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[yur-ning] /ˈyɜr nɪŋ/
deep longing, especially when accompanied by tenderness or sadness:
a widower's yearning for his wife.
an instance of such longing.
Origin of yearning
before 900; Middle English; Old English gierninge. See yearn, -ing1
Related forms
yearningly, adverb
unyearning, adjective
1. See desire. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for yearningly
Historical Examples
  • She looked up at me—for I had climbed to the tree—dumbly, yearningly.

    A Maid of the Kentucky Hills Edwin Carlile Litsey
  • He must go with us—Jimmy,” broke out Helena yearningly: “and so must you.

    The Lady and the Pirate Emerson Hough
  • He gazed at her yearningly, then, with a wave of his hand toward her father's room, rode down the long avenue.

    Crestlands Mary Addams Bayne
  • She watched him yearningly until he felt her gaze and looked at her.

    The Secret of the Storm Country Grace Miller White
  • I found myself, hands clasped in lap, yearningly stooping towards her, just like a passionate young lady in a novel.

    Memoirs of a Midget Walter de la Mare
  • She held the lapels of his coat and looked tenderly, yearningly, in his face.

    The Invader Margaret L. Woods
  • I had feared that the yearningly inquisitive Sarah might also be there.

  • Her trembling hands were stretched out before her yearningly.

  • She turned her head toward him longingly, yearningly, with heaving breast.

  • He was sure she had been yearningly ambitious and that what she had visibly accomplished was far below her secret measure.

British Dictionary definitions for yearningly


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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