\ 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

Its second season struck me as a near-perfect whirligig of a TV season, constantly yanking the rug out from underneath itself and hoping its fall wasn’t too brutal. Todd Vanderwerff, Vox, "Love it or hate it, season 3 of The Good Place is taking us somewhere new (again)," 12 Oct. 2018 The deputy tried to gain control of the man by grabbing his wrist, the reports said, but Grant yanked his arm away and began walking in a different direction. Madeleine Marr, miamiherald, "He was chasing a woman around with a golf club. The fun started when the cops arrived," 6 July 2018 Valdes yanked his car around and sped toward the university. Susan Miller, USA TODAY, "'Oh my God, the bridge isn't there': A scene of horror unfolds in Miami," 15 Mar. 2018 Tight end Zach Ertz, who caught the game-winning touchdown, yanked off his number 86 jersey and implored a nearby throng of reporters not to steal it. Jenny Vrentas, SI.com, "‘A Team Makes a Miracle’: How the Underdog Eagles Became the Unlikeliest Super Bowl Champs," 5 Feb. 2018 Users who suspect cheating can flag a ride as suspicious, which yanks the virtual trophy from the rider. Mike Colias, WSJ, "Ready, Set, Cheat: Electric Bikers Zoom Past Mad Pedalers on Cycling App," 4 Jan. 2019 Fernandez kicks the officer's glasses, which had fallen to the ground, and Pulido thenturns around, stands up, and grabs her by the shirt collar and yanks her toward a wall. Ryan Smith, Chicago Reader, "Loyola clears campus police of using excessive force against students of color in viral video," 21 June 2018 If the past couple of years have been about anything, it's been about people—both ordinary and famous—finally yanking back the curtain on social media to reveal a more honest picture. Glamour, "18 Times Celebrities Challenged Beauty Standards by Sharing Their So-Called 'Flaws'," 6 Apr. 2019 The father then grabs his 3-year-old daughter in a bid to flee – yet the men catch up to him and yank the child from his arms before blasting him in the leg. Greg Norman, Fox News, "Video shows New York City men shooting at father who was walking with 3-year-old daughter," 28 Sep. 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

12 May 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).


highly pertinent or appropriate

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