\ 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

Synonyms & Antonyms for yank

Synonyms: Verb

Synonyms: Noun (1)

Antonyms: Noun (1)

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Examples of yank in a Sentence

Verb 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
Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Before the pandemic, the centerpiece of the bountiful spread on the Easter table was probably a glistening, roasted ham, its burnished skin and jiggly fat daring you to yank off a chunk before grandpa had a chance to find his carving knife. Paul Stephen, San Antonio Express-News, 13 Apr. 2022 Given the urgency of the war in Ukraine and the need to avoid a government shutdown, Pelosi had little choice but to yank the pandemic aid from the spending bill. Julian Zelizer, CNN, 11 Mar. 2022 Business-boosting governor Doug Ducey, the former CEO of Cold Stone Creamery, took office in 2015, promising to yank the state out of its post-recession doldrums. Lauren Smiley, Wired, 8 Mar. 2022 That's when a historic plunge in the stock price of Facebook’s parent company helped yank other tech stocks lower after the social media giant reported its streak of user growth had come to an end. Craig Harris, USA TODAY, 6 Feb. 2022 Construction workers clock the hours in steel-toe work boots, while Harley-Davidson owners yank on armor-like boots that cover nearly half their legs. Jacob Gallagher, WSJ, 26 Jan. 2022 The network besmirched itself and its other journalists by waiting six months to yank Chris Cuomo off the air for an offense that would have brought a swift end to almost any other journalist’s career. Alex Shephard, The New Republic, 2 Dec. 2021 City and county leaders suspect the move to yank Broadway from the city is emanating from Abbott. Brian Chasnoff, San Antonio Express-News, 27 Jan. 2022 Art depicting figures floating in the ether yank the mind from reality. Bill Addison, Los Angeles Times, 6 Jan. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The little guy’s first outing on the Nintendo DS saw HAL grabbing the system’s experimental nature and giving it a solid yank. PCMAG, 25 Mar. 2022 Detailing is excellent for the price and includes a waterproof abdomen pocket with cable port for earphones and a locking slider for unzipping with just a quick yank on the lapel. Outside Online, 15 Aug. 2014 Backpacks embedded with something called JetForce Technology can inflate with 200-liter bladders to about seven times their size at the yank of a handle to help keep avalanche victims from being buried and suffocating beneath the snow. Outside Online, 11 Aug. 2014 Amazon is the focus of a push to curb ‘rank-and-yank’ worker ratings. Laura Blasey, Los Angeles Times, 11 Jan. 2022 Robbie wisely leans into the cartoonish aspects of the character, and Yan lets her voice-over yank the timeline out of order and splashes graphics on the screen to accompany her more exaggerated affect. James Grebey, Vulture, 6 Aug. 2021 His method is to push down the barb below the flesh, loop the shoestring around the hook and yank fast. John Goodspeed, San Antonio Express-News, 24 June 2021 Made from surgical grade stainless steel, the swooping design will not pull, tug, or yank at your lashes. Chris Hachey, BGR, 9 June 2021 The son figured out that by stretching PTFE with a sudden yank, the polymer expanded by 1,000 percent. The Salt Lake Tribune, 19 Sep. 2020 See More

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.

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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Last Updated

26 Apr 2022

Cite this Entry

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

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More Definitions for yank


\ 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

More from Merriam-Webster on yank

Nglish: Translation of yank for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of yank for Arabic Speakers


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