yoke

noun
\ˈyōk \
plural yokes

Definition of yoke 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1a : a wooden bar or frame by which two draft animals (such as oxen) are joined at the heads or necks for working together

b : an arched device formerly laid on the neck of a defeated person

c : a frame fitted to a person's shoulders to carry a load in two equal portions

d : a bar by which the end of the tongue of a wagon or carriage is suspended from the collars of the harness

e(1) : a crosspiece on the head of a boat's rudder

(2) : an airplane control operating the elevators and ailerons

f : a frame from which a bell is hung

g : a clamp or similar piece that embraces two parts to hold or unite them in position

2 plural usually yoke : two animals yoked or worked together

3a(1) : an oppressive agency

(2) : servitude, bondage

b : tie, link especially : marriage

4 : a fitted or shaped piece at the top of a skirt or at the shoulder of various garments

yoke

verb
yoked; yoking

Definition of yoke (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1a(1) : to put a yoke on

(2) : to join in or with a yoke

b : to attach a draft animal to also : to attach (a draft animal) to something

2 : to join as if by a yoke

3 : to put to work

intransitive verb

: to become joined or linked

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Examples of yoke in a Sentence

Noun

a people able at last to throw off the yoke and to embrace freedom

Verb

The two oxen were yoked together. yoked several ideas together to come up with a new theory
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Merkel, who was raised behind the Soviet Union's Iron Curtain in East Germany, also noted pointedly that unified Germany is now free from the yoke of Moscow. Jonathan Allen /, NBC News, "Trump blasts NATO allies, calls Germany 'a captive of Russia'," 11 July 2018 But this yoke may come with the Kremlin’s new preeminence in the region. Trudy Rubin, Philly.com, "Report from Moscow: After missile strike, will Trump or Putin be seen as the winner? | Trudy Rubin," 18 Apr. 2018 Lugging the Stanley Cup like a milkmaid with her yoke can work for a bit, but soon Alex Ovechkin’s shoulder muscles begin to ache. Alex Prewitt, SI.com, "The Great Wait Is Finally Over: After 13 Seasons, Alex Ovechkin Is a Stanley Cup Champion," 11 June 2018 Cox, in turn, tried to yoke Newsom and the Democratic Party with the ills facing Californians, including the high poverty rate and the lack of affordable housing. Christina Bellantoni, latimes.com, "California primary results portend a general election with national themes," 6 June 2018 The land was under the yoke of apartheid, and Bobby and Ethel toured Johannesburg, Cape Town, Durban and Pretoria. Time, "Robert F. Kennedy Was Killed While Campaigning for President. Here's What Drove Him to Run," 5 June 2018 Instead, their pitch is that Pyongyang will gain more security by abandoning its nuclear program, allowing it to escape from the yoke of international sanctions and isolation and concentrate on economic prosperity. Author: Carol Morello, Anne Gearan, Anchorage Daily News, "Pompeo and North Korean official cut short talks to salvage nuclear summit," 31 May 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Even for congressional Republicans who are yoked to Trump, free trade is a sore subject. Alex Shephard, The New Republic, "Trump’s Big Trade War Bluff," 5 July 2018 Khan hopes to yoke public anger after last year’s ouster of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif for corruption. Time, "Cricket Hero Imran Khan Led Pakistan's Team to Victory. As a Politician, He's Riding a Populist Wave," 28 June 2018 Even as Lemonade disinters the pain wrought by Jay-Z’s infidelity, Beyoncé yokes her fate to his. Hannah Giorgis, The Atlantic, "Do Beyoncé Fans Have to Forgive Jay-Z?," 18 June 2018 Lunt says future systems that yoke UV-capturing perovskites to infrared-capturing organics could reach efficiencies of 20%, while still being nearly entirely transparent. Robert F. Service, Science | AAAS, "Skyscrapers could soon generate their own power, thanks to see-through solar cells," 28 June 2018 So long as America’s main political parties remained pragmatic associations of local interests, socially progressive Democrats in the North were yoked to segregationist Democrats in the South. Yascha Mounk, The New Yorker, "The Rise of McPolitics," 12 Jan. 2015 The funky new Tourists is the ideal place to stay, a 46-room complex that yokes together an old motel, mill, and 19th-century farmhouse and features onsite trails and river fishing. Mark Ellwood, Condé Nast Traveler, "The Best Places to Visit in July," 15 June 2018 The threat of plastic waste to marine wildlife is well known; the most ubiquitous image of its impact is that of seafaring turtles and gulls ensnared in the net-like rings that yoke six-packs of canned beverages together. Thomas Leavy, CBS News, "Florida brewery unveils six-pack rings that spare sea turtles, not snare them," 24 May 2018 This has always been a favorite move of hers— to yoke together unrelated clauses, to bring together despair and banality (the novelist Fiona Maazel has called Nors the master of the conjunction). Parul Sehgal, New York Times, "A Darkly Comic Novel Stares Down a Life of Solitude," 22 May 2018

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

Noun

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

Verb

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a(1)

History and Etymology for yoke

Noun

Middle English yok, from Old English geoc; akin to Old High German joh yoke, Latin jugum, Greek zygon, Sanskrit yuga, Latin jungere to join

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Dictionary Entries near yoke

yoicks

yojan

yok

yoke

yoke bone

yoke elm

yokefellow

Statistics for yoke

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Time Traveler for yoke

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

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More Definitions for yoke

yoke

noun

English Language Learners Definition of yoke

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a bar or frame that is attached to the heads or necks of two work animals (such as oxen) so that they can pull a plow or heavy load

: something that causes people to be treated cruelly and unfairly especially by taking away their freedom

yoke

verb

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

: to connect (two animals) by a yoke

yoke

noun
\ˈyōk \

Kids Definition of yoke

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a wooden bar or frame by which two work animals (as oxen) are harnessed at the heads or necks for drawing a plow or load

2 : a frame fitted to a person's shoulders to carry a load in two equal parts

3 : a clamp that holds or connects two parts

4 plural usually yoke : two animals yoked together

5 : something that brings about pain, suffering, or a loss of freedom the yoke of tyranny

7 : a fitted or shaped piece at the shoulder of a garment or at the top of a skirt

yoke

verb
yoked; yoking

Kids Definition of yoke (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : to put a yoke on The oxen were yoked together.

2 : to attach a work animal to Yoke the horse to the wagon.

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