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  • IPA(key): /ˈjɔːnɪŋ/
  • Audio (US):(file)
  • Rhymes: -ɔːnɪŋ



  1. present participle and gerund of yawn


yawning (countable and uncountable, plural yawnings)

  1. The action of the verb yawn.
    • 1831, L[etitia] E[lizabeth] L[andon], chapter IX, in Romance and Reality. , volume III, London: Henry Colburn and Richard Bentley, , →OCLC, page 189:
      Her vivacity appeared as graceful as it was buoyant; her gay spirit seemed the musical overflowings of youth and happiness; her eye and cheek brightened together; and her sweet glad laugh was as catching as yawning.


yawning (comparative more yawning, superlative most yawning)

  1. That yawns or yawn.
    yawning commuters
  2. (figuratively) Wide open.
    a yawning chasm;  the shark's yawning jaws
    • 2007 November, Gil Schwartz, “Escape from the job monster”, in Men's Health, volume 22, number 9, →ISSN, page 122:
      That experience really taught me something. That deep down inside, I am broken, and that I'm using work to plaster over some yawning gap within myself.
    • 2013 August 3, “The machine of a new soul”, in The Economist, volume 408, number 8847:
      The yawning gap in neuroscientists’ understanding of their topic is in the intermediate scale of the brain’s anatomy. Science has a passable knowledge of how individual nerve cells, known as neurons, work. It also knows which visible lobes and ganglia of the brain do what.
    • 2019, Li Huang, James Lambert, “Another Arrow for the Quiver: A New Methodology for Multilingual Researchers”, in Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development, →DOI, page 1:
      But always and ever there is a yawning chasm below[.]

Derived terms