v. yawned, yawn·ing, yawns
1. To open the mouth wide with a deep inhalation, usually involuntarily from drowsiness, fatigue, or boredom.
2. To open wide; gape: The chasm yawned at our feet.
To utter wearily, as while yawning: yawned his disapproval of the silly venture.
1. The act of yawning.
2. Informal One that provokes yawns; a bore: The movie was nothing more than one big yawn.
[Middle English yanen, alteration of yonen, yenen, from Old English geonian.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.