Yankee

noun
Yan·​kee | \ ˈyaŋ-kē How to pronounce Yankee (audio) \

Definition of Yankee

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : 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.

Yankee

communications code word

Definition of Yankee (Entry 2 of 2)

used as a code word for the letter y

Other Words from Yankee

Noun

Yankeedom \ ˈyaŋ-​kē-​dəm How to pronounce Yankee (audio) \ noun
Yankeeism \ ˈyaŋ-​kē-​ˌi-​zəm How to pronounce Yankee (audio) \ noun

Did you know?

Noun

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.

Examples of Yankee in a Sentence

Noun a Southern girl who married a Yankee

First Known Use of Yankee

Noun

1758, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Communications code word

1952, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for Yankee

Noun

origin unknown

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Dictionary Entries Near Yankee

yankapin

Yankee

Yankee corn

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Cite this Entry

“Yankee.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/Yankee. Accessed 17 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for Yankee

Yankee

noun
Yan·​kee | \ ˈyaŋ-kē How to pronounce Yankee (audio) \

Kids Definition of Yankee

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

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