1

Yankee

play
noun Yan·kee \ ˈyaŋ-kē \

Definition of Yankee

1 a :a native or inhabitant of New England
b :a native or inhabitant of the northern U.S.
2 :a native or inhabitant of the U.S.

Yankeedom

play \ˈyaŋ-kē-dəm\ noun

Yankeeism

play \ˈyaŋ-kē-ˌi-zəm\ noun

Yankee was our Word of the Day on 07/04/2016. Hear the podcast!

Examples of yankee in a Sentence

  1. a Southern girl who married a Yankee

Did You Know?

Many etymologies have been proposed for Yankee, but its origin is still uncertain. What we do know is that in its earliest recorded use Yankee was a pejorative term for American colonials used by the British military. The first evidence we have is in a letter written in 1758 by British General James Wolfe, who had a very low opinion of the New England troops assigned to him. We also have a report of British troops using the term to abuse citizens of Boston. In 1775, however, after the battles of Lexington and Concord had shown the colonials that they could stand up to British regulars, Yankee became suddenly respectable and the colonials adopted the British pejorative in defiance. Ever since then, a derisive and a respectable use of Yankee have existed side by side.

Origin and Etymology of yankee

origin unknown


2

Yankee

Definition of Yankee

a communications code word for the letter y

First Known Use of yankee

1952

Other Alphabet Terms


YANKEE Defined for English Language Learners

Yankee

play
noun

Definition of Yankee for English Language Learners

  • : a person born or living in the U.S.

  • : a person born or living in the northern U.S.

  • : a person from New England


YANKEE Defined for Kids

Yankee

play
noun Yan·kee \ ˈyaŋ-kē \

Definition of Yankee for Students

1 :a person born or living in New England
2 :a person born or living in the northern United States
3 :a person born or living in the United States


Seen and Heard

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

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!

WORD OF THE DAY

all at once

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Challenging Vocabulary Quiz Returns!

  • stylized-drawing-of-woman-pole-vaulting-across-gap-to-get-trophy
  • Which is a synonym of fuliginous?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!