[ yel ]
See synonyms for yell on
verb (used without object)
  1. to cry out or speak with a strong, loud, clear sound; shout: He always yells when he is angry.

  2. to scream with pain, fright, etc.

verb (used with object)
  1. to utter or tell by yelling: to yell an order to the troops.

  1. a cry uttered by yelling.

  2. a cheer or shout of fixed words or syllables, as one adopted by a school or college to encourage a team.

Origin of yell

First recorded before 1000; (for the verb) Middle English yellen, Old English gellan, giellan; cognate with German gellen to resound, Dutch gillen; akin to Old English galan “to sing” (see nightingale); noun derivative of the verb

Other words from yell

  • outyell, verb (used with object) Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use yell in a sentence

  • It was depressing to think of going to bed in such circumstances with the yelling of an Arctic storm for a lullaby.

    The Giant of the North | R.M. Ballantyne
  • My dear child, don't you know who the Charles Maxwell is whose name those boys are yelling?

    The Weight of the Crown | Fred M. White
  • Hundreds of men would pursue him from tree to tree, yelling and throwing stones till he vanished out of sight.

    Kari the Elephant | Dhan Gopal Mukerji
  • Riding into the valley the troop, whooping and yelling like mad men, suddenly dashed upon the unsuspecting recruits.

  • Down the train rode the guerrillas, shooting the teamsters and mules, and yelling like devils.

British Dictionary definitions for yell


/ (jɛl) /

  1. to shout, scream, cheer, or utter in a loud or piercing way

  1. a loud piercing inarticulate cry, as of pain, anger, or fear

  2. US and Canadian a rhythmic cry of words or syllables, used in cheering in unison

Origin of yell

Old English giellan; related to Old Saxon gellon, Old High German gellan, Old Norse gjalla; see nightingale

Derived forms of yell

  • yeller, noun

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