[ yoh ]
/ yoʊ /
Save This Word!

(used as an exclamation to get someone's attention, express excitement, greet someone, etc.)
here; present: used especially in answer to a roll call.
Smoothly step over to these common grammar mistakes that trip many people up. Good luck!
Question 1 of 7
Fill in the blank: I can’t figure out _____ gave me this gift.

Origin of yo

late Middle English word dating back to 1375–1425

Other definitions for yo (2 of 2)


year old; years old.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023


What is a basic definition of yo?

Yo is an interjection that is used for getting someone’s attention, greeting someone, or expressing strong feelings. Yo is also used to mean “here” or “present,” as in response to a roll call.

Yo is a very flexible interjection that is used similarly to hey. The specific meaning of yo depends on the context it is used in. Yo is most often used informally and wouldn’t be used in formal writing that isn’t quotes or dialogue.

  • Real-life examples: You might greet a pal with a friendly “Yo!” Or you might try to get the attention of a distracted driver with an angry “Yo!”
  • Used in a sentence: Yo, Teddy! How is it going? 

Yo is also used to mean “here” or “present,” especially in response to someone calling your name.

  • Real-life examples: It might be too casual to say yo when your teacher reads your name during roll call, but your basketball coach probably won’t mind. And when someone asks who in a group wants pizza, you can definitely raise your hand and say “Yo!” to mean that you do.

Where does yo come from?

The first records of yo date back to around 1375. It originally comes from Middle English.

Did you know ... ?

What are some synonyms for yo?

How is yo used in real life?

Yo is a common interjection that is often used to call someone’s attention.

Try using yo!

Is yo used correctly in the following sentence?

Yo, would you turn off the music so I can get some sleep?

How to use yo in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for yo

/ (jəʊ) /

sentence substitute
an expression used as a greeting, to attract someone's attention, etc

Word Origin for yo

C20: of unknown origin
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