From Biology-Online Dictionary | Biology-Online Dictionary


1. To open the mouth involuntarily through drowsiness, dullness, or fatigue; to gape; to oscitate. The lazy, yawning drone. And while above he spends his breath, The yawning audience nod beneath. (Trumbull)

2. To open wide; to gape, as if to allow the entrance or exit of anything. 't is now the very witching time of night, When churchyards yawn. (Shak)

3. To open the mouth, or to gape, through surprise or bewilderment.

4. To be eager; to desire to swallow anything; to express desire by yawning; as, to yawn for fat livings. One long, yawning gaze.

Origin: OE. Yanien, yanien, ganien, gonien, AS. Ganian; akin to ginian to yawn, ginan to yawn, open wide, G. Gahnen to yawn, OHG. Ginen, geinon, Icel. Gina to yawn, gin the mouth, OSlav. Zijati to yawn, L. Hiare to gape, yawn; and perhaps to E. Begin, cf. Gr. Cheia a hole. B. Cf. Begin, Gin to begin, Hiatus.