• WordNet 3.6
    • v yearn have affection for; feel tenderness for
    • v yearn have a desire for something or someone who is not present "She ached for a cigarette","I am pining for my lover"
    • v yearn desire strongly or persistently
    • ***
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • v. i Yearn 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. "Joseph made haste; for his bowels did yearn upon his brother; and he sought where to weep.""Your mother's heart yearns towards you."
    • v. i Yearn To be pained or distressed; to grieve; to mourn. "Falstaff he is dead, and we must yearn therefore."
    • v. i. & t Yearn To curdle, as milk.
    • v. t Yearn yẽrn To pain; to grieve; to vex. "She laments, sir, for it, that it would yearn your heart to see it.""It yearns me not if men my garments wear."
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • yearn To long for something; desire eagerly; feel desire or longing.
    • yearn To cry out eagerly; give tongue, as a dog.
    • yearn To grieve; mourn; sorrow.
    • yearn To grieve; trouble; vex.
    • yearn Same as earn.
    • yearn Same as earn.
    • n yearn A dialectal (Scotch) form of earn.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • v.i Yearn yėrn to feel earnest desire: to feel uneasiness, as from longing or pity
    • adj Yearn longing
    • v.i., v.t Yearn yėrn (Shak.) to grieve.
    • v.t Yearn yėrn (Spens.) to earn.
    • v.i Yearn yėrn to curdle, as milk—also Earn
    • ***


  • Eric Hoffer
    “Man is the only creature that strives to surpass himself, and yearns for the impossible.”
  • Harriet Beecher Stowe
    “In all ranks of life the human heart yearns for the beautiful; and the beautiful things that God makes are his gift to all alike.”
  • Yevgeny Yevtushenko
    Yevgeny Yevtushenko
    “He who is conceived in a cage, yearns for the cage.”
  • Jose Ortega Y Gasset
    “Life is a series of collisions with the future; it is not the sum of what we have been, but what we yearn to be.”
  • Brendan Francis
    Brendan Francis
    “At the innermost core of all loneliness is a deep and powerful yearning for union with one's lost self.”
  • W. A. Clarke
    W. A. Clarke
    “Before marriage a man yearns for a woman. Afterward the y is silent.”


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
OE. yernen, ȝernen, ȝeornen, AS. geornian, gyrnan, fr. georn, desirous, eager; akin to OS. gern, desirous, girnean, gernean, to desire, D. gaarne, gladly, willingly, G. gern, OHG. gerno, adv., gern, a., G. gier, greed, OHG. girī, greed, ger, desirous, gerōn, to desire, G. begehren, Icel. girna, to desire, gjarn, eager, Goth. faíhugaírns, covetous, gaírnjan, to desire, and perhaps to Gr. chai`rein to rejoice, be glad, Skr. hary, to desire, to like. √33


In literature:

My Lord, inspire me with kind words and thoughtful deeds, that I may share the yearnings and sympathy of others.
"Leaves of Life" by Margaret Bird Steinmetz
They forced their way through her ignorance and untrained yearning for love and admiration.
"The Man Thou Gavest" by Harriet T. Comstock
A letter to Mr. Bonar, in 1837, from Dundee, shows us his yearnings over them.
"The Biography of Robert Murray M'Cheyne" by Andrew A. Bonar
All hearts yearned over them, all hands were ready to serve them.
"Memories" by Fannie A. (Mrs.) Beers
You are yearning for "the leeks and cucumbers of Egypt,"' with a grim smile.
"Uncle Max" by Rosa Nouchette Carey
Such was the helpless, tragic, kindly love and yearning of her.
"Emily Fox-Seton" by Frances Hodgson Burnett
Her school is a place of life, eager, yearning, pulsating life, and not a place of dead and deadening silence.
"The Vitalized School" by Francis B. Pearson
Men yearned for beauty and spontaneity, for passionate life, unprecedented and romantic.
"The Evolution of Love" by Emil Lucka
I yearned for a dictionary.
"The Luckiest Girl in the School" by Angela Brazil
He yearned to toss back at his father the taunt that was on his lips.
"The Tin Soldier" by Temple Bailey

In poetry:

I ask not now for gold to gild
With mocking shine a weary frame;
The yearning of the mind is stilled,
I ask not now for Fame.
"The Wish Of To-Day" by John Greenleaf Whittier
His little light of life was all too rare
And soft a flame:
Heaven yearned for him till angels hailed him there
Angel by name.
"A Baby's Death" by Algernon Charles Swinburne
Oh! I have hopes and yearnings—
Hopes that I know are vain
And knowledge robs life of pleasure—
And death of its only pain
"Night Thoughts 1" by John Boyle O Reilly
And my heart was full of the yearning
For some wide good to be;
But the rougher being of manhood
Hath still'd that frenzy in me.
"Gretchen" by Alexander Anderson
And I all shy and silent grow
Beneath his glance of gladness, though
Wild yearnings through my bosom spring,
When we shall meet.
"When We Shall Meet" by Freeman Edwin Miller
The dream fell on him one calm summer night;
And thus in that fair form still heavenward turning
Eternal aspiration, endless yearning,
Stood now the Thought before his gladden'd sight.
"The Sculptor" by Walter Richard Cassels

In news:

When she was diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 49, Jill Freidenrich yearned to connect with another woman who had had the disease.
If you're like me (and there's no reason you shouldn't be), you yearn for a return to basic values.
In a new exhibit, Frank explores teens' often painful yearning to belong.
And don't most Americans yearn, deep down, to be happy all of the time.
The bitter winter that has gripped parts of the US has many of us yearning for a warm vacation.
The Lakers yearn to win today, if not sooner, which is fine with new coach Mike D'Antoni and even finer with his dad.
Hitchcock': A slash-and- yearn mentality.
China's rich and famous yearn to fly for a hobby.
I yearn to tag the world with a red pen.
Which America do we most yearn for.
Many GM workers yearn to go home.
Americans yearn for debt deal.
Iranians yearn for freedom, too.
Cowboys yearn for Murray's versatility.
Spinal -injury patients yearn for local rehab.

In science:

The astrophysicists yearned for physics providing a compelling set of physical laws.
Report to Anaximander: A Dialogue on the Origin of the Cosmos in the Cradle of Western Civilization
Although all cosmic ray physicists yearn for an explanation of cosmic ray origins, it would be rash to assume that TeV astronomy has yet provided the smoking gun to solve this mystery.
TeV Gamma-ray Observations and the Origin of Cosmic Rays: I
But there are many, including myself, who yearn for analytic methods that reveal the essence of the phenomena.
Geometry of Multihadron Production