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[yes] /yɛs/
(used to express affirmation or assent or to mark the addition of something emphasizing and amplifying a previous statement):
Do you want that? Yes, I do.
(used to express an emphatic contradiction of a previously negative statement or command):
Don't do that! Oh, yes I will!
(used, usually interrogatively, to express hesitation, uncertainty, curiosity, etc.):
“Yes?” he said as he opened the door. That was a marvelous show! Yes?
(used to express polite or minimal interest or attention.)
noun, plural yeses.
an affirmative reply.
verb (used with object), yessed, yessing.
to give an affirmative reply to; give assent or approval to.
(used as a strong expression of joy, pleasure, or approval.)
Origin of yes
before 900; Middle English yes, yis, Old English gēse (adv. and noun), probably equivalent to gēa yea1 + be it (present subjunctive singular of bēon to be) Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for yes
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • yes—I'm hungry for both, and some of those funny little cakes.

    The Spenders Harry Leon Wilson
  • yes, dearest Philothea; but not till she had first told me of her own marriage with Geta.

    Philothea Lydia Maria Child
  • yes, and that young shrimp that was talkin' about 'vintages' and 'trouserings.'

    The Spenders Harry Leon Wilson
  • What you say in New York—'a damned fine old family,' yes, is it not?

    The Spenders Harry Leon Wilson
  • yes, the bathing-suit does have little touches of red, and red—but this will never do.

    The Spenders Harry Leon Wilson
British Dictionary definitions for yes


sentence substitute
used to express acknowledgment, affirmation, consent, agreement, or approval or to answer when one is addressed
used, often with interrogative intonation, to signal someone to speak or keep speaking, enter a room, or do something
an answer or vote of yes
(often pl) a person who votes in the affirmative
Compare no1
Word Origin
Old English gēse, from iā sīe may it be; see yea
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
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Word Origin and History for yes

Old English gise, gese "so be it!," probably from gea, ge "so" (see yea) + si "be it!," third person imperative of beon "to be" (see be). Originally stronger than simple yea. Used in Shakespeare mainly as an answer to negative questions. Yes-man is first recorded 1912, American English.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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