Yawning is what happens when you reflexively opes your mouth wide, inhale, and exhale again. Most yawning is caused by sleepiness or extreme boredom.

Use the word yawning for actual yawning — or to mean "wide open." A yawning chasm in the ground is a huge, wide gap, and a yawning hole in a movie's plot is the obvious space where some details are missing, making the resulting story seem unlikely and unbelievable. A yawning child, on the other hand, is probably just ready for her nap.

Definitions of yawning

n an involuntary intake of breath through a wide open mouth; usually triggered by fatigue or boredom

“the yawning in the audience told him it was time to stop”
oscitance, oscitancy, yawn
yawning and stretching (as when first waking up)
Type of:
inborn reflex, innate reflex, instinctive reflex, physiological reaction, reflex, reflex action, reflex response, unconditioned reflex
an automatic instinctive unlearned reaction to a stimulus

adj with the mouth wide open indicating boredom or sleepiness

“a yawning congregation”
open, opened
used of mouth or eyes

adj showing lack of attention or boredom

“the yawning congregation”
drowsy, oscitant
showing a lack of attention or care

adj gaping open as if threatening to engulf someone or something

“the yawning mine shaft”
“a yawning abyss”
affording free passage or access

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