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Definition yen

Etymology 1

From Medhurst and Hepburn’s romanizations, under the influence of earlier Portuguese romanizations, of Japanese (“round; a round object”) as ye or yen, now (en), from Chinese 銀圓 (yínyuán, “round silver object(s), especially a piece of eight”): (“silver”) + (“circular, round; yuan, yen, dollar”). Cognate with Chinese (yuán, “monetary unit, especially RMB”) and Korean (won, “North or South Korean won”).


yen (plural yen)

  1. The unit of Japanese currency (symbol: ¥) since 1871, divided into 100 sen.
  2. A coin or note worth one yen.

Etymology 2

Origin uncertain, but probably from Cantonese (jan, “craving”) originally in reference to opium addiction, 煙癮 or 菸癮 (jin-jan): , (jin, “smoke, specifically opium”). Compare the later yen (“opium”) and yen-yen.


yen (plural yens)

  1. A strong desire, urge, or yearning.

yen (third-person singular simple present yens, present participle yenning, simple past and past participle yenned)

  1. (transitive) To have a strong desire for.

Etymology 3

From Chinese , (yān), or Cantonese , (jin, “smoke, specifically opium”). Compare the earlier yen (“strong desire”) and later yen-yen.


yen (plural yens)

  1. Opium.

Results 100 Words with the letters YEN

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10 letter words with the letters YEN 

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