yolk

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

yoke

\ˈyōk\

Definition of yolk

  1. 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 illustrationb archaic :  the whole contents of an animal ovum consisting of a protoplasmic formative portion and an inert nutritive portionc :  material stored in an animal ovum that supplies food to the developing embryo and consists chiefly of proteins, lecithin, and cholesterol

  2. 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

yolked

play \ˈyōkt, ˈyelkt (in cultivated speech, especially Southern US), also ˈyōlkt, ˈyȯlkt, ˈyälkt, ˈyəlkt\ adjective

yolky

play \ˈyō-kē, ˈyel- (in cultivated speech, especially Southern US), also ˈyōl-, ˈyȯl-, ˈyäl-, ˈyəl-\ adjective

Recent Examples of yolk from the Web

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.

Origin and Etymology of yolk

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


YOLK Defined for English Language Learners

yolk

play
noun

Definition of yolk for English Language Learners

  • : the yellow part in the center of an egg


YOLK Defined for Kids

yolk

play
noun \ˈyōk\

Definition of yolk for Students

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

History for yolk

The word yolk goes back to Old English geoloca (a spelling that seems less strange when you know that ge- in Old English could stand for the sound /y/). Geoloca, in turn, is a derivative of geolu, the ancestor of our word yellow. This makes perfect sense given the color of a yolk, but changes in pronunciation over the course of centuries no longer make the relationship of the words obvious.


Medical Dictionary

yolk

play
noun \ˈyōk\

Medical Definition of yolk

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



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