\ ˈyel How to pronounce yell (audio) \
yelled; yelling; yells

Definition of yell

 (Entry 1 of 2)

intransitive verb

1 : to utter a loud cry, scream, or shout
2 : to give a cheer usually in unison

transitive verb

: to utter or declare with or as if with a yell : shout



Definition of yell (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : scream, shout
2 : a usually rhythmic cheer used especially in schools or colleges to encourage athletic teams

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from yell


yeller noun

Synonyms for yell

Synonyms: Verb

howl, scream, screech, shriek, shrill, squall, squeal, yelp

Synonyms: Noun

cry, holler, hoot, howl, shout, whoop, yowl

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Examples of yell in a Sentence


We saw people yelling for help. I heard someone yelling my name. The crowd was yelling wildly.


the crowd gave a yell of approval
See More

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Jacobs testified that Drejka had started pointing and yelling at her. Washington Post, "Florida man convicted in parking lot shooting of black man," 24 Aug. 2019 Jacobs testified that Drejka had started pointing and yelling at her. Terry Spencer And Mike Schneider, USA TODAY, "Florida man convicted in parking lot shooting of black man," 24 Aug. 2019 The officers can be seen pointing guns and yelling threats at Dravon Ames, his pregnant fiancee, Iesha Harper, and their two young daughters after the family said their 4-year-old took a doll from a Family Dollar store. Justin Price, azcentral, "Phoenix police routinely 'purges' officer discipline records, keeps misconduct secret," 23 Aug. 2019 Police who responded to a 911 call from the elderly woman’s home found Green, wearing only boxer shorts and shoes, standing in the street while another man was yelling that Green had tried to break into the man’s house, according to the affidavit. oregonlive, "Portland burglar creeps into 76-year-old woman’s house, sexually assaults her, gets 8 years," 10 Sep. 2019 The video begins with a confrontation between the woman and the officers, who are yelling at her and others to leave the school property. Holly V. Hays, Indianapolis Star, "Indianapolis police officer on leave after video shows him appearing to strike Shortridge student," 30 Aug. 2019 Some of the 15 passengers aboard the bus were understandably screaming, crying and yelling at him, McClendon said. Chris Mayhew,, "Bus driver 'made the right call' speeding to hospital with shooting victim, Metro says," 26 Aug. 2019 One video posted on Twitter shows the aftermath of the confrontation, with angry passengers yelling at the officers and crew. Jessica Puckett, Condé Nast Traveler, "These Are Your Rights During During a Lengthy Tarmac Delay," 23 Aug. 2019 Trump himself demonstrated the problem by claiming that CNN host Christopher Cuomo should be prohibited from owning guns because Cuomo lost his temper and yelled at a lout who was harassing him and his family at a restaurant. David B. Kopel, National Review, "Trump Must Not Break His Promises to Gun-Rights Supporters," 16 Aug. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The next afternoon at Minute Maid Park, Thornton twirled 6 ⅔ innings of scoreless baseball, punctuating most of his massive moments with a large fist pump or audible yell. Chandler Rome, Houston Chronicle, "Astros take down Blue Jays in series opener," 30 Aug. 2019 And while the forest was burning, hundreds and thousands of living creatures, uttering frightful yells, began to run about in all directions. Girish Shahane, Quartz India, "The Amazon fires have a 3,000-year-old parallel in the Indian epic Mahabharata," 30 Aug. 2019 Both whispers and yells of excitement filled the air, making South Milwaukee’s downtown feel like one of the arenas where the Crusher would perform. Erik S. Hanley, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Bronze Crusher statue revealed at South Milwaukee's Crusherfest; daughter says it's 'the best possible image' of him," 8 June 2019 James Van Der Beek Shares Cute Photo of All Five of His Kids in Bed The screen then flashes to footage of his children, which prompts the youngsters to erupt into laughter and joyful yells. Joelle Goldstein,, "James Van Der Beek Shares Adorable Video of His 5 Kids Cheering for His DWTS Announcement," 21 Aug. 2019 Kardashian West, 38, captured the yell on video, sharing it on her Instagram Story. Dave Quinn,, "Kim Kardashian's Son Saint West Hilariously Makes Seal Noises During Balboa Island Trip — Watch!," 8 Aug. 2019 Officers heard a man’s voice yell to the dog to be quiet. Los Angeles Times, "From the Archives: ‘Ritualistic Slayings’: Sharon Tate, Four Others Murdered," 28 July 2019 Finally, Scott heard a nurse yell for everyone to get out of the clinic. Mckenna Oxenden,, "2 dead, including gunman, in Baltimore methadone clinic shooting; wounded sergeant in serious but stable condition," 15 July 2019 As noninvasive cosmetic treatments become both more advanced and more accessible, the demand for fat-reduction procedures has crescendoed from a whisper to a yell. Kaitlin Clark, Allure, "5 New Body-Contouring Procedures Plastic Surgeons Can't Stop Talking About," 9 July 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'yell.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of yell


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for yell


Middle English yellen, going back to Old English giellan, gyllan, going back to Germanic *gellan- (whence also Old High German kellen, gellen "to make a shrill sound," Old Norse gjalla "to scream"), perhaps a back-formation from *gullōn-, iterative derivative of *galan- "to sing, cry" — more at nightingale


Middle English yel, yelle, derivative of yellen "to yell entry 1"

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about yell

Dictionary Entries near yell






yell leader


Statistics for yell

Last Updated

9 Oct 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for yell

The first known use of yell was before the 12th century

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for yell



English Language Learners Definition of yell

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to say (something) very loudly especially because you are angry, surprised, or are trying to get someone's attention
: to make a sudden, loud cry



English Language Learners Definition of yell (Entry 2 of 2)

: a sudden, loud cry
US : a usually rhythmic shout or cheer used especially in schools or colleges to show support for sports teams


\ ˈyel How to pronounce yell (audio) \
yelled; yelling

Kids Definition of yell

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to speak, call, or cry out loudly (as in anger or to get someone's attention) I yelled goodbye from the door on my way out, but Mom didn't even hear me.— R. J. Palacio, Wonder



Kids Definition of yell (Entry 2 of 2)

: a loud call or cry : shout

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on yell

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with yell

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for yell

Spanish Central: Translation of yell

Nglish: Translation of yell for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of yell for Arabic Speakers

Comments on yell

What made you want to look up yell? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


tired or exhausted

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Where in the World? A Quiz

  • peter bruegel tower of babel painting
  • What language does pajama come from?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Bee Cubed

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!