yoke

noun
\ ˈyōk How to pronounce yoke (audio) \
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
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 But the necessities of serial TV storytelling mean the yoke is always back before too long. Tribune News Service, cleveland, "‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ is far from perfect. Here’s why I’m not giving up on it yet (review)," 29 Apr. 2021 But the necessities of serial TV storytelling mean the yoke is always back before too long. Los Angeles Times, "‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ is far from perfect. Here’s why I’m not giving up on it yet," 28 Apr. 2021 This garment features an iconic guru collar, mother-of-pearl buttons and back darted yoke. Joseph Deacetis, Forbes, "Highlighting The Male Physique With Casual And Modern Shirts In 2021," 16 Apr. 2021 Almost 70 years later in 1991 the Silk Road republics did shake off Moscow’s yoke. Melik Kaylan, Forbes, "To Balance The Global Pressure From Russia And China The West Must Help Uzbekistan," 12 Apr. 2021 The driver’s cockpit, meanwhile, features a digital gauge cluster, a palm scanner for security and a jet fighter-style steering yoke. Bryan Hood, Robb Report, "MG’s Futuristic New Electric Car Concept Nods to Its Old-School Roadster Roots," 2 Apr. 2021 In Maggie, Roth found an excuse to slip off the yoke forever. Los Angeles Times, "If ‘Philip Roth: The Biography’ leaves you hating its subject, thank Blake Bailey," 2 Apr. 2021 For the next 250 years, despite the best efforts of the English to free themselves from this commercial yoke, the secret of that prodigious dye remained unknown to all but a select fortunate few of Spanish producers. Longreads, "Why Bumblebees Love Cats and Other Beautiful Relationships," 23 Mar. 2021 During the week that Utah marked a year under the threat of the coronavirus, the yoke of the pandemic has begun to lift. Julie Jag, The Salt Lake Tribune, "Utah reports fewest COVID-19 deaths since October," 7 Mar. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Trump, meanwhile, managed to yoke the meeting to his administration’s campaign to buttress Israel on the world stage. Washington Post, "The mirage of Trump’s ‘peace’ deals," 15 Sep. 2020 Progress required that citizens yoke themselves to an immoral economy in ever more complex ways. R.h. Lossin, The New York Review of Books, "The Revolutionary Thoreau," 4 Sep. 2020 Munch has the daring to yoke this world-menacing science fiction and world-historical politics to peculiarly intimate settings. Richard Brody, The New Yorker, "“The 11th Green,” Reviewed: A Wild Fantasy of U.S. History, Conspiracy, and U.F.O.s," 25 June 2020 Yet none of the other technocrats succeeded in heading a second government, as Mr Conte has done since last September, when the M5S switched partners to yoke itself to the centre-left Democratic Party. The Economist, "No longer a figurehead Why Italy’s technocratic prime minister is so popular," 27 June 2020 Still, these mutually resentful women can’t disengage: their womanhood, and an accompanying unease in the world, keep them yoked together, entangled in talk. Vinson Cunningham, The New Yorker, "Kathleen Collins’s Otherworldly Women," 20 Apr. 2020 That meant that some better neologisms got no ink that week, because they were yoked to one or two meh or problematic ones. Washington Post, "Style Conversational Week 1371: We’re permutation nation," 13 Feb. 2020 Those choices in turn become collars, yoking us to the reality, no matter how gilded, of the daily grind. Ian Bogost, The Atlantic, "When the Checkpoints Come," 19 Mar. 2020 In close to three years in power, the administration has courted or hosted virtually all the region’s unelected potentates, yoking its anti-Iranian agenda in part to the concerns of a clutch of Arab sheikhs and princes. Ishaan Tharoor, Washington Post, "The Trump administration’s obsession with an ancient Persian emperor," 1 Nov. 2019

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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Time Traveler for yoke

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for yoke

Last Updated

11 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Yoke.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/yoke. Accessed 12 May. 2021.

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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
formal + literary : 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 How to pronounce yoke (audio) \

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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