\ˈyes \

Definition of yes 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1 used as a function word to express assent or agreement are you ready? Yes, I am

2 used as a function word usually to introduce correction or contradiction of a negative assertion or direction don't say that! Yes, I will

3 used as a function word to introduce a more emphatic or explicit phrase

4 used as a function word to indicate uncertainty or polite interest or attentiveness


plural yeses also yesses

Definition of yes (Entry 2 of 2)

: an affirmative reply : yea

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Synonyms & Antonyms for yes

Synonyms: Adverb

all right, alright, aye (also ay), exactly, OK (or okay), okeydoke (or okeydokey), yea, yeah, yep, yo

Synonyms: Noun

affirmative, yea

Antonyms: Adverb

nay, no, no way, scarcely

Antonyms: Noun

nay, negative, no, non placet

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Examples of yes in a Sentence


yes, I'll be ready for the test tomorrow


We need a yes to go ahead with the project. She answered all the questions with yeses and nos.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb

Squire, who formed Yes with singer Jon Anderson and others, died in 2015. Mike Danahey, Elgin Courier-News, "Yestival set for Saturday at Elgin's Festival Park," 17 Aug. 2017 Yes-style interventions can succeed elsewhere, considering that its solutions not only are difficult to implement, but, at least in the short-term, also cost more than many communities are willing or able to spend. Amadou Diallo, The Atlantic, "A Rust Belt City's School Turnaround," 18 July 2017 Though in a coma and an unresponsive state for several weeks, Ashlee could hear family members talking to her and would wiggle her foot to answer yes-and-no questions. Robert Rhoden,, "'She saved my life': DWI driver and crash victim find peace and a new purpose in life," 25 June 2017 None Raised Depressed Uniform Dropshadow Font Family Proportional Sans-Serif Monospace Sans-Serif Proportional Serif Monospace Serif Casual Script Small Caps Defaults Done — Troublesome Middle Child DEAR TROUBLESOME MIDDLE CHILD: Yes: Carolyn Hax, The Seattle Times, "Someone else’s vacation dreams don’t have to be your nightmare," 11 June 2017 And after Brownback quickly vetoed the bill and denounced the tax plan, House Speaker Ron Ryckman’s decision to vote yes on overriding the governor provided the spark needed for other conservative lawmakers to vote yes. Hunter Woodall And Jonathan Shorman,, "How a group of female lawmakers and a top Republican rolled back Brownback’s tax cuts," 8 June 2017 The TPA, which gives lawmakers a yes-or-no vote on amending trade deals, was passed amid tension over whether the U.S. should sign the 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership, championed by then-President Barack Obama. Andrew Mayeda,, "U.S. Set to Start Three-Month Countdown to Nafta Renegotiation," 17 May 2017 The Michigan Republican gave cover for people to switch from no to yes by extracting more financial assistance — $8 billion over five years — to help people with preexisting conditions pay for medical costs. James Hohmann, Washington Post, "The Daily 202: 10 storylines to follow as the House votes on health care," 4 May 2017 The name Fly on the Wall Entertainment is a nod to [Big Brother], yes? Brian Porreca, Billboard, "How 'Big Brother' Producers Pulled Off an 'Unfiltered' Look at Katy Perry's Life for YouTube Live Stream," 28 June 2017

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

If this were a yes-or-no question, the answer would be no. Dr. Rob Sharp, Country Living, "Does my Indoor Cat Need Feline Leukemia Vaccine?," 28 June 2010 Stocks had plunged the previous day as investors expected gridlock to be resolved with new elections that could have turned into a yes-or-no referendum deciding whether Italy would continue to use the euro. Washington Post, "Stock markets reverse course and surge as Italy fears fade," 30 May 2018 Consider using a yes-or-no or multiple-choice format., "Tips for communicating with someone with Alzheimer's," 24 Apr. 2018 The vote harkened back to the yes-or-no referendums held by Egypt's autocratic leaders in the decades before a 2011 uprising raised hopes of democratic change. Hamza Hendawi,, "Egypt's president wins re-election with 97 percent of vote," 2 Apr. 2018 People on both sides had expected a yes vote over the past couple of days; few had expected that the margin would be so decisive. Henry Farrell, Washington Post, "The exit polls say Ireland has voted to legalize abortion with a smashing majority," 25 May 2018 The tests commonly used to determine paternity or maternity rely on a different method that provides a simple yes or no answer. Megan Molteni, WIRED, "Family DNA Testing at the Border Would Be an Ethical Quagmire," 22 June 2018 Burundians are being asked to vote yes or no to a proposal to extend the president's term from five years to seven, which would allow Nkurunziza to rule for another 14 years when his current term expires in 2020. Fox News, "'Castrate the enemy': Violence grips Burundi ahead of vote," 8 May 2018 Ads related to initiative petitions usually end with an admonition — sometimes an ominous one — to vote yes or no on the question number. Joshua Miller,, "The question order has been set for the fall ballot," 9 July 2018

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


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


1712, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for yes


Middle English, from Old English gēse

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Dictionary Entries near yes





yes and no


yeshiva bocher

Statistics for yes

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Time Traveler for yes

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

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English Language Learners Definition of yes

 (Entry 1 of 2)

—used to give a positive answer or reply to a question, request, or offer

—used to express agreement with an earlier statement or to say that statement is true

—used to introduce a statement that corrects or disagrees with an earlier negative statement



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

: a positive reply : an answer of yes


\ˈyes \

Kids Definition of yes

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 used to express agreement in answer to a question, request, or offer or with an earlier statement “Are you ready?” “Yes, I am.”Yes, I think you are right.

2 used to introduce a phrase with greater emphasis or clearness We are glad, yes, very glad to see you!

3 used to show uncertainty or polite interest Yes? Who's there?Yes, what can I do for you?

4 used to indicate excitement Yes! We won!



Kids Definition of yes (Entry 2 of 2)

: a positive reply I received a yes to my request.

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More from Merriam-Webster on yes

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with yes

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for yes

Spanish Central: Translation of yes

Nglish: Translation of yes for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of yes for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about yes

Comments on yes

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


to enclose within walls

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