What does yawning mean?

Definitions for yawning

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word yawning.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. yawn, yawning, oscitance, oscitancyadjective

    an involuntary intake of breath through a wide open mouth; usually triggered by fatigue or boredom

    "he could not suppress a yawn"; "the yawning in the audience told him it was time to stop"; "he apologized for his oscitancy"

  2. yawningadjective

    gaping open as if threatening to engulf someone or something

    "the yawning mine shaft"; "a yawning abyss"

  3. yawningadjective

    with the mouth wide open indicating boredom or sleepiness

    "a yawning congregation"

  4. drowsy, oscitant, yawning(a)adjective

    showing lack of attention or boredom

    "the yawning congregation"


  1. yawningnoun

    The action of the verb yawn.

  2. yawningadjective

    That yawns or yawn.

    yawning commuters

  3. yawningadjective

    Wide open.

    a yawning chasm

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. Yawningadjective

    Sleepy; slumbering.

    Etymology: from yawn.

    Ere to black Hecat’s summons
    The shard-born beetle, with his drowsy hums,
    Hath rung night’s yawning peal, there shall be done
    A deed of dreadful note. William Shakespeare, Macbeth.


  1. yawning

    A yawn is a reflex lasting 4–7 seconds, and is characterized by a long inspiratory phase with gradual mouth gaping, followed by a brief climax (or acme) with muscle stretching, and a rapid expiratory phase with muscle relaxation. For fish and birds, this is described as gradual mouth gaping, staying open for at least 3 seconds and subsequently a rapid closure of the mouth. Almost all vertebrate animals, including mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, and even fish, experience yawning. The study of yawning is called chasmology.Yawning (oscitation) most often occurs in adults immediately before and after sleep, during tedious activities and as a result of its contagious quality. It is commonly associated with tiredness, stress, sleepiness, boredom, or even hunger. In humans, yawning is often triggered by the perception that others are yawning (for example, seeing a person yawning, or talking to someone on the phone who is yawning). This is a typical example of positive feedback. This "contagious" yawning has also been observed in chimpanzees, dogs, cats, birds, and reptiles and can occur between members of different species. Approximately twenty psychological reasons for yawning have been proposed by scholars but there is little agreement on the primacy of any one.During a yawn, muscles around the airway are fully stretched, including chewing and swallowing muscles. Due to these strong repositioning muscle movements, the airway (lungs and throat) dilates to three or four times its original size. The tensor tympani muscle in the middle ear contracts, which creates a rumbling noise perceived as coming from within the head; however, the noise is due to mechanical disturbance of the hearing apparatus and is not generated by the motion of air. Yawning is sometimes accompanied, in humans and other animals, by an instinctive act of stretching several parts of the body including the arms, neck, shoulders and back.


  1. yawning

    Yawning is an involuntary action or reflex where a person opens their mouth wide and inhales deeply due to tiredness or boredom. This act often involves stretching and is usually contagious, meaning it can be triggered when one person sees or thinks about another person yawning.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Yawning

    of Yawn


  1. Yawning

    The yawning, Poromitra oscitans, is a fish of the family Melamphaidae, found in tropical and subtropical waters of the indo-Pacific region.

U.S. National Library of Medicine

  1. Yawning

    An involuntary deep INHALATION with the MOUTH open, often accompanied by the act of stretching.

How to pronounce yawning?

How to say yawning in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of yawning in Chaldean Numerology is: 4

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of yawning in Pythagorean Numerology is: 3

Examples of yawning in a Sentence

  1. Donald Trump:

    I have to keep you people entertained and awake, have you seen Hillary Clinton using a teleprompter …. People starting yawning. It’s a disaster.

  2. Miyamoto Musashi, The Book of Five Rings:

    There is infection in everything. Even sleepiness can be infectious, and yawning can be infectious. There is even the infection of a time.

  3. Ramon Price:

    He's moving now, he's opening his eyes, he's yawning, he's coughing, he's moving his hands, he's moving his legs, what a miraculous turnaround.

  4. The Russian:

    I was even thinking during the match that some of you guys stayed... I heard somebody was yawning though sometimes during the match, i'm sorry, I thought it was quite an exciting match.

  5. Joe Robinson:

    It’s like when you’re hanging out with somebody and that person starts yawning — within a couple seconds you’re doing the same thing, mirror neurons are there because they’re a bonding tool. They’re supposed to help bring us together. But in the case of stress, well, they cause problems.

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Translations for yawning

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"yawning." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 13 Jul 2024. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/yawning>.

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    assist or encourage, usually in some wrongdoing
    A knead
    B flub
    C abet
    D caddie

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