- 1 [intransitive] to open your mouth wide and breathe in deeply through it, usually because you are tired or bored He stood up, stretched and yawned. We couldn't help yawning during the speech.
- 2[intransitive] (of a large hole or an empty space) to be very wide and often frightening and difficult to get across synonym gape A crevasse yawned at their feet. (figurative) There's a yawning gap between rich and poor. Word Origin 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 cent.Extra examples He got fed up of people yawning at him when he talked about his job. He sat up and yawned hugely. I was so tired I couldn’t stop yawning.
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BrE BrE//jɔːn//; NAmE NAmE//jɔːn//Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they yawn
BrE BrE//jɔːn//; NAmE NAmE//jɔːn//he / she / it yawns
BrE BrE//jɔːnz//; NAmE NAmE//jɔːnz//past simple yawned
BrE BrE//jɔːnd//; NAmE NAmE//jɔːnd//past participle yawned
BrE BrE//jɔːnd//; NAmE NAmE//jɔːnd//-ing form yawning
BrE BrE//ˈjɔːnɪŋ//; NAmE NAmE//ˈjɔːnɪŋ//