\ 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

Definition of yank (Entry 2 of 3)

: a strong sudden pull : jerk
\ ˈyaŋk How to pronounce Yank (audio) \

Definition of Yank (Entry 3 of 3)

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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
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb This followed a disruptive period when the Trump administration suddenly yanked federal payments that helped reduce costs for lower-income Americans, causing premiums for many to soar. BostonGlobe.com, "Health insurance premiums for hundreds of thousands of residents buying coverage through the Massachusetts Health Connector will rise 4 percent on average next year, officials said Thursday.," 13 Sep. 2019 Griner lost her temper in the fourth quarter Saturday after Dallas rookie Kristine Anigwe yanked her arm and struck her in the head. Jeff Metcalfe, azcentral, "Brittney Griner: WNBA response to brawl could impact her future in league," 12 Aug. 2019 In January 2016, the Vikings lost a wild-card game to the Seahawks 10-9 when Blair Walsh yanked the 27-yard, game-winning attempt wide left with 22 seconds remaining. Dan Wiederer, chicagotribune.com, "Bears’ pursuit of Kaare Vedvik falls through as the Ravens trade the kicker to the Vikings," 11 Aug. 2019 Stand silently for a moment as the warthog grunts and yanks against his chain. Ellie Shechet, The New Yorker, "How to Motivate Me During an Exercise Class," 8 Aug. 2019 Promotional photos depicted them spilling out of the same bed or piled onto a single couch, forever yanking one another into frame. New York Times, "The Rise of the Spice Girls Generation," 19 July 2019 Crawford provided the extra lift, yanking a 378-foot solo shot over the right field wall that gave Bochy a chance to put the ball in the hand of closer Will Smith. Kerry Crowley, The Mercury News, "Giants blast five home runs, Buster Posey’s grand slam caps off epic 10-inning win," 12 July 2019 By breaking up the chronology and yanking the audience back and forth between Theo’s fraught youth and crisis-ridden present, though, the film prevents an audience from gaining emotional traction. BostonGlobe.com, "‘The Goldfinch’ is well acted, absolutely watchable, and instantly forgettable - The Boston Globe," 12 Sep. 2019 Bevell will no doubt think about it, be yanked back into that place and time. Robert Klemko, SI.com, "Darrell Bevell Bounces Back Again, This Time in Detroit," 29 Aug. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Helping two other men who needed a third helper, an extra yank. Lisa Respers France, CNN, "'Billions' actress Melissa Errico helped save a man in the subway," 30 Aug. 2019 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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Statistics for yank

Last Updated

27 Oct 2019

Time Traveler for yank

The first known use of yank was in 1778

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More Definitions for yank


How to pronounce Yank (audio)

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


How to pronounce Yank (audio)

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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for yank

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with 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).


to engage in dissolute behavior

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