\ ˈyōk How to pronounce yolk (audio) , ˈyelk (in cultivated speech especially Southern US) also ˈyōlk, ˈyȯlk, ˈyälk, ˈyəlk \
variants: or less commonly yoke \ ˈyōk How to pronounce yolk (audio) \

Definition of yolk

1a : the yellow spheroidal mass of stored food that forms the inner portion of the egg of a bird or reptile and is surrounded by the white — see egg illustration
b archaic : the whole contents of an animal ovum consisting of a protoplasmic formative portion and an inert nutritive portion
c : material stored in an animal ovum that supplies food to the developing embryo and consists chiefly of proteins, lecithin, and cholesterol
2 [akin to Middle Dutch ieke yolk (of wool), Old English ēowu ewe] : oily material in unprocessed sheep wool consisting of wool fat, suint, and debris

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Other Words from yolk

yolked \ ˈyōkt How to pronounce yolk (audio) , ˈyelkt , (in cultivated speech, especially Southern US)  also  ˈyōlkt , ˈyȯlkt , ˈyälkt , ˈyəlkt \ adjective
yolky \ ˈyō-​kē How to pronounce yolk (audio) , ˈyel-​ (in cultivated speech, especially Southern US) also  ˈyōl-​ , ˈyȯl-​ , ˈyäl-​ , ˈyəl-​ \ adjective

Examples of yolk in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The gorgeous outdoor setup, nestled on a hill and adjacent to the Museum of the Roman Republic and Garibaldi Remembrance, was host to a wonderfully decadent truffle interpretation of the celebrated egg yolk dish. Joey Skladany, PEOPLE.com, 27 Sep. 2021 Ever had a halo halo, an ube crinkle cookie or salted egg yolk ice cream? Rafael Guerrero, chicagotribune.com, 17 Sep. 2021 The whole, salted egg yolk in the middle of the cakes symbolizes the full moon. Priscilla Totiyapungprasert, The Arizona Republic, 17 Sep. 2021 My mother used to fry the eggs in vegetable oil, cracking the yolk and flipping the egg so everything cooked through. Eric Kim, New York Times, 8 Sep. 2021 Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula and add the egg yolk and sugar and beat on medium-high until the sugar has dissolved, about 2 minutes more. Jessica Battilana, San Francisco Chronicle, 3 Sep. 2021 The accessible version of the coat tweaked the details, dropping the length to mid-calf, adding a shawl collar and extending the stripes across the front shoulders and along the back yolk to give the comfy coat a bit of an athleisure vibe. Adam Tschorn, Los Angeles Times, 30 July 2021 The gentle, indirect heat your oven provides cooks the white all the way through while keeping it tender and leaving the yolk as golden as the sun on a clear summer day. Washington Post, 2 Apr. 2021 Use the bowl as a guide to add the egg to the simmering water, using a spoon to make sure the white stays with the yolk. Susan Selasky, Detroit Free Press, 1 Apr. 2021

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

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

History and Etymology for yolk

Middle English yolke, from Old English geoloca, from geolu yellow — more at yellow

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Time Traveler for yolk

Time Traveler

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

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Dictionary Entries Near yolk



yolk cell

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Statistics for yolk

Last Updated

6 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Yolk.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/yolk. Accessed 16 Oct. 2021.

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More Definitions for yolk



English Language Learners Definition of yolk

: the yellow part in the center of an egg


\ ˈyōk How to pronounce yolk (audio) \

Kids Definition of yolk

: the yellow inner part of the egg of a bird or reptile containing stored food material for the developing young


\ ˈyōk How to pronounce yolk (audio) \

Medical Definition of yolk

: material stored in an ovum that supplies food to the developing embryo and consists chiefly of proteins, lecithin, and cholesterol

More from Merriam-Webster on yolk

Nglish: Translation of yolk for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of yolk for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about yolk


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