To yearn is to desire or want something. This word is used when the desire is very strong.

  • Zahra yearns to leave Morocco and live in the United States.
  • Robert yearned to go to college, but he couldn’t afford it.
  • The people of Syria are yearning for a peaceful settlement of the civil war.
  • Africans brought to the United States and sold into slavery yearned to be set free.
  • Maria yearns to see her family living in Mexico. She hasn’t seen them in several years.

The noun form of this word is "yearning."

  • Khadija feels a strong yearning to get married.
  • A yearning to be popular in school was the reason for the young man’s risky behavior.
  • The people of that country have a yearning for freedom from oppression.
  • The yearning for a woman he couldn’t marry drove the young man crazy.

Note: Another word similar to "yearn" is "long." The word "longing" is similar to "yearning." They yearn for peace. / They long for peace.

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October 24, 2013