an animal in its second year.
a horse one year old, dating from January 1 of the year after the year of foaling.


being a year old.
of a year's duration or standing: a yearling bride.

Origin of yearling

1425–75; late Middle English; see year, -ling1; cognate with German Jährling Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for yearling

nursling, weanling

Examples from the Web for yearling

Historical Examples of yearling

  • By autumn the youngster was so big and sleek that he might almost have passed for a yearling.

    The House in the Water

    Charles G. D. Roberts

  • Why, he asked mildly, might not the AJ outfit have stolen the yearling?

    Rim o' the World

    B. M. Bower

  • At noon they killed a yearling pig, and roasted it and made a hearty lunch.

  • There's my brother-in-law, Pquin; he does not know a yearling from a three-year-old.

    A Village of Vagabonds

    F. Berkeley Smith

  • That night Kotick danced the Fire-dance with the yearling seals.

    The Jungle Book

    Rudyard Kipling

British Dictionary definitions for yearling



the young of any of various animals, including the antelope and buffalo, between one and two years of age
a thoroughbred racehorse counted for racing purposes as being one year old until the second Jan 1 following its birth
  1. a bond that is intended to mature after one year
  2. (as modifier)yearling bonds


being a year old
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 yearling

mid-15c., from year + -ling.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper