verb (used without object)

  1. to open the mouth somewhat involuntarily with a prolonged, deep inhalation and sighing or heavy exhalation, as from drowsiness or boredom.
  2. to open wide like a mouth.
  3. to extend or stretch wide, as an open and deep space.

verb (used with object)

  1. to say with a yawn.
  2. Archaic. to open wide, or lay open, as if by yawning.


  1. an act or instance of yawning.
  2. an opening; open space; chasm.
  3. Also yawner. Informal. something so boring as to make one yawn: Critics say the new fashions are one big yawn.


  1. (intr) to open the mouth wide and take in air deeply, often as in involuntary reaction to tiredness, sleepiness, or boredom
  2. (tr) to express or utter while yawning
  3. (intr) to be open wide as if threatening to engulf (someone or something)the mine shaft yawned below


  1. the act or an instance of yawning

v.c.1300, yenen, yonen, from Old English ginian, gionian “open the mouth wide, gape,” from Proto-Germanic *gin- (cf. Old Norse gina “to yawn,” Dutch geeuwen, Old High German ginen, German gähnen “to yawn”), from PIE *ghai- “to yawn, gape” (cf. Old Church Slavonic zijajo “to gape,” Lithuanian zioju, Czech zivati “to yawn,” Greek khainein, Latin hiare “to yawn, gape,” Sanskrit vijihite “to gape, be ajar”). Related: Yawned; yawning. n.“act of yawning,” 1690s, from yawn (v.). Meaning “boring thing” is attested from 1889. v.

  1. To open the mouth wide with a deep inhalation, usually involuntarily from drowsiness, fatigue, or boredom.


  1. The act of yawning.
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