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 bone
Previous Word in the Dictionary: yok
All Words Near: yoke

Seen & Heard

What made you want to look up yoke? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

Get Our Free Apps
Voice Search, Favorites,
Word of the Day, and More
Join Us on FB & Twitter
Get the Word of the Day and More