yerk

verb
\ ˈyərk How to pronounce yerk (audio) \
yerked; yerking; yerks

Definition of yerk

 (Entry 1 of 2)

transitive verb

1 dialect : to beat vigorously : thrash
2 dialect : to attack or excite vigorously : goad

yerk

noun

Definition of yerk (Entry 2 of 2)

1 Scotland : a lashing out : kick
2 dialect : jerk sense 1

First Known Use of yerk

Verb

circa 1520, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Noun

1581, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for yerk

Verb

Middle English, to bind tightly

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about yerk

Dictionary Entries near yerk

yerd

yere

Yerevan

yerk

Yerkes

yerra

yertchuk

Statistics for yerk

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for yerk

The first known use of yerk was circa 1520

See more words from the same year

More from Merriam-Webster on yerk

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with yerk

Comments on yerk

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

WORD OF THE DAY

showing courage and determination

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words for Summer: A Quiz

  • a closeup of a sunflower
  • Which of the following words means “of or relating to summer”?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

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

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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