\ 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) alsoˈyōlkt, ˈyȯlkt, ˈyälkt, ˈyəlkt \ adjective
yolky \ˈyō-kē, ˈyel-(in cultivated speech, especially Southern US) alsoˈyōl-, ˈyȯl-, ˈyäl-, ˈyəl- \ adjective

Examples of yolk in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Lightly whisk eggs and egg yolk in a medium bowl, then whisk in sour cream, milk, and butter. Molly Baz, Bon Appetit, "Extra-Corny Cornbread Muffins," 25 June 2018 On their own, the Brussels sprouts made for a good cooked salad with bacon and blue cheese, crowned with a fried egg and its golden yolk. Mike Sutter, San Antonio Express-News, "Review: The Winchester British pub fires blanks on Broadway," 21 June 2018 In a separate bowl, whisk whole eggs and yolk until light and foamy, about 1 minute. Eva Katz, BostonGlobe.com, "Recipes: Soft, crisp pancakes with rhubarb, salmon, or chocolate," 11 May 2018 Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk together the remaining 1/2 cup milk, egg yolks and cornstarch until smooth and yellow. Maya Wilson, Anchorage Daily News, "Here’s what makes this vanilla pudding a bit magical," 26 Apr. 2018 In a bowl, whisk eggs, yolks and sugar until the mixture reaches ribbon stage. Nancy Miller, The Courier-Journal, "Rye's chef goes for bold flavors (like this paprika octopus) but keeps the menu simple," 17 Apr. 2018 Add yolks and cheese, vinegar and nuts and seasoning and continue to purée until smooth. Veronica Hinke, chicagotribune.com, "Suburban Chicago chefs share plans for Easter-April Fools' Day fusion dining," 15 Mar. 2018 Meanwhile, whisk the eggs and egg yolks in a medium heatproof bowl until combined. Debbi Snook, cleveland.com, "Triple Citrus Tart with Chocolate Crust and Fresh Berries (recipe)," 21 Feb. 2018 Add the shallots and tarragon to the egg yolks and mix together. Susan Selasky, Detroit Free Press, "Welcome springtime with these beautiful brunch recipes," 25 Mar. 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

10 Sep 2018

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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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