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yearning

[yur-ning] /ˈyɜr nɪŋ/
noun
1.
deep longing, especially when accompanied by tenderness or sadness:
a widower's yearning for his wife.
2.
an instance of such longing.
Origin
900
before 900; Middle English; Old English gierninge. See yearn, -ing1
Related forms
yearningly, adverb
unyearning, adjective
Synonyms
1. See desire.

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
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 yearning
  • But he is a famous film actor who feeds a popular yearning for heroes, even fictional ones.
  • But it brings you the yearning to know about it, right.
  • The acclaimed novelist probes our yearning for a fixed address.
  • Both minimal and magical, it fused the urban art-school ideas of his generation with a romantic yearning to be at one with nature.
  • Full of yearning and lament, the tango is perfect therapy for a nation still stinging from economic loss.
  • Everyone eyes it with thinly-veiled yearning but no one quite dares to be the first to take it or to inquire as to its fate.
  • Blogs and news sites across the web host message boards yearning for your commentary.
  • But in the event, the robot's religious yearning to keep the power flowing means that no harm is done.
  • They must represent a yearning for simplicity in difficult times.
  • The public has been yearning for some political stability-particularly in a time of crisis.
British Dictionary definitions for yearning

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

yearning

/ˈjɜːnɪŋ/
noun
1.
an intense or overpowering longing, desire, or need; craving
Derived Forms
yearningly, adverb
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 yearning

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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