\ ˈyaŋk How to pronounce yank (audio) \
yanked; yanking; yanks

Definition of yank

 (Entry 1 of 3)

intransitive verb

: to pull on something with a quick vigorous movement

transitive verb

1 : to pull or extract with a quick vigorous movement
2 : to remove in or as if in an abrupt manner yanked the story from the evening edition


noun (1)

Definition of yank (Entry 2 of 3)

: a strong sudden pull : jerk


noun (2)
\ ˈyaŋk How to pronounce Yank (audio) \

Definition of Yank (Entry 3 of 3)

: yankee

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Synonyms & Antonyms for yank

Synonyms: Verb

buck, hitch, hoick, jerk, jolt, twitch

Synonyms: Noun (1)

draw, haul, jerk, pluck, pull, tug, wrench

Antonyms: Noun (1)


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Examples of yank in a Sentence


He yanked the door shut. She yanked on the dog's leash.

Noun (1)

had to give the shoe a good yank to get it off
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Weeks after having his investment authority unceremoniously yanked away from him, Mobile County’s treasurer has gyrated back into the news thanks to homophobic comments online and media interviews. al.com, "Mobile County treasurer stands by ‘freaking queers’ remark," 18 June 2019 Was Canada's Jocelyne Larocque rude for yanking off her silver medal? Stephen Whyno, chicagotribune.com, "Germany stuns two-time defending Olympic hockey champion Canada in semifinals," 23 Feb. 2018 San Diego cleanup hitter Eric Hosmer hit a sharp one-hopper to reliever Trevor Gott, who took an instinctive backhanded stab, but the ball yanked the glove off his hand. John Shea, SFChronicle.com, "Evan Longoria’s two-run double keys Giants’ victory over Padres," 11 June 2019 And four months ago, Denver yanked the short-term rental license of a wealthy man after neighbors complained about rowdy parties at the $5 million mansion. Sam Tabachnik, The Denver Post, "Denver couple charged with felony for short-term rental violation as city moves to tighten reins on vacation rentals," 11 June 2019 Two pitches later, Cade Beloso yanked what appeared to be a double into the right field corner, giving LSU runners at second and third with nobody out. Luke Johnson, nola.com, "LSU laments missed chances as Florida State pulls away late in Game 1," 8 June 2019 My dad taught me a technique to yank on the pole so hook gets on the fish. Elizabeth Owens-schiele, chicagotribune.com, "Huck Finn fishing derby officially rained out in Buffalo Grove but families cast poles on their own," 6 June 2019 After three or four pressure pumps, quickly yank the plunger off the sink drain. Joseph Truini, Popular Mechanics, "How to Unclog a Drain," 26 Jan. 2019 But Mercer, the No. 8 hitter, yanked a fastball from Hader down the third-base line and into the corner for an RBI double, moving Bell to third. Tom Haudricourt, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Pirates 1, Brewers 0: Held to just two hits, Brewers shut out for 10th time this season," 18 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

With one yank another young woman had undone the bow. Laura Jacobs, WSJ, "An Exhibition to Tickle You ‘Pink’," 11 Sep. 2018 On the single gravel turn used at the Phoenix test track, a quick yank on the handbrake is all that’s needed to make the car turn-in. Josh Jacquot, Car and Driver, "Behind the Wheel of Subaru's WRX STI Global Rallycross Car," 20 Oct. 2017 Sweed gave him a little yank, not even hard, on the jersey. Zach Helfand, latimes.com, "USC-Texas revisited: LenDale White and what happened after fourth-and-two," 13 Sep. 2017 The pony-tail yank was captured by the jail’s security cameras. Gwen Filosa, miamiherald, "Inmate attacks inmate over their breakup, cops say," 1 June 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'yank.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of yank


1822, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense

Noun (1)

circa 1864, in the meaning defined above

Noun (2)

1778, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for yank


origin unknown

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Learn More about yank

Dictionary Entries near yank







Yankee corn

Statistics for yank

Last Updated

7 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for yank

The first known use of yank was in 1778

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More Definitions for yank



English Language Learners Definition of yank

 (Entry 1 of 3)

: to suddenly pull (something) in a quick, forceful way
: to quickly or suddenly remove (something or someone)



English Language Learners Definition of yank (Entry 2 of 3)

: a strong, quick pull



English Language Learners Definition of Yank (Entry 3 of 3)

informal : a person from the U.S.


\ ˈyaŋk How to pronounce yank (audio) \

Kids Definition of yank

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a strong sudden pull : jerk


yanked; yanking

Kids Definition of yank (Entry 2 of 2)

: to pull suddenly or forcefully I go over and yank his arm and make him sit down.— Phyllis Reynolds Naylor, Shiloh

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More from Merriam-Webster on yank

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with yank

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for yank

Spanish Central: Translation of yank

Nglish: Translation of yank for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of yank for Arabic Speakers

Comments on yank

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


appealing forcibly to the mind or reason

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