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  1. a large, stocky, shaggy-haired wild ox, Bos grunniens, of the Tibetan highlands, having long, curved horns: endangered.
  2. a domesticated variety of this animal.

Origin of yak1

1785–95; < Tibetan, spelling gyag


or yack

verb (used without object), yakked, yak·king.
  1. to talk, especially uninterruptedly and idly; gab; chatter: They've been yakking on the phone for over an hour.
  1. incessant idle or gossipy talk.

Origin of yak2

An Americanism dating back to 1945–50; apparently of expressive orig.
Related formsyak·ker, noun


noun, verb (used with or without object), yakked, yak·king. Slang.
  1. yuk1.


or yuck, yock, yok, yak

  1. a loud, hearty laugh.
  2. a joke evoking such a laugh.
verb (used with or without object), yukked, yuk·king.
  1. to laugh or joke: The audience really yukked it up at the movie.

Origin of yuk1

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for yak

Historical Examples

  • He is called "yak" in Tibetan, and the name has been transferred to most European languages.

    From Pole to Pole

    Sven Anders Hedin

  • They may grow so long as to touch the ground as the yak walks.

    From Pole to Pole

    Sven Anders Hedin

  • Even the ropes which sustain the tents are made of yak's wool.

  • In Thibet the yak is, perhaps, the most useful animal to be found in the country.

  • Like the European Bison, the skeleton of the Yak has fourteen pairs of ribs.

British Dictionary definitions for yak


  1. a wild and domesticated type of cattle, Bos grunniens, of Tibet, having long horns and long shaggy hair

Word Origin

C19: from Tibetan gyag


  1. Also: yakety-yak noisy, continuous, and trivial talk or conversation
verb yaks, yakking or yakked
  1. (intr) to chatter or talk in this way; jabber

Word Origin

C20: of imitative origin
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for yak


"wild ox of central Asia," 1795, from Tibetan g-yag "male yak."


"laugh," 1938; "talk idly," 1950; echoic, perhaps of Yiddish origin.


"laughter, something evoking laughs," 1964, imitative; see yuck (2).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper