Definition of yawn in English:

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Pronunciation: /jɔːn/


1 [no object] Involuntarily open one’s mouth wide and inhale deeply due to tiredness or boredom: he began yawning and looking at his watch
More example sentences
  • Tinara opened her mouth to reply, but she suddenly put a hand to her mouth and yawned.
  • Alexis felt a compelling need to yawn but as she opened her mouth the arm tightened.
  • As it hits the back of your mouth or throat try yawning, as this action will open up your throat.
2 (usually as adjective yawning) Be wide open: a yawning chasm
More example sentences
  • She would have to pass through great agony to become a part of the great yawning nothingness.
  • Does one plug on, rounding out characters, filling in the yawning chasms in the plot?
  • The void between rich and poor is now a yawning chasm and home ownership is but a dream for most young couples.
gaping, wide open, wide, cavernous, deep;
large, huge, great, big
rare chasmal


1A reflex act of opening one’s mouth wide and inhaling deeply due to tiredness or boredom: he stretches and stifles a yawn
More example sentences
  • Hugh Bradley was in the pool recently and said the two boys had yawns as wide as a hippopotamus' mouth.
  • I tried not to show my boredom, but my yawns were coming quicker and quicker.
  • And, since the good jokes don't come until the final third, a lot of yawns will have to be stifled.
1.1 [in singular] informal A thing that is considered boring or tedious: the film is just one big yawn
More example sentences
  • How are you going to get big voter turnout when everybody seems to think these elections are a big yawn?
  • Because the dirty little secret is that most Americans still greet the MLS with a big yawn.
  • It happened 15 years ago and it's been either a big yawn or a big laugh ever since.



Pronunciation: /ˈjɔːnɪŋli/
Example sentences
  • Still, it wasn't unusual for a typical pattern to arise, almost yawningly predictable.
  • As ever, the building's the Star, the exhibits yawningly, unyieldingly tiresome.
  • Rashly, Theresa accepts a second date with Tony at which the gulf between them becomes yawningly apparent.


Old English geonian, of Germanic origin, from an Indo-European root shared by Latin hiare and Greek khainein. Current noun senses date from the early 18th century.

Words that rhyme with yawn

adorn, born, borne, bourn, Braun, brawn, corn, dawn, drawn, faun, fawn, forborne, forewarn, forlorn, freeborn, lawn, lorn, morn, mourn, newborn, Norn, outworn, pawn, prawn, Quorn, sawn, scorn, Sean, shorn, spawn, suborn, sworn, thorn, thrawn, torn, Vaughan, warn, withdrawn, worn

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: yawn

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