Try Our Apps


90s Slang You Should Know


[yelp] /yɛlp/
verb (used without object)
to give a quick, sharp, shrill cry, as a dog or fox.
to call or cry out sharply:
The boy yelped in pain when the horse stepped on his foot.
verb (used with object)
to utter or express by or as if by yelping.
a quick, sharp bark or cry.
Origin of yelp
before 900; (v.) Middle English yelpen, Old English gielpan to boast; cognate with Low German galpen to croak; (noun) Middle English: boasting, Old English gielp, derivative of the v.
Related forms
yelper, noun
outyelp, verb (used with object) Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for yelp
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • I always temporized until I heard the tree falling, then off he would dash, and bounce into its top to yelp and explore.

    Bruno Byrd Spilman Dewey
  • The sound was such as is the yelp of a foxhound drawing a cover.

    The Watchers of the Plains Ridgewell Cullum
  • The hound began to yelp and his master cast an angry glance at me, asking why I had been allowed access to him.

  • Coaly gave a yelp of delight and stood barking before the door.

    Shawn of Skarrow James Tandy Ellis
  • And when Judson's yelp answered him: "All right; now, what was it you were trying to tell me about the special?"

British Dictionary definitions for yelp


verb (intransitive)
(esp of a dog) to utter a sharp or high-pitched cry or bark, often indicating pain
a sharp or high-pitched cry or bark
Derived Forms
yelper, noun
Word Origin
Old English gielpan to boast; related to Low German galpen to croak, Danish gylpe to croak
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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for yelp

Old English gelpan (Anglian), gielpan (West Saxon) "to boast," from Proto-Germanic *gelpanan (cf. Old Saxon galpon, Old Norse gjalpa "to yelp," Old Norse gjalp "boasting," Old High German gelph "outcry"), from PIE root *ghel- "to cry out" (see yell). Related: Yelped; yelping.


Old English gielp "boasting," from source of yelp (v.). Meaning "quick, sharp bark or cry" is attested from c.1500.


Old English gielp "boasting," from source of yelp (v.). Meaning "quick, sharp bark or cry" is attested from c.1500.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for yelp

Most English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for yelp

Scrabble Words With Friends

Nearby words for yelp