1 of 2


: a sharp shrill bark or cry (as of a dog or turkey)
also : squeal


2 of 2


yelped; yelping; yelps

intransitive verb

: to utter a sharp quick shrill cry
dogs yelp

transitive verb

: to utter with a yelp

Examples of yelp in a Sentence

Verb The dog yelped in pain. yelped with surprise when everything fell off the closet shelf and onto his head
Recent Examples on the Web
Fans of the best show recently on TV (two THR Top 10s, two No.1 slots for Reservation Dogs) will already have noticed three or four Reservation Dogs cast overlaps, and there are several smaller appearances that will surely elicit gleeful yelps as well. Daniel Fienberg, The Hollywood Reporter, 9 Jan. 2024 There were yelps for songs that soundtracked past lives. Pitchfork, 20 Dec. 2023 Another inconvenience: the daily routine of the Höss household is punctuated by yelps and cries, the chug of trains, the firing of weapons, and a low but discernible roar, as if some beast—a fire-breathing dragon—had its lair beyond the garden wall. Anthony Lane, The New Yorker, 8 Dec. 2023 The music suggests a false sense of contentment: There are coos and yelps and beautiful harmonies, but any tenderness soon starts to feel mechanical. Pitchfork, 4 Dec. 2023 The night prior, Massey commanded a crowded Bowery Ballroom and drew impassioned yelps during a three-song encore and (not one, but two!) harmonica solos. Ethan Shanfeld, Variety, 8 Nov. 2023 Each band was built around his belief that blistering noise and catchy hooks could easily coexist; as a vocalist, Froberg honed a kind of desperate yelp that carried equal parts emotion and disgust. Mikael Wood, Los Angeles Times, 2 July 2023 Gaga appears on the track as a co-vocalist of sorts, complementing Jagger’s throaty yelps, while Wonder adds some signature flair on the Fender Rhodes, Moog and piano. Steven J. Horowitz, Variety, 28 Sep. 2023 Over the decades, the California native’s excited yelps have become a feature of the Mushroom Kingdom, as fundamental as gold coins and Super Stars. Kelsey Ables, Washington Post, 22 Aug. 2023
And, indeed, Carolyn went on to yelp, eye-roll, and gesticulate her way through the game in a delightful way. Dalton Ross,, 25 May 2023 There are several scenes of mild peril or threat: A bear fights with wolves (the wolves yelp in pain), an elf is in danger of falling from an icy height, there’s some comic slapstick violence, and characters display temper and/or anger. Common Sense Media, Washington Post, 3 Nov. 2023 But when Chiefs running back Isiah Pacheco scored the first touchdown, Amir yelped in excitement and posted about it on social media. Emmanuel Morgan, New York Times, 2 Oct. 2023 According to researchers, Coyotes can make 11 different sounds including everything from yelping and huffing to barking and howling. Jay Cassell, Field & Stream, 21 June 2023 The wrong things stick out — the naked woman, the pizza parlor — while subtler details are invisible: old women on balconies drinking Coke and watching passersby, puppies yelping from garages, a fisherman shaking out a cigarette from a pack. Andrew Sean Greer, Travel + Leisure, 12 Aug. 2023 The officers share a laugh as the goat continues to yelp in the background. Gina Martinez, CBS News, 10 May 2023 If all is still quiet, start yelping and then finish with a few aggressive cuts. Alex Robinson, Outdoor Life, 18 Apr. 2023 In the videos below, Johnston breaks down how to use a turkey mouth call, including how to yelp, cluck and purr, cutt, and even gobble. Dave Hurteau, Field & Stream, 20 Feb. 2023 See More

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

Word History


Verb and Noun

Middle English, to boast, cry out, from Old English gielpan to boast, exult; akin to Old High German gelph outcry

First Known Use


1501, in the meaning defined above


1553, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense

Time Traveler
The first known use of yelp was in 1501

Dictionary Entries Near yelp

Cite this Entry

“Yelp.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition


1 of 2 noun
: a sharp quick shrill bark or cry
the yelps of turkeys


2 of 2 verb
: to utter a yelp or a similar sound
he yelped in pain
heard the dog yelping again
yelper noun


Middle English yelpen "to boast, cry out," from Old English gielpan "to boast, exult"

More from Merriam-Webster on yelp

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