\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

Whisk egg yolks with sugar, then add flour and whisk until smooth. Bethany Jean Clement, The Seattle Times, "How to make the best banana cream pie ever," 4 Dec. 2018 In a food processor, combine the egg yolks, lemon juice, and garlic and process until well blended. Michaela Bechler, Vogue, "Be Ambitious This Thanksgiving: 3 Bold Recipes From One of L.A.’s Most Talked About Restaurants," 2 Nov. 2018 Focus on the Omega-3 foods: salmon, walnuts, flaxseed, egg yolks, etc. Adam Hurly, GQ, "How to Fix Your Dehydrated Skin," 3 July 2018 Move the Bureau of Labor Statistics into the Department of Commerce and yolk it to the Census Bureau and the Bureau of Economic Analysis, which are already within the Commerce Department. Insider Staff Report, Science | AAAS, "Trump’s plan to reshuffle government strikes familiar notes," 21 June 2018 Scatter on sausage mix. Slice into 4 wedges, one yolk per slice. Leah Eskin, charlotteobserver, "Random fridge treasures achieve craveworthy breakfast pizza | Charlotte Observer," 16 Jan. 2018 Plus, betcha didn't know that more than half of the fat in egg yolks comes from heart healthy mono- and polyunsaturated fatty acids. Marygrace Taylor, Woman's Day, "These 10 Foods Are Cheaper and Healthier Than Pricey 'Superfoods'," 24 Nov. 2014 In a medium bowl, whisk egg yolks until blended, then slowly whisk in flour mixture. Gabriella Gershenson, WSJ, "Is Boston Cream Pie the World’s Most Delicious...Cake?," 9 Nov. 2018 Whisk together egg yolks, freshly grated Parmesan, and salt and pepper in large bowl. The Good Housekeeping Test Kitchen, Good Housekeeping, "Linguine Carbonara," 9 Oct. 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

17 Dec 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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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

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