yoke

1 of 2

noun

plural yokes
1
a
: 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
3
a(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

2 of 2

verb

yoked; yoking

transitive verb

1
a(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

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
Recent Examples on the Web
Noun
The yoke turns a little past 90 degrees in each direction, and the last bit of steering brings what can be a surprising amount of response. Joe Lorio, Car and Driver, 13 Mar. 2023 In Putin’s new interpretation, even the Tatar-Mongol yoke—the two centuries of Russian subjugation that followed the invasion of Batu Khan, the grandson of Genghis Khan, in 1237—was not as harmful as Western influence and Western attacks. Andrei Kolesnikov, Foreign Affairs, 1 Dec. 2023 Until now, Russians saw the 2½ centuries of Mongol rule as a period of national humiliation, a yoke that arrested the country’s development and accounted for its perennial backwardness. Michael Khodarkovsky, WSJ, 24 Nov. 2023 But its a yoke Joanna's consciously been trying to shake. Mackenzie Schmidt, Peoplemag, 20 Nov. 2023 Here in the United States, the story is about a plucky group of people seeking liberty and freedom who threw off the yoke of tyranny and became the most powerful nation in the world. Jp Brammer, Los Angeles Times, 16 Nov. 2023 The interior is pretty radical, with a yoke steering wheel flanked by rectangular displays and a narrow dashboard. Daniel Golson, The Verge, 27 Oct. 2023 The elastic faux-wrap waist is comfy, while the ruffles along the hem and front yoke add plenty of volume. Nicol Natale, Peoplemag, 23 Feb. 2023 The outer edge, skimming the yoke and slithering over the shoulders, determines where things stand. Melvin Backman, Los Angeles Times, 12 Oct. 2023
Verb
Think luxurious cowboy hats and timeless pieces such as utilitarian denim and yoked shirts. Robyn Mowatt, Essence, 17 Jan. 2024 Yet, Borrell and the bulk of his European counterparts would probably share Macron’s unwillingness to wholly yoke European foreign policy to that of the United States. Ishaan Tharoor, Washington Post, 17 Apr. 2023 Extensively covered on state media, the rallies were festooned with banners that included Mr. el-Sisi’s photo next to images of Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa Mosque — a less-than-subtle attempt to yoke the Palestinian cause to Mr. el-Sisi’s. Vivian Yee, New York Times, 10 Dec. 2023 The communists, who espoused atheism and derided religions, sought to yoke Tibet to China by squashing its local culture and historical institutions; destroying Tibetan Buddhist monasteries, nunneries, and cultural artifacts; and suppressing the practice of the Tibetan Buddhist faith. Lobsang Sangay, Foreign Affairs, 6 Nov. 2023 Biden hosts Israel’s Herzog amid tensions between two nations But Republican lawmakers in Washington have seemingly yoked their agenda to the far-right Israeli settler movement and influential right-wing pro-Israel groups in the United States. Ishaan Tharoor, Washington Post, 19 July 2023 Rooted in the history and the canonical repertoire of theatre, but yoked dramaturgically to hyper-current rhythms and attitudes and styles, the TikToks showed that Harris could do what the big arts institutions couldn’t—keep up. Vinson Cunningham, The New Yorker, 18 Sep. 2023 For Modi, a staunch nationalist who often yokes his image to grand symbols of India’s growing stature, the landing represented a personal triumph. Gerry Shih, Washington Post, 24 Aug. 2023 Enter Email Sign Up The trial yokes together three different cases, meaning Jones could rule for the challengers in some instances and not others. Jeff Amy, BostonGlobe.com, 4 Sep. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'yoke.' 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

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

First Known Use

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)

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

Dictionary Entries Near yoke

Cite this Entry

“Yoke.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/yoke. Accessed 2 Mar. 2024.

Kids Definition

yoke

1 of 2 noun
plural yokes
1
a
: a wooden bar or frame by which two work animals (as oxen) are joined at their heads or necks for pulling a plow or load
b
: a frame fitted to a person's shoulders to carry a load in two equal portions
c
: a clamp or brace that holds or unites two parts
2
plural usually yoke : two animals yoked together
3
a
: something that brings about a state of hardship, pain, or slavery
4
: a fitted or shaped piece at the top of a skirt or at the shoulder of a garment

yoke

2 of 2 verb
yoked; yoking
1
: to put a yoke on
2
: to attach (a work animal) to something
yoke a horse to a cart
3
: to join as if by a yoke
4
: to put to work

More from Merriam-Webster on yoke

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!