Yearn vs Seek - What's the difference?

yearn | seek |


In transitive terms the difference between yearn and seek

is that yearn is to pain; to grieve; to vex while seek is to try to reach or come to; to go to; to resort to.

As verbs the difference between yearn and seek

is that yearn is to long, have a strong desire (for something) while seek is to try to find, to look for, to search.

yearn

English

Etymology 1

From (etyl) giernan, from (etyl) .

Verb

(en verb)
  • To long, have a strong desire (for something).
  • * All I yearn for is a simple life.
  • To long for something in the past with melancholy, nostalgically
  • To be pained or distressed; to grieve; to mourn.
  • * Shakespeare
  • Falstaff he is dead, and we must yearn therefore.
  • To pain; to grieve; to vex.
  • * Shakespeare
  • It would yearn your heart to see it.
  • * Shakespeare
  • It yearns me not if men my garments wear.
    Derived terms
    () * yearner * yearnful * yearnly * yearning * yearnsome * yearny

    Etymology 2

    See .

    Verb

    (en verb)
  • (Scotland) To curdle, as milk.
  • Anagrams

    *

    seek

    English

    Verb

  • (lb) To try to find, to look for, to search.
  • :
  • *{{quote-magazine, year=2013, month=July-August, author= Catherine Clabby
  • , magazine=(American Scientist), title= Focus on Everything , passage=Not long ago, it was difficult to produce photographs of tiny creatures with every part in focus.
  • (label) To inquire for; to ask for; to solicit; to beseech.
  • :
  • *Bible, (w) xi. 16
  • *:Others, tempting him, sought of him a sign.
  • *1960 , (Lobsang Rampa), :
  • *:“My, my! It is indeed a long way yet, look you!” said the pleasant woman of whom I sought directions.
  • (lb) To try to acquire or gain; to strive after; to aim at.
  • :
  • *1880 , , :
  • *:But persecution sought the lives of men of this character.
  • *1886 , Constantine Popoff, translation of (Leo Tolstoy)'s :
  • *:I can no longer seek fame or glory, nor can I help trying to get rid of my riches, which separate me from my fellow-creatures.
  • *
  • *:Serene, smiling, enigmatic, she faced him with no fear whatever showing in her dark eyes.She put back a truant curl from her forehead where it had sought egress to the world, and looked him full in the face now, drawing a deep breath which caused the round of her bosom to lift the lace at her throat.
  • To go, move, travel (in a given direction).
  • :
  • *, Bk.V:
  • *:Ryght so he sought towarde Sandewyche where he founde before hym many galyard knyghtes
  • (lb) To try to reach or come to; to go to; to resort to.
  • *:
  • *:Seek not Bethel, nor enter into Gilgal, and pass not to Beersheba: for Gilgal shall surely go into captivity, and Bethel shall come to nought.
  • *1726 (tr.), (Alexander Pope), ''(Homer)'s (Odyssey), Book II, line 33
  • *:Since great Ulysses sought the Phrygian plains
  • Quotations

    Synonyms

    * look for * search

    Derived terms

    * (l) * (l) * (l) * (l) * (l)