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Word of the Day
Monday, June 11, 2001

Definitions for yen

  1. A desire or craving.
  2. An aluminum coin and monetary unit of Japan, equal to 100 sen or 1000 rin.
  3. To have a craving; yearn.

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Citations for yen
If you have a yen for real-life adventure stories, here are five paperbacks you want to be sure to slip into your vacation bag this summer. Marjorie Kehe, "5 gripping real-life adventure stories", Christian Science Monitor, May 2010.
"But the thing here is, Darcy, I've had a bit of a ... of a yen for him for ... well, forever. I just thought it was time to act on it or I'd always have one, and where would that get me?" Nora Roberts, Tears of the moon
Origin of yen
1870-1875
The use of yen to signify a desire, as opposed to Japanese currency, is an Americanism that probably derives from Chinese dialect, yáhn or yin, "craving."