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yearn

[yurn] /yɜrn/
verb (used without object)
1.
to have an earnest or strong desire; long:
to yearn for a quiet vacation.
2.
to feel tenderness; be moved or attracted:
They yearned over their delicate child.
Origin
900
before 900; Middle English yernen, Old English giernan derivative of georn eager; akin to Old Norse girna to desire, Greek chaírein to rejoice, Sanskrit háryati (he) desires
Related forms
yearner, noun
unyearned, adjective
Synonyms
1. Yearn, long, hanker, pine all mean to feel a powerful desire for something. Yearn stresses the depth and passionateness of a desire: to yearn to get away and begin a new life; to yearn desperately for recognition. Long implies a wholehearted desire for something that is or seems unattainable: to long to relive one's childhood; to long for the warmth of summer. Hanker suggests a restless or incessant craving to fulfill some urge or desire: to hanker for a promotion; to hanker after fame and fortune. Pine adds the notion of physical or emotional suffering as a result of the real or apparent hopelessness of one's desire: to pine for one's native land; to pine for a lost love.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for yearned
  • But the strategy is so successful that the authors yearned for puzzles whose solutions would require novel tactics.
  • In the boyish figure she yearned to see something half forgotten that had once been a part of herself re-created.
  • Besides the good looks, they said they yearned for the sense of adventure and honour of the medieval era.
  • He gave some prepared remarks about how the family appreciated the outpouring of grief but yearned for privacy.
  • One has sometimes yearned for what is not there, as if the victory of overcoming has exacted too heavy a forfeit.
  • His more zealous volunteers yearned for clarion calls, not pentameter.
  • He yearned to do history paintings, the prestige genre of the day.
  • The human race has long yearned to explore and understand worlds beyond our own.
  • These modifications did not placate those who yearned for simpler times.
  • After experiencing the world, many now yearned for a modern, urban life.
British Dictionary definitions for yearned

yearn

/jɜːn/
verb (intransitive)
1.
usually foll by for or after or an infinitive. to have an intense desire or longing (for); pine (for)
2.
to feel tenderness or affection
Derived Forms
yearner, noun
Word Origin
Old English giernan; related to Old Saxon girnian, Old Norse girna, Gothic gairnjan, Old High German gerōn to long for, Sanskrit haryati he likes
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for yearned

yearn

v.

Old English geornan (Mercian), giernan (West Saxon), giorna (Northumbrian), from Proto-Germanic *gernijanan (cf. Gothic gairnjan "to desire," German begehren "to desire"), from *gernaz (cf. Old High German gern, Old Norse gjarn "desirous," Old English georn "eager, desirous," German gern "gladly, willingly"), from PIE root *gher- "to like, want" (see hortatory). Related: Yearned; yearning.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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