noun \ˈyōk\

: a bar or frame that is attached to the heads or necks of two work animals (such as oxen) so that they can pull a plow or heavy load

: something that causes people to be treated cruelly and unfairly especially by taking away their freedom

plural yokes

Full Definition of YOKE

a :  a wooden bar or frame by which two draft animals (as oxen) are joined at the heads or necks for working together
b :  an arched device formerly laid on the neck of a defeated person
c :  a frame fitted to a person's shoulders to carry a load in two equal portions
d :  a bar by which the end of the tongue of a wagon or carriage is suspended from the collars of the harness
e (1) :  a crosspiece on the head of a boat's rudder
(2) :  an airplane control operating the elevators and ailerons
f :  a frame from which a bell is hung
g :  a clamp or similar piece that embraces two parts to hold or unite them in position
plural usually yoke :  two animals yoked or worked together
a (1) :  an oppressive agency (2) :  servitude, bondage
b :  tie, link; especially :  marriage
:  a fitted or shaped piece at the top of a skirt or at the shoulder of various garments

Examples of YOKE

  1. <a people able at last to throw off the yoke and to embrace freedom>

Origin of YOKE

Middle English yok, from Old English geoc; akin to Old High German joh yoke, Latin jugum, Greek zygon, Sanskrit yuga, Latin jungere to join
First Known Use: before 12th century

Other Animal Husbandry Terms

apiary, bantam, calico, girth, hogwash, mast, rut



: to connect (two animals) by a yoke


Full Definition of YOKE

transitive verb
a (1) :  to put a yoke on (2) :  to join in or with a yoke
b :  to attach a draft animal to; also :  to attach (a draft animal) to something
:  to join as if by a yoke
:  to put to work
intransitive verb
:  to become joined or linked

Examples of YOKE

  1. The two oxen were yoked together.
  2. <yoked several ideas together to come up with a new theory>

First Known Use of YOKE

before 12th century


Next Word in the Dictionary: yoke bonePrevious Word in the Dictionary: yokAll Words Near: yoke
May 29, 2015
bodacious Hear it
unmistakable, remarkable, or voluptuous
Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!
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