Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English
The Collaborative International Dictionary
Yarn \Yarn\, n. [OE. yarn, [yogh]arn, AS. gearn; akin to D. garen, G., OHG., Icel., Sw., & Dan. garn; of uncertain origin. Cf. Cord.]
Spun wool; woolen thread; also, thread of other material, as of cotton, flax, hemp, or silk; material spun and prepared for use in weaving, knitting, manufacturing sewing thread, or the like.
(Rope Making) One of the threads of which the strands of a rope are composed.
A story told by a sailor for the amusement of his companions; a story or tale; as, to spin a yarn. [Colloq.]
Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary
Old English gearn "spun fiber, spun wool," from Proto-Germanic *garnan (cognates: Old Norse, Old High German, German garn, Middle Dutch gaern, Dutch garen "yarn"), from PIE root *ghere- "intestine, gut, entrail" (cognates: Old Norse gorn "gut," Sanskrit hira "vein; entrails," Latin hernia "rupture," Greek khorde "intestine, gut-string," Lithuanian zarna "gut"). The phrase to spin a yarn "to tell a story" is first attested 1812, from a sailors' expression, on notion of telling stories while engaged in sedentary work such as yarn-twisting.
Yarn is a long continuous length of interlocked fibres, suitable for use in the production of textiles, sewing, crocheting, knitting, weaving, embroidery, and ropemaking. Thread is a type of yarn intended for sewing by hand or machine. Modern manufactured sewing threads may be finished with wax or other lubricants to withstand the stresses involved in sewing. Embroidery threads are yarns specifically designed for hand or machine embroidery.
n. 1 (context uncountable English) A twisted strand of fiber used for knitting or weaving. 2 (context nautical English) bundle of fibers twisted together, and which in turn are twisted in bundles to form strands, which in their turn are twisted or plaited to form rope. 3 (context countable English) A story, a tale, especially one that is incredible. vb. to tell a story
v. tell or spin a yarn
Usage examples of "yarn".
Raising herself to her knees, she gazed down across the vast expanses of empty gray air to a rapidly flattening field with a tiny town on one side of it and a thin gray yarn, the fog-shrouded Blabbermouth, running through it.
Foye, in her buxom cheeriness, was drawn to give some of it forth to the uncouth-looking, companionless girl, and not only began a chat with her, after the momentary stir in the street was over, and she had settled herself upon her stool, and leaning her back against a tree, set vigorously to work again at knitting a stout blue yarn stocking, but also treated Bubby and Baby to some bits of her sweet merchandise, and told them about the bears and the monkeys that had gone by, shut up in the gay, red-and-yellow-painted wagons.
Stencil retold it, the yarn had undergone considerable change: had become, as Eigenvalue put it, Stencilized.
I had the whole thing dug into when Geer came babbling to us with the yarn.
It was smoke that stuck together in gossamery tufts and long yarns like surgical cotton being unrolled out of a bat.
He got out henequen cable-laid rope, an assortment of ply and yarn goods, and some superlative slender abaca fiber rope.
Wild as the birds in the sun-drenched trees, their children skulked shyly behind the sulky wheels or scuttled for the protection of the woodheap while their parents yarned over cups of tea, swapped tall stories and books, promised to pass on vague messages to Hoopiron Collins or Brumby Waters, and told the fan tastic tale of the Pommy jackaroo on Gnarlunga.
Kel thought of Meech and twisted her ring of bright red yarn, wanting to scream with impatience.
They believed the very logical yarn that The Shadow had devised for Nayre to tell them.
She grubbed in her workbag, digging past rolags, scissors, skeins of finished yarn.
Seagrave unlaid some thick rope, that Ready might make smaller and more useful rope with the yarns.
Twenty-six dollars the entire set, including silk-screen canvas, varicoloured yarns, and directions.
If so what penalty would be wracked upon the three of us for the dissolution of what or who must be an awe-producing figure to Yarn?
The Zollverein increasing their import duties on cotton and linen yarn, and putting export duties of 25 per cent.
Winter time us had better clothes made out of yarn and us allus had good Sunday clothes.