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A.Word.A.Day--yen

Pronunciation RealAudio

yen (yen) noun

A strong desire or longing.

verb intr.

To have a strong desire; yearn.

[From obsolete US slang yen-yen (craving for opium), from yinyan (opium) + yan (craving), from Cantonese yan.]

yen (yen) noun, plural yen

A unit of currency of Japan.

[From Japanese en, from Chinese yuan (circle, dollar).]

"MEA officials with a yen for both high diplomacy and adventure ... have put together a great trip." Jyoti Malhotra; Exit via Gujarat; Indian Express (New Delhi, India); Sep 15, 2003.

"Instantly smitten with a featured player (Jason Priestley), he journeys to you-know-where to meet his yenned-for male starlet ..." Mike Clark; Home Movies; USA Today; Jan 22, 1999.

This week's theme: words originating in Cantonese.

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