\ ˈyes How to pronounce yes (audio) \

Definition of yes

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 used as a function word to express assent or agreementare you ready? Yes, I am
2 used as a function word usually to introduce correction or contradiction of a negative assertion or directiondon'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

Keep scrolling for more

Synonyms & Antonyms for yes

Synonyms: Adverb

Synonyms: Noun

Antonyms: Adverb

Antonyms: Noun

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Examples of yes in a Sentence

Adverb yes, I'll be ready for the test tomorrow Noun We need a yes to go ahead with the project. She answered all the questions with yeses and nos.
See More
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 The bill successfully made its way through Virginia’s Senate’s Finance and Appropriations Committee on Wednesday with 11 Democrats voting yes against 5 Republicans who voted no. Andrew Mark Miller, Washington Examiner, "Virginia advances bill allowing illegal immigrants to obtain driver's licenses," 8 Feb. 2020 Voters will then vote yes or no on the final five, who must receive 80 percent approval to make the Hall of Fame. Adam Fisher, Indianapolis Star, "Is this the year former Colts RB Edgerrin James finally gets into the Hall of Fame?," 31 Jan. 2020 The Evangelical Lutheran Church of America fought about allowing LGBTQ clergy for decades before finally voting yes in 2010. Daniel Burke, CNN, "The Methodist Church will probably split in two over homosexuality, and that's bad for all of us," 17 Jan. 2020 Disney+ is a yes for families and nerds; DC Universe even more so. Adam Rogers, Wired, "Hollywood Bets On a Future of Quick Clips and Tiny Screens," 8 Jan. 2020 In this gilded age of - yes - trust fund YouTube sh*ts, Karim Benzema is a rare breed., "90min's Definitive European Player Power Rankings: Week 8 Succession Special," 7 Oct. 2019 For Google, the company will essentially give a rapid yes or no on whether apps need to be individually examined for malware. Wired, "Google Enlists Outside Help to Clean Up Android's Malware Mess," 6 Nov. 2019 All three House Democrats from Wisconsin also voted yes: Ron Kind, Gwen Moore and Mark Pocan. Craig Gilbert, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Resolution opposing Trump's troop withdrawal in Syria is backed by Wisconsin lawmakers in both parties," 16 Oct. 2019 The bill, which needed four votes to pass, received three yeses, two nos and two abstentions. Carolyn Said,, "Pink-slip car loans: Quick cash, high price tag," 21 June 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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about yes

Time Traveler for yes

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Statistics for yes

Cite this Entry

“Yes.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 10 Apr. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for yes


How to pronounce yes (audio)

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 How to pronounce yes (audio) \

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 clearnessWe are glad, yes, very glad to see you!
3 used to show uncertainty or polite interestYes? Who's there?Yes, what can I do for you?
4 used to indicate excitementYes! We won!



Kids Definition of yes (Entry 2 of 2)

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

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on yes

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for yes

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with 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).


See Definitions and Examples »

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Name that Thing: Flower Edition

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!