\ ˈyȯp How to pronounce yawp (audio) \
variants: or yaup
yawped or yauped; yawping or yauping; yawps or yaups

Definition of yawp

 (Entry 1 of 2)

intransitive verb

1 : to make a raucous noise : squawk


variants: or less commonly yaup

Definition of yawp (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : a raucous noise : squawk
2 : something suggestive of a raucous noise specifically : rough vigorous language

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Other Words from yawp


yawper noun

Did You Know?


Yawp first appeared sometime in the 14th century. This verb comes from Middle English "yolpen," most likely itself derived from the past participle of yelpen, meaning "to boast," call out, or yelp. Interestingly, "yawp" retains much of the meaning of "yelpen," in that it implies a type of complaining which often has a yelping or squawking quality. An element of foolishness, in addition to the noisiness, is often implied as well. "Yawp" can also be a noun meaning "a raucous noise" or "squawk." The noun "yawp" arrived on the scene approximately 500 years after the verb. It was greatly popularized by "Song of Myself," a poem by Walt Whitman containing the line "I sound my barbaric yawp over the roofs of the world."

Examples of yawp in a Sentence

Verb stop yawping about your problems and try doing something to fix them
Recent Examples on the Web: Verb And, finally, the restatement of the American Dream for a new century, just the way Walt Whitman yawped it in the streets of Manhattan. Charles P. Pierce, Esquire, "Chuck Berry and Jimmy Breslin Reinvented the English Language," 19 Mar. 2017 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The book reads like a version of Whitman’s barbaric yawp. Marisha Pessl, New York Times, "Screams. Tears. Meltdowns. New Picture Books Let Bad Behavior Fly, With Just a Bit of Advice," 6 June 2018 But while the establishment has uttered a shaky (likely short-lived) sigh of relief, patriot-for-hire Steve Bannon’s valedictory yawp is reverberating across Europe. Isobel Thompson, The Hive, "Steve Bannon, Patriot for Hire, Says “Vaffanculo” in Italy," 1 June 2018 Of course, for Hunter, that barbaric yawp came with a heavy cost. Corey Seymour, Vogue, "For Tom Wolfe, Affectation Was Armor," 15 May 2018 The bar begins to fall back to his chest, and the spotter grabs it just as Vea lets out a final barbaric yawp. Jonathan Jones, SI.com, "24 Hours ... At the NFL Scouting Combine," 8 Mar. 2018 His face is contorted into a deranged smirk, his eyebrows raised and his teeth bared, as if fixing around that shrill yawp of the rebel yell. Connor Towne O'neill, Daily Intelligencer, "America’s Ugliest Confederate Statue Isn’t Coming Down Anytime Soon," 16 Sep. 2017 His hearing aids emit occasional yawps of feedback. John Leland, New York Times, "Twilight of a Difficult Man: Larry Kramer and the Birth of AIDS Activism," 19 May 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'yawp.' 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 yawp


15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1824, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for yawp


Middle English yolpen

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The first known use of yawp was in the 15th century

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Cite this Entry

“Yawp.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/yawp. Accessed 10 Aug. 2020.

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More from Merriam-Webster on yawp

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for yawp

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with yawp

Nglish: Translation of yawp for Spanish Speakers

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