1 of 3


yanked; yanking; yanks

intransitive verb

: to pull on something with a quick vigorous movement

transitive verb

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


2 of 3

noun (1)

: a strong sudden pull : jerk


3 of 3

noun (2)

: yankee

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
Controversy in Switzerland Credit Suisse went bust after confidence in the ailing lender collapsed and customers yanked their money. Hanna Ziady, CNN, 31 Aug. 2023 The temblor jolted the Ojai Beverage Co. building with such force that Howard thought someone had yanked his desk chair out from under him. Laura J. Nelson, Los Angeles Times, 22 Aug. 2023 But Frank’s death yanks Dickie back to his parochial small town, where the guilt of outliving his brother ignites an internalized homophobia. Katy Waldman, The New Yorker, 22 Aug. 2023 Those makers then yank the motor out, slap a battery in, and call it a day. Tim Stevens, WIRED, 19 Aug. 2023 It will be preceded earlier in the day by 40 mph to 80 mph winds that will yank on power lines during what is typically the most tranquil month of the year. Gary Robbins, San Diego Union-Tribune, 19 Aug. 2023 Some particles yank with electromagnetism, whose influence is easy to calculate. Rahul Rao, Popular Science, 17 Aug. 2023 The night before his daughter was transported to the hospital, Milton yanked her by the arm into a bear hug with her face tightly pressed against his chest and his hand on the back of her neck, according to the affidavit. Jake Allen, The Indianapolis Star, 10 Aug. 2023 The bouncy bungie cord is made of a ballistic nylon that can take even the strongest dogs yanking on it. Hannah Jones, Country Living, 1 Aug. 2023
Her teacher promptly pulled her back into line with a yank whose mildness astonished me. Matthew Gavin Frank, Harper's Magazine, 4 May 2023 Happy to help, Marsh popped over, entered the combination and gave it a good yank — success. Jonathan Edwards, Washington Post, 4 May 2023 As Fillies President Barb Wainwright gave the carnival-style wheel a vigorous yank, the five princesses crossed their fingers until the wheel slowed its rotations and came to a stop. Kirby Adams, The Courier-Journal, 16 Apr. 2023 Payakan gives the cable one final, powerful yank, launching Scoresby in one direction and his disembodied arm in another. Siddhant Adlakha, Vulture, 20 Dec. 2022 The string yank method usually works best on hooks that are embedded past the barb at a downward angle, but not so deep that the hook point is turned upward. Matt Williams, Dallas News, 4 June 2022 At first the rider throws a rope around the neck of the small animal, stopping it mid-run with a forceful yank, which often tops the animal over. Susanne Ruststaff Writer, Los Angeles Times, 13 Nov. 2022 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 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'yank.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History



origin unknown

First Known Use


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

Time Traveler
The first known use of yank was in 1778

Dictionary Entries Near yank

Cite this Entry

“Yank.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/yank. Accessed 26 Sep. 2023.

Kids Definition


1 of 3 noun
: a strong sudden pull : jerk


2 of 3 verb
: to pull suddenly or forcefully


3 of 3 noun
: yankee

More from Merriam-Webster on yank

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