Definition of yearn in English:

yearn

verb

[no object]
  • 1Have an intense feeling of longing for something, typically something that one has lost or been separated from.

    ‘she yearned for a glimpse of him’
    with infinitive ‘they yearned to go home’
    • ‘But more than that, the human spirit yearns to inspire.’
    • ‘A sub-plot sees Sanderson still yearning for his ex-wife, but reluctant to make the first move towards a reconciliation.’
    • ‘Residents are yearning for quality services in their respective areas and this can only come about if these institutions are made smaller and efficient.’
    • ‘Wanting and yearning for clarity and peace of mind.’
    • ‘While those in their 40s and 50s may feel oppressed by their jobs, resenting the daily commute to work and yearning for retirement, we are already free and full of spirit.’
    • ‘It's all about love: lust, yearning for parenthood, remembered passions and, most intriguingly, the love an author feels for her character.’
    • ‘My heart aches now, yearning for you to come back and hug me for the last time before you leave.’
    • ‘But deep within, my spirit yearns to hear ‘a new thing’ from the church.’
    • ‘The country is yearning for clean and honest leadership.’
    • ‘Nevertheless, Leanna Brodie in the title role gave a remarkably moving, heartfelt performance as a woman yearning for something real amid the tawdriness around her.’
    • ‘And people are yearning for people they can believe in and trust.’
    • ‘I was expecting to feel him bite, bracing myself for the burning sensation, afraid of it, but yearning for it more than anything I have yearned for in my life.’
    • ‘A nation yearning for policies that are honest.’
    • ‘There comes a point in every festival where I start yearning for something pure and weighty - not to mention the more comfy seats of the International Festival venues.’
    • ‘Or maybe it was just Tolkien, sickened by the barbarousness of the 20th century, yearning for the certainties of a lost England that possibly never existed anyway.’
    • ‘We are all constantly yearning to fly, chart new vistas, explore new horizons and find our own path.’
    • ‘There is a legacy of ice sports in that area and the public is yearning for it to come back.’
    • ‘I starred into his eyes now calm, but deep down his spirit yearned to be free.’
    • ‘She survived with her instincts and her big warm heart which yearned to reach out for a feeling she had never felt before.’
    • ‘I know you're yearning for more, but try to enjoy the friendship.’
    • ‘It is a significant day for a nation and a region in need of, and yearning for, self-governance and an unshackling from dictatorships and oppression.’
    • ‘Frank sang the responsorial psalm, ‘Like the deer that yearns for running streams, so my soul is yearning for you my God’.’
    • ‘They have been yearning for this for a long time.’
    • ‘Your adventurous spirit yearns for a different exercise to take you out of the doldrums of yet another boring workout.’
    • ‘My heart yearned for you for months and now its desire is fulfilled!’
    • ‘I do love this country and I am not about to stop yearning for change and doing what I can to affect a change - but one grows weary.’
    long, pine, crave, desire, want, want badly, wish, feel a longing, have a longing, covet, lust, pant, hunger, thirst, ache, be aching, itch, be itching
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1archaic Be filled with compassion or warm feeling.
      ‘no fellow spirit yearned towards her’

Origin

Old English giernan, from a Germanic base meaning ‘eager’.

Pronunciation

yearn

/jəːn/