Definitions

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

  • intransitive v. To have a strong, often melancholy desire.
  • intransitive v. To feel deep pity, sympathy, or tenderness: yearned over the child's fate.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. To long, have a strong desire (for something).
  • v. To long back with melancholy, nostalgically

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • transitive v. To pain; to grieve; to vex.
  • intransitive v. To be pained or distressed; to grieve; to mourn.
  • v. To curdle, as milk.
  • intransitive v. To be filled with longing desire; to be harassed or rendered uneasy with longing, or feeling the want of a thing; to strain with emotions of affection or tenderness; to long; to be eager.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To long for something; desire eagerly; feel desire or longing.
  • To cry out eagerly; give tongue, as a dog.
  • To grieve; mourn; sorrow.
  • To grieve; trouble; vex.
  • Same as earn.
  • Same as earn.
  • n. A dialectal (Scotch) form of earn.

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

  • v. desire strongly or persistently
  • v. have a desire for something or someone who is not present
  • v. have affection for; feel tenderness for

Etymologies

Middle English yernen, from Old English geornan, giernan.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Old English giernan, from Proto-Germanic *girnijanan. (Wiktionary)

Examples

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