verb (used with or without object)

to pull or remove abruptly and vigorously: Yank down on the bell rope. He was yanked out of school.


an abrupt, vigorous pull; jerk.

Origin of yank

First recorded in 1810–20; origin uncertain

Synonyms for yank

1. pluck, tug, tear.



noun, adjective Informal.

Origin of Yank

An Americanism dating back to 1770–80; shortened form
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for yank

Contemporary Examples of yank

Historical Examples of yank

British Dictionary definitions for yank



to pull, jerk, or move with a sharp movement; tug


a sharp jerking movement; tug

Word Origin for yank

C19: of unknown origin



a slang word for an American
US informal short for Yankee
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 yank

1822, Scottish, of unknown origin. Related: Yanked; yanking. The noun is 1818 in sense of "sudden blow, cuff."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper