'd always have one, and where would that get me?" Nora Roberts, Tears of the moon
Origin of yen
The use of yen to signify a desire, as opposed to Japanese currency, is an Americanism that probably derives from Chinese dialect, yáhn or yin, "craving."