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

Related Words for yank

jerk, tear, snatch, wrench, snap, tug, draw, hitch, lug, twitch, extract, vellicate, evulse

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