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

Keep scrolling for more

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
See More

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Dominicans are the proud progeny of islanders of differing ancestry who shook off the yoke of Spanish, French, and even U.S. rule to be an independent nation. Krista Kafer, The Denver Post, "Kafer: A lesson on identity politics from the Dominican Republic," 5 Sep. 2019 Another fashion first for fall is the costume sweater; some styles feature yoke designs of velvet, others, jet on wool, some pullovers have companion stripped sleeveless cardigans and others are wool jersey with soutache braid trim. San Diego Union-Tribune, "From the Archives: Back to school fashion in 1950," 27 Aug. 2019 And during acceleration at takeoff, pilots steer left and right with rudder pedals, instead of the obvious control yoke in front of them. Matt Day, The Seattle Times, "‘Video games’? Pilots wonder how plane thief learned to do aerial acrobatics," 13 Aug. 2018 Student loan debt exceeds a trillion dollars, and is a yoke around our economy for all those who can’t afford to buy homes, start a family, or take the risk of being an entrepreneur. Letter Writers, Twin Cities, "Letters: Student loan forgiveness isn’t some wild-eyed hippie ideal," 18 July 2019 Animosities among Sumerian city-states may have hampered Lugalzagesi in his fight against Sargon, who captured him and placed a yoke around his neck. Kristin Baird Rattini, National Geographic, "Meet the world’s first emperor," 18 June 2019 Recorded music has always existed under the yoke of capitalism, and good listeners have always found ways to elevate their listening above the noise of the sales floor. Chris Richards, Washington Post, "How did YouTube become the most popular music streaming site? By sounding like the world itself.," 31 July 2019 Capping out-of-pocket insulin payments at $100 per month will be a lifeline to so many families who are suffering under the yoke of high drug costs. Ian Fleming, The Denver Post, "Guest Commentary: Colorado’s insulin price caps will save lives," 9 July 2019 In particular, people familiar with the matter said, the software issue relates to how quickly pilots can use electric switches on the control column, or yoke, to get the aircraft into more level flight. Andy Pasztor, WSJ, "FAA Finds New Software Problem in Boeing’s 737 MAX," 26 June 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Mr Conte has spent 14 months heading an all-populist government that yoked the Five Stars to the hard-right Northern League. The Economist, "Italy’s Five Star Movement has a deal to form a new government," 29 Aug. 2019 Marx and Engels movingly envisioned a form of class solidarity extending across borders and nationalities, yoking together strangers alienated and exploited by the same economic forces. Astra Taylor, The New Republic, "One for All," 26 Aug. 2019 This is the usual hysteria yoked to the usual foggy thinking. Rich Lowry, National Review, "The New York Times Should Stop Whining," 27 Aug. 2019 And when the number of people who can theoretically collaborate on a project scales up into the billions, your chance of yoking together a critical mass of volunteers goes up exponentially. Zeynep Tufekci, WIRED, "Altruism Still Fuels the Web. Businesses Love to Exploit It," 20 Aug. 2019 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 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 is not a case of mistaken identity, of two Jordan Petersons yoked to the same name. Zack Beauchamp, Vox, "Jordan Peterson, the obscure Canadian psychologist turned right-wing celebrity, explained," 21 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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about yoke

Dictionary Entries near yoke

yoicks

yojan

yok

yoke

yoke bone

yoke elm

yokefellow

Statistics for yoke

Last Updated

18 Oct 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for yoke

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

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.

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on yoke

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with yoke

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for yoke

Spanish Central: Translation of yoke

Nglish: Translation of yoke for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of yoke for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about yoke

Comments on yoke

What made you want to look up yoke? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

to be made up of

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Where in the World? A Quiz

  • peter bruegel tower of babel painting
  • What language does pajama come from?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Dictionary Devil

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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