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

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, ˈyelkt, (in cultivated speech, especially Southern US)  also ˈyōlkt, ˈyȯlkt, ˈyälkt, ˈyəlkt \ adjective
yolky \ˈyō-kē, ˈyel-(in cultivated speech, especially Southern US) also ˈyōl-, ˈyȯl-, ˈyäl-, ˈyəl- \ adjective

Examples of yolk in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Egg yolk provides rich color, browning easily in the oven; egg white provides a nice sheen. Noelle Carter, charlotteobserver, "Grilling burgers this summer? Up your game with these homemade bun recipes," 6 July 2018 All of the students were suspended and expulsion proceedings have begun, state police said. Toppled chairs and splattered egg yolk were discovered Tuesday morning. Christine Dempsey, courant.com, "Would-Be Wilcox Graduation Spoilers Arrested In Meriden, State Police Say," 20 June 2018 The airy bread dough is shaped into an oblong reminiscent of a boat, filled with egg, mozzarella cheese, herbs, and spices, then baked to brown the cheese and set the egg white while maintaining its wobbly yellow yolk. BostonGlobe.com, "Where to eat in Greater Boston," 15 June 2018 Pour about half of what’s in the saucepan; then return the warmed egg yolk mixture to the saucepan and combine with the rest of the milk/cream mixture, still stirring all the time. Ellise Pierce, star-telegram, "Spring brings the sweet promise of simple desserts — with berries, of course," 10 Apr. 2018 Fold one-third of the egg whites into the egg yolks mixture to lighten it. Nancy Miller, The Courier-Journal, "With a little Southern hospitality and new recipes, this Bardstown Road spot keeps evolving," 10 Apr. 2018 Then, return the saucepan to the heat and quickly whisk in the egg yolk mixture until yellow and smooth. Maya Wilson, Anchorage Daily News, "Lemon meringue pie is an old-fashioned but dreamy confection worth making," 22 Mar. 2018 Once milk begins to simmer, slowly stream half the milk into the yolk mixture, whisking constantly. Chelsea Zwieg, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Some fantastic pies to make for Pi Day - 3/14," 13 Mar. 2018 Spoon yolk mixture into 10 egg white halves (save remaining 2 for other uses) and add capers for eyes. Elaine Johnson, Sunset, "Deviled Egg Bunnies," 22 Jan. 2018

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

22 Oct 2018

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 \

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 \

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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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).


exaggeratedly or childishly emotional

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