\ 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 yoke (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 yolked (audio) , ˈyelkt , (in cultivated speech, especially Southern US)  also  ˈyōlkt , ˈyȯlkt , ˈyälkt , ˈyəlkt \ adjective
yolky \ ˈyō-​kē How to pronounce yolky (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 fried bacon was upstaged and mushed up by the fried egg topping that exploded like a water balloon at first bite, masking everything with an overwhelming yolk taste. Chuck Blount, ExpressNews.com, "52 Weeks of Burgers: Tycoon Flats," 23 Aug. 2019 Sure, the hills can be steep, but that’s just an excuse to board an egg-yolk colored tram that takes a rollercoaster-esque route near an actual castle. Vicky Hallett, Washington Post, "Headed to Portugal? Consider staying in Setubal rather than Lisbon.," 22 Aug. 2019 Repeat until all the whites are combined with yolks. Illyanna Maisonet, SFChronicle.com, "How my hankering for brazo gitano led to a Stockton cherry orchard," 16 Aug. 2019 The excellent brunch menu includes the soul-satisfying broken rice porridge, with the surprise of chicken meatballs hidden inside, ginger, scallions, cured egg yolk shavings and a dash of spicy chili oil. San Diego Union-Tribune, "We hate brunch. But we love these 10 brunch spots," 8 Aug. 2019 Meanwhile, whisk 6 egg yolks together, vigorously until pale yellow. Danielle Pointdujour, Essence, "These Sweet Recipes Are Perfect For Celebrating National Frozen Custard Day," 8 Aug. 2019 The yolks melt into the bechamel, giving it a spring-timey yellow hue. Adam Rapoport, Bon Appétit, "You Can’t Go Wrong with “Creamed” + “Eggs”," 22 July 2019 Crack eggs into sizzling butter and fry, basting with turmeric butter from pan, until whites are set and yolks are warmed through but still runny, about 2 minutes. Kitty Greenwald, WSJ, "This Rice Recipe Has Everything, Plus a Turmeric-Butter-Fried Egg," 11 July 2019 Both provide bonus antioxidants and key nutrients, like vitamin D and choline in egg yolk, and vitamins E, K, and magnesium in avocado. Cynthia Sass, Mph, Health.com, "7 Healthy Late-Night Snacks," 3 July 2019

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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Dictionary Entries near yolk





yolk cell

yolk cord

yolk duct

Statistics for yolk

Last Updated

27 Aug 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for yolk

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

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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

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More from Merriam-Webster on yolk

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with yolk

Spanish Central: Translation of yolk

Nglish: Translation of yolk for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of yolk for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about yolk

Comments on yolk

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


one from the Upper Peninsula of Michigan

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