Definition of yarn in English:


Pronunciation /yärn/ /jɑrn/

Translate yarn into Spanish


  • 1Spun thread used for knitting, weaving, or sewing.

    ‘hanks of pale green yarn’
    • ‘a fine yarn for a lightweight garment’
    • ‘There was a guy in there showing a girl how to spin yarn using a spindle.’
    • ‘Typically, American stocking factories spun their own wool into yarn or thread.’
    • ‘Older women continue to weave long, colorful sashes with red wool yarn on a white cotton background.’
    • ‘Many of the second and third generation of settlers grew flax and spun and wove yarn in addition to tending a small farm.’
    • ‘My mother sewed most of my clothes as a child, so I have an affinity for patterns, cloth, thread and yarn.’
    • ‘It is made from silk or cotton yarn and is woven using a wooden loom.’
    • ‘I have crewel yarn and silk thread, and I'm determined to make something of it.’
    • ‘In another building, not far from where the sewing is taking place, cotton is spun into yarn and turned into a material.’
    • ‘There is also a deep fascination with texture from the fine silk cotton yarn, to the merino and the matted felt coats she constructs.’
    • ‘The cotton would be cleaned and then spun into yarn or thread.’
    • ‘The cotton gets grown in India, then spun into yarn somewhere else, then dyed, knit, cut and sewn all in different countries.’
    • ‘Raw flax and wool was spun into yarn, this was then dyed or bleached, woven into cloth and then cut and sewn into the garments their families needed.’
    • ‘The floor was littered with baskets of differently-colored yarn and thread, and a few spinning wheels stood near the far end of the chamber.’
    • ‘There was a curtain of blue beads and green and blue shells threaded with shimmering silver yarn, turning the doorway into a magical entrance to a seascape.’
    • ‘The first water-powered cotton spinning mills typically expanded production by putting out yarn to be woven by members of farming families.’
    • ‘Zhang created a steelworks at Wuhan, textile mills, and factories producing cement, glass, paper, cotton yarn and cloth, and leather goods.’
    • ‘The plan now is to get hold of some fleece or other spinnable fibre, infuse it with power from various herbs and additives, spin it into yarn using my magic spindle, then weave it into magical cloth.’
    • ‘The gold-coloured fibre is spun into a breath-taking range of textured yarn and woven into a spectrum of colourful floor coverings, wall hangings and artifacts.’
    • ‘The use of wool, cotton, silk, flax, or some other plant or animal fibre yarn or thread to produce textiles of various sorts by criss-crossing the yarns together in at least two directions.’
    • ‘Ann Kemp left Lancashire in the mid-1980s to farm on Islay, hand shearing her own rare breed sheep, spinning their wool into yarn, dyeing it with natural dyes and knitting it.’
    thread, cotton, wool, fibre, filament, strand
    View synonyms
  • 2informal A long or rambling story, especially one that is implausible.

    • ‘he never let reality get in the way of a good yarn’
    • ‘The open fire is a focal point around which many yarns are spun and stories told.’
    • ‘The detective yarn is one of the most formally defined modes of storytelling.’
    • ‘It's a treat and guaranteed to having you curling up in laughter at some of the yarns and stories from times past.’
    • ‘He was a gifted conversationalist and had many fine stories and yarns which he could embellish with style.’
    • ‘They travelled from near and far to join in the celebrations with many swapping tales and yarns of growing up in the area.’
    • ‘Since then he has kept returning to them, trying to find the real essential story behind the detective yarns.’
    • ‘As all wine drinkers know, the Australian wine story is a great yarn.’
    • ‘And maybe even worse than that, it seems we all have an appetite for good yarns like the story of the Harvard student.’
    • ‘The spin doctors catch the civilian sheep off guard, whip up a public frenzy to support a whole new war, and spin one of the biggest yarns in modern history.’
    • ‘Mix the ingredients and a compelling story emerges - not only because it is a cracking yarn but because we think we know most of the details already.’
    • ‘But it's all still a tale, a yarn, a story, a narrative.’
    • ‘This would contain short stories, poetry, yarns, jokes, etc.’
    • ‘The Dock Museum is hosting a day of seasonal yarns and tall tales with renowned Lakeland storyteller Taffy Thomas on Saturday, December 18.’
    • ‘The stories have the exaggerated feel of campfire yarns, amusing anecdotes you'd tell your buddy, but they are told from behind the standing mics, with guitars strapped in place.’
    • ‘Carey satirizes literary culture, plays with archetypes, exoticism, and the convolutions of travel yarns, and evokes Malaysia and Indonesia with aplomb.’
    • ‘John Cunliffe wrote his Pat stories after hearing yarns from the friendly man who ran his local Lake District post office, and used his own experience of running a mobile library in rural Northumberland.’
    • ‘Enjoy an evening of spell-binding stories and ripping yarns at a special evening of storytelling at St Catherines Church, Patterdale Road, Windermere, on Friday.’
    • ‘Thrillers, adventures, childhood yarns, shaggy dog stories, ‘straight’ fiction written with humour, heart and psychological insight.’
    • ‘This is a monthly night out, and we are told it is also a very unique evening, where everyones gathers around the fire, and they travel from far and near and tell stories, swap yarns, ceol agus craic, and it is guaranteed to be a great night.’
    • ‘I'm relieved to see the DVD catalogue is maturing fast, with standard movies joining what seemed to be almost exclusively blockbuster effect-laden thrillers and adventure yarns.’
    story, tale, anecdote, fable, parable, traveller's tale, fairy story, rigmarole, saga, sketch, narrative, reminiscence, account, report, history
    View synonyms

intransitive verb

[no object]informal
  • Tell a long or implausible story.

    • ‘they were yarning about local legends and superstitions’
    • ‘Her mother taught her how to fish, dig for worms, catch seaworms, and swim, and then at night her mother, uncles and aunts would gather all the children around the campfire for a night of yarning.’
    • ‘Daily activities such as meeting, talking, sitting, yarning, playing, working, painting and cooking are also processes that imbue a place with meaning and culture associated with the user group.’
    • ‘There was no television; we had radio, but our main entertainment was sitting around yarning, and telling, recalling stories of childhood and the bush and the Depression and the War and so on.’
    • ‘It is a fitting way to start an evening around the campfire yarning about Rex's exploits and adventures - intrepid journeys of exploration by the bushman and naturalist many call the founder of Australia's outback safari industry.’
    • ‘For reasons I now do not recall, he yarned about the ‘early days, bad old days‘.’
    • ‘Peace keepers who served in East Timor yarned with former prisoners of war, as Australian service men and women shared their experiences over a beer.’


Old English gearn; of Germanic origin, related to Dutch garen.