Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • intransitive v. To open the mouth wide with a deep inhalation, usually involuntarily from drowsiness, fatigue, or boredom.
  • intransitive v. To open wide; gape: The chasm yawned at our feet.
  • transitive v. To utter wearily, while or as if while yawning: yawned his disapproval of the silly venture.
  • n. The act of yawning.
  • n. A fatigued or bored response.
  • n. Informal One that provokes yawns; a bore: The movie was nothing more than one big yawn.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. To open the mouth widely and take a long, rather deep breath, often because one is tired and sometimes accompanied by pandiculation.
  • v. To present an opening that appears able to swallow one up, literally or metaphorically:
  • n. The action of yawning; opening the mouth widely and taking a long, rather deep breath, often because one is tired.
  • n. A particularly boring event.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • intransitive v. To open the mouth involuntarily through drowsiness, dullness, or fatigue; to gape; to oscitate.
  • intransitive v. To open wide; to gape, as if to allow the entrance or exit of anything.
  • intransitive v. To open the mouth, or to gape, through surprise or bewilderment.
  • intransitive v. To be eager; to desire to swallow anything; to express desire by yawning.
  • n. An involuntary act, excited by drowsiness, etc., consisting of a deep and long inspiration following several successive attempts at inspiration, the mouth, fauces, etc., being wide open.
  • n. The act of opening wide, or of gaping.
  • n. A chasm, mouth, or passageway.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To gape; open; stand wide.
  • Specifically
  • To open the mouth wide.
  • Involuntarily, as through drowsiness or dullness; gape; oscitate. Compare yawning.
  • To gape, as in hunger or thirst for something; hence, to be eager; long.
  • To be open-mouthed with surprise, bewilderment, etc.; be agape.
  • To open; form by opening.
  • To express or utter with a yawn.
  • n. The act of gaping or opening wide.
  • n. An involuntary opening of the mouth from drowsiness; oscitation. See yawning.
  • n. An opening; a chasm.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • v. utter a yawn, as from lack of oxygen or when one is tired
  • v. be wide open
  • n. an involuntary intake of breath through a wide open mouth; usually triggered by fatigue or boredom

Etymologies

Middle English yanen, alteration of yonen, yenen, from Old English geonian.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
(1) Partly from Middle English yanen ‘to yawn’, from Old English ġānian, from Proto-Germanic *ganōnan (cf. North Frisian jåne, German gähnen, Swedish dialect gana ‘to gape, gawk’), denominative of *ganaz (cf. Swedish gan ‘gullet, maw’); (2) and partly from Middle English yenen, yonen ‘to yawn’, from Old English ġinian, ġionian, frequentative of ġīnan, from Proto-Germanic *gīnanan (compare Norwegian gina ‘to gape’), from Proto-Indo-European *ǵʰih₁-neh₂ (compare Russian зинуть (zínutʹ), Greek χαίνω (chaínō)); (3) both from *ǵʰeh₂u- ‘to yawn, gape’ (compare Dutch geeuwen, Latin hiō, Tocharian A śew, Tocharian B kāyā, Lithuanian žióti, Russian зиять (zijátʹ), Sanskrit vijihite). (Wiktionary)

Examples

Comments

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  • This surprised me:
    "Yawning, argues Dr. Robert Provine, a neuroscientist, professor of psychology, and yawning expert (yes, yawning expert) at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, is an evolutionary trait conserved across all vertebrate species. Fish do it, lions do it, we do it. It is so embedded in the primitive parts of our brains that fetuses do it in utero."
    (Seen in a cheesy article here.)

    August 1, 2009

  • Bostezar is one of my favourite Spanish verbs.

    October 20, 2007

  • Bostezar, bostezo

    October 19, 2007

  • Daffynition: an honest opinion, openly expressed.

    January 6, 2007