being or standing wide open; gaping: the yawning mouth of a cave.
indicating by yawns one's weariness or indifference: The lecturer was oblivious to his yawning audience.

before 900; Middle English; Old English geniendum. See yawn, -ing2

yawningly, adverb
Dictionary.com Unabridged


verb (used without object)
to open the mouth somewhat involuntarily with a prolonged, deep inhalation and sighing or heavy exhalation, as from drowsiness or boredom.
to open wide like a mouth.
to extend or stretch wide, as an open and deep space.
verb (used with object)
to say with a yawn.
Archaic. to open wide, or lay open, as if by yawning.
an act or instance of yawning.
an opening; open space; chasm.
Also, yawner. Informal. something so boring as to make one yawn: Critics say the new fashions are one big yawn.

before 900; Middle English yanen, yonen (v.), alteration of yenen, Old English ge(o)nian; akin to Old English gānian, ginan, Old Norse gīna, G gähnen, Latin hiāre (see hiatus), Greek chaínein to gape (see chasm)

yawn, yon.

1–3. gape.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source Link To yawning
World English Dictionary
yawn (jɔːn)
1.  (intr) to open the mouth wide and take in air deeply, often as in involuntary reaction to tiredness, sleepiness, or boredom
2.  (tr) to express or utter while yawning
3.  (intr) to be open wide as if threatening to engulf (someone or something): the mine shaft yawned below
4.  the act or an instance of yawning
[Old English gionian; related to Old Saxon ginōn, Old High German ginēn to yawn, Old Norse gjā gap]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
Cite This Source
Word Origin & History

c.1300, yenen, yonen, from O.E. ginian, gionian "open the mouth wide, gape," from P.Gmc. *gin- (cf. O.N. gina "to yawn," Du. geeuwen, O.H.G. ginen, Ger. gähnen "to yawn"), from PIE *gh(e)i- (cf. O.C.S. zijajo "to gape," Lith. zioju, Czech zivati "to yawn," Gk. khainein, L. hiare "to yawn, gape,"
Skt. vijihite "to gape, be ajar"). Noun meaning "act of yawning" is recorded from 1697. Yawner "something boring" is Amer.Eng. slang first recorded 1942 (yawn in this sense is attested from 1889).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

yawn (yôn)
v. yawned, yawn·ing, yawns
To open the mouth wide with a deep inhalation, usually involuntarily from drowsiness, fatigue, or boredom. n.
The act of yawning.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Cite This Source
Example sentences
At the same time, science opened up a yawning chasm of the unknown inside ordinary objects.
The yawning gap between intended outcomes and eventual use value is one common to all research, regardless of discipline.
The yawning seam and corroded bolt conceal their defects from the mariner until the storm calls all hands to the pumps.
The problem is that there's a yawning gap between traditional pharmaceutical companies and genomics research.
Related Words
Copyright © 2014 Dictionary.com, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature