Dictionary

1yo–yo

noun \ˈyō-(ˌ)yō\

: a round toy that has two flat sides with a string attached to its center, that is held in your hand, and that is made to go up and down by unwinding and rewinding the string with a movement of your wrist

plural yo–yos

Full Definition of YO-YO

1
:  a thick grooved double disk with a string attached to its center axle that is made to fall and rise to the hand by unwinding and rewinding on the string
2
:  a condition or situation marked by regular fluctuations from one extreme to another
3
:  a stupid or foolish person
ADVERTISEMENT

Origin of YO-YO

probably from Ilocano yóyo, or a cognate word in a language of the Philippines
First Known Use: 1915

2yo–yo

adjective

Definition of YO-YO

:  shifting back and forth or up and down uncertainly or unexpectedly

First Known Use of YO-YO

1932

3yo–yo

verb

: to move repeatedly and quickly up and down or from a higher level to a lower level

yo–yoedyo–yo·ing

Full Definition of YO-YO

intransitive verb
:  to move from one position to another repeatedly :  fluctuate <the stock price yo–yoed>

First Known Use of YO-YO

1967
YO-YOS Defined for Kids

yo–yo

noun \ˈyō-yō\
plural yo–yos also yo–yoes

Definition of YO-YO for Kids

:  a small round toy that has two flattened disks with a string attached to the center and that is made to fall and rise to the hand by unwinding and rewinding on the string

Word History of YO-YO

Yo-yo comes from a similar sounding word in languages of the Philippines, where it is the name for a toy similar to our yo-yo. Though toys like the yo-yo have a long history in Europe and the Americas—a disk on a string called a whirligig was patented in 1866—the modern yo-yo dates from 1928, when an immigrant from the Philippines named Pedro Flores began to manufacture the toys in California based on the yo-yos he had known in his youth.

Browse

Next Word in the Dictionary: YPPrevious Word in the Dictionary: YOYAll Words Near: yo-yo
How to use a word that (literally) drives some people nuts.
Test your vocab with our fun, fast game
Ailurophobia, and 9 other unusual fears