yeo·​man | \ ˈyō-mən How to pronounce yeoman (audio) \

Definition of yeoman

1a : an attendant or officer in a royal or noble household
b : a person attending or assisting another : retainer
d : a naval petty officer who performs clerical duties
2a : a person who owns and cultivates a small farm specifically : one belonging to a class of English freeholders below the gentry
b : a person of the social rank of yeoman
3 : one that performs great and loyal service did a yeoman's job in seeing the program through

Examples of yeoman in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The cohort was led by a former yeoman soldier named Wat Tyler and an itinerant, radical preacher named John Ball. Susan Wade, The Conversation, "Uprisings after pandemics have happened before – just look at the English Peasant Revolt of 1381," 5 June 2020 Travis Best played the entire fourth quarter for a second-straight game, Jalen Rose hit two fourth-quarter 3s and Antonio Davis continued his yeoman's work in the paint. Matthew Glenesk, Indianapolis Star, "How Pacers pushed Michael Jordan, Bulls to the brink in 1998: 'They saw the fear in Chicago's eyes.'," 15 May 2020 In other words, the B.L.S. did yeoman’s work in tough circumstances, and its report provided the most comprehensive picture yet of how the coronavirus shutdowns have affected the economy. John Cassidy, The New Yorker, "The Most Alarming Thing About the Worst Jobs Report in History," 8 May 2020 Motherboard did yeoman's work this week, getting not just screenshots of the IowaReporterApp install at the heart of this mess but publishing the full APK file. Brian Barrett, Wired, "Security News This Week: Pro-Trump Trolls Flooded the Iowa Caucus Phone Lines," 8 Feb. 2020 In America, among the nouveau riche, fisherman’s sweaters have lost their yeoman roots and have come to symbolize the erasure of work itself. Rachel Syme, The New Yorker, "The Curious Case of Chris Evans’s Sweater," 18 Dec. 2019 The versatile Jeff Marcus steals a few scenes as Audrey’s abusive, leather jacket-wearing boyfriend, a sadistic dentist, while also doing yeoman’s work in a variety of small roles. Don Aucoin,, "Lyric Stage’s ‘Little Shop of Horrors’ is a garden of grisly delights," 6 Sep. 2019 The book’s cover is a shocking French blue, the same blue of the yeoman worker’s smocks that Cunningham would wear to shoot galas where some of the gowns cost more than a compact car. Rachel Syme, The New Yorker, "Holiday Gift Guide: How to Channel Your Inner Maximalist," 6 Dec. 2019 Trailing 7-6 at half, ASU came out running on 11 straight plays, a yeoman's 75-yard drive culminating with Benjamin's first touchdown of the game with 9:30 left to play. Jeff Metcalfe, azcentral, "Rewind: Eno Benjamin leads Arizona State to Territorial Cup win over Arizona," 30 Nov. 2019

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

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for yeoman

Middle English yoman, yeman

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about yeoman

Time Traveler for yeoman

Time Traveler

The first known use of yeoman was in the 14th century

See more words from the same century

Statistics for yeoman

Last Updated

19 Jun 2020

Cite this Entry

“Yeoman.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 8 Aug. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for yeoman


How to pronounce yeoman (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of yeoman

: an officer in the U.S. Navy who works as a clerk
: a farmer in the past who owned a small amount of land


yeo·​man | \ ˈyō-mən How to pronounce yeoman (audio) \
plural yeomen\ -​mən \

Kids Definition of yeoman

1 : a petty officer in the navy who works as a clerk
2 : a person who owns and cultivates a small farm

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on yeoman

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for yeoman

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with yeoman

Spanish Central: Translation of yeoman

Nglish: Translation of yeoman for Spanish Speakers Encyclopedia article about yeoman

Comments on yeoman

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


Test Your Vocabulary

Original Meanings Quiz

  • rembrandt painting a young scholar and his tutor
  • Which of the following is the earliest known sense of the word awe?
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!