yo-yo

1 of 3

noun

plural yo-yos
1
: a thick grooved double disk with a string attached to its center axle that is made to fall and rise to the hand by unwinding and rewinding on the string
2
: a condition or situation marked by regular fluctuations from one extreme to another
3
: a stupid or foolish person

yo-yo

2 of 3

adjective

: shifting back and forth or up and down uncertainly or unexpectedly

yo-yo

3 of 3

verb

yo-yoed; yo-yoing

intransitive verb

: to move from one position to another repeatedly : fluctuate
the stock price yo-yoed

Examples of yo-yo in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web
Noun
Jim Regan Carlsbad Chip and dip UCLA athletic director Martin Jarmond got played like a yo-yo when Chip Kelly left for Ohio State. Los Angeles Times, 10 Feb. 2024 There will also be vendor booths, live entertainment, food and drink and opportunities to meet with other yo-yo lovers. The San Diego Union-Tribune Staff, San Diego Union-Tribune, 24 Jan. 2024 That Tom was a yo-yo expert was perfectly in tune with his character. Robert Lloyd, Los Angeles Times, 29 Dec. 2023 The system functions like a yo-yo, performing erratically depending on whether the economy is booming or busting. George Skelton, Los Angeles Times, 11 Dec. 2023 Coffee also causes a blood sugar yo-yo, says Sepel, due to a link between adrenaline, cortisol, and insulin. Hannah Coates, Glamour, 8 Nov. 2023 Last month, Taiwanese authorities detained five people, including a Chinese yo-yo instructor, on suspicion of spying for China. Time, 2 Aug. 2023 Rather than bring down rates and risk a yo-yo effect, rates will likely remain high as the economy continues to re-regulate towards a level of inflation consumers (plus investors and politicians) can be comfortable with. Anna Kaufman, USA TODAY, 25 July 2023 Think of playing with a yo-yo on a down escalator, up-and-down movement but generally pushing lower. Lance Lambert, Fortune, 20 July 2023
Verb
Related: It’s been a yo-yo season for the Bruins’ Jakub Lauko. Matt Porter, BostonGlobe.com, 18 Mar. 2023 Stephanie Covington Armstrong, author of Not All Black Girls Know How To Eat: A Story of Bulimia suffered from yo-yo dieting, binging and bulimia, and attributes the start of her eating disorder to a lack of consistent access to enough food. Shanetta McDonald, refinery29.com, 27 Feb. 2023 See More

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

Word History

Etymology

Noun

probably from Ilocano yóyo, or a cognate word in a language of the Philippines

First Known Use

Noun

1915, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Adjective

1932, in the meaning defined above

Verb

1967, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of yo-yo was in 1915

Dictionary Entries Near yo-yo

Cite this Entry

“Yo-yo.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/yo-yo. Accessed 27 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition

yo-yo

noun
ˈyō-ˌyō
plural yo-yos
1
: a thick divided disk that is made to fall and rise to the hand by unwinding and rewinding on a string
2

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