\ 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
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Nynaeve, who's proven herself to be the most reliably clear headed in moments of chaos, draws upon her own considerable powers to yank the violent magic from Egwene and take it on herself. Randall Colburn, EW.com, 24 Dec. 2021 The man attempted to yank the chain from Smith’s neck when the gun went off striking Smith in the left shoulder. Eileen Kelley, sun-sentinel.com, 22 Dec. 2021 The West Virginia senator cited concerns over inflation, the national debt and the COVID-19 pandemic as driving his decision to yank support for the plan. Melissa Quinn, CBS News, 20 Dec. 2021 His police radio and badge were ripped off and one person tried to yank the gun from his holster. Washington Post, 20 Dec. 2021 Michelle didn’t yank Toby’s socks off from the toes. Jessica Wapner, The New Yorker, 6 Nov. 2021 Adjustments can be made to lower or raise the fly, and when a fish bites, the angler knows when to yank on the line. New York Times, 10 Nov. 2021 Rusanowsky captured Rudloff grabbing Nevills by the hair, then helping other officers yank him to the ground. Dallas News, 10 Sep. 2021 Beijing's decision to yank the $37 billion IPO was just the start of a sweeping crackdown that has become one of the most consequential realignments of private enterprise in China's history. Laura He, CNN, 2 Nov. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun 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 Without a word, the woman stood up and, giving a little yank at the seat of her bikini, strode off without a backward glance. Haruki Murakami, The New Yorker, 13 Aug. 2020 But the company largely resisted the Internet, quick to police its copyrights and yank unauthorized versions of show footage from the web. Brian Mccollum, Detroit Free Press, 12 June 2020 Her folding Ollie chair flattens with the yank of a cord, and a satisfying clack! Jane Margolies, New York Times, 12 Mar. 2020

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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Last Updated

8 Jan 2022

Cite this Entry

“Yank.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/yank. Accessed 25 Jan. 2022.

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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)

: a person from the U.S. : yankee


\ 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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