Meaning of YOKE in English


I. ˈyōk noun

( -s )

Usage: see sense 2

Etymology: Middle English yok, from Old English geoc; akin to Old High German joh yoke, Old Norse ok yoke, Gothic juk yoke (of oxen), Latin jugum yoke, jungere to join, Greek zygon yoke, zeugnynai to yoke, join, Sanskrit yuga yoke, yunakti he yokes, joins



(1) : a bar or frame of wood by which two draft animals (as oxen) are joined at the heads or necks for working together and especially for drawing a plow or a load and which is usually a piece of timber hollowed or made curving near each end, laid on the necks of the oxen, secured in place by a bow passing under and enclosing each neck, and fastened through the timber

(2) : an arched or curved device formerly laid upon the neck of a defeated person ; also : an arch consisting of a spear resting horizontally upon two upright spears under which a captured foe is compelled to pass as a symbol of submission

(3) : a frame worn on the neck of an animal (as a cow, pig, or goose) to prevent passage through a fence or hedge

(4) : a usually wooden frame fitted to a person's shoulders to carry a load suspended in two equal portions on opposite sides of the body

(5) : a bar by which the end of the tongue of a wagon or carriage is suspended from the collars of a harness

b. : a tie securing two architectural members together ; specifically : the horizontal piece forming the head of a window frame


(1) : a crosspiece on the head of a boat's rudder to whose ends are attached lines leading forward either to the hands of a steersman or to the drum of a steering wheel so that the boat can be steered farther forward

(2) : control column

d. : a frame or convex piece from which a bell is hung

e. : a clamp or similar piece that embraces two other parts to hold or unite them in their respective or relative positions: as

(1) : a strap connecting a slide valve to the valve stem

(2) : the soft iron block or bar (as in a dynamo) permanently connecting the pole pieces of an electromagnet

(3) : a slotted crosshead used in some steam engines in place of a connecting rod

(4) : the lower cap on the masthead of a yacht

f. : field frame

g. : an assembly that fits around the neck of a cathode ray or picture tube and that contains coils used to control the position of the electron beam in the tube

2. plural usually yoke

a. : two animals yoked together

ordinarily drawn by five or six yoke of oxen — W.F.Harris

also : a pair of animals that work normally together

kept eight yoke of oxen hauling supplies — Marjory S. Douglas

b. obsolete : pair , couple


a. : an old Kentish unit of land area equal to 1/4 sulung

b. : an Austrian cadastral unit equal to 1.42 acres



(1) : an oppressive agency reducing to subjection, submission, humiliation, or servitude

thrown off the yoke of the mother country — C.G.Fenwick

the young girl would rid herself of her mother's yoke — H.M.Parshley

(2) : servitude , slavery , bondage , service

my yoke is easy, and my burden is light — Mt 11:30 (Revised Standard Version)


(1) : something that connects or binds : relationship , tie , link , bond

since it recognizes no other truth … than its own, it needs must … bring everything under one yoke — M.R.Cohen

(2) : the matrimonial bond ; especially : one in which the partners are unequal

5. : a fitted or shaped section of a garment to which a gathered, pleated, or flared section is attached used as the top of a skirt or the shoulder section of any of various garments and especially of a shirt, blouse, or coat

II. verb

( -ed/-ing/-s )

Etymology: Middle English yoken, from Old English geocian, from geoc, n., yoke — more at yoke I

transitive verb



(1) : to put a yoke on : join in or with a yoke

continued stolidly yoking his oxen — A.C.Whitehead

an ox … had been yoked together with a skinny poll-cow — O.E.Rölvaag

(2) : to fit a yoke about the neck of (an animal) to prevent passage

b. : to attach a draft animal (as an ox) to

yoke a cart

also : to attach (a draft animal) to something

yoke a horse to a cart

2. : to couple, join, link, or associate as if by a yoke

yoked two goals together in the title of his book — J.D.Hart

yoked to a life and a companionship unvarying — James Boyd

3. archaic : to bring into bondage : hold in subjection : oppress

4. : to set to a task or operation : put to work

yoked his great imagination to constant labor — W.R.Nicoll

intransitive verb

1. : to be in intimate association : become joined or linked especially in marriage or companionship : consort

we'll yoke together, like a double shadow — Shakespeare

2. Scotland : to apply oneself vigorously : set to work — usually used with to


variant of yolk

IV. ˈyōk

Usage: usually capitalized

— a communications code word for the letter y

Webster's New International English Dictionary.      Новый международный словарь английского языка Webster.