intr.v. yearned, yearn·ing, yearns
1. To have a strong, often sad longing: yearn for a better life; yearn to see an old friend.
2. To feel deep pity, sympathy, or tenderness: yearned over the child's fate.
[Middle English yernen, from Old English geornan, giernan; see gher-2 in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2018 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
The American Heritage Dictionary Blog
Check out our blog, updated regularly, for new words and revised definitions, interesting images from the 5th edition, discussions of usage, and more.