There are 2 main definitions of yoke in English:

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yoke 1

Syllabification: yoke


Image of yoke
1A wooden crosspiece that is fastened over the necks of two animals and attached to the plow or cart that they are to pull.
Example sentences
  • The god told him that he would meet a cow that had never borne the weight of a yoke or plough.
  • The only noise was the snorting of oxen as they pulled against the yoke.
  • The yoke was fastened to the pole with a complex of knots so thoroughly tangled that it was impossible to unravel.
harness, collar, coupling
1.1 (plural same or yokes) A pair of animals coupled together with a yoke: a yoke of oxen
1.2 archaic The amount of land that one pair of oxen could plow in a day.
1.3A frame fitting over the neck and shoulders of a person, used for carrying pails or baskets.
Example sentences
  • Women in brightly coloured headscarves and short Russian army boots carried pails of milk on yokes around their shoulders.
  • By day he was working in a limestone quarry, carrying buckets of stones on a yoke.
1.4Used of something that is regarded as oppressive or burdensome: the yoke of imperialism
More example sentences
  • The yearning of the poor that the Independence of the country and the shedding of the yoke of an oppressive colonial past would bring wealth or at least a little more prosperity to them, still remain an unfulfilled dream.
  • The worst abuses were officially abolished, but the yoke of oppression did return, and new laws depriving people of their freedom and their political rights were instituted.
  • Artistic approach to the style has been undergoing modern transformation, emerging out from under the oppressive yoke of postmodernist theory.
tyranny, oppression, domination, hegemony, enslavement, servitude, subjugation, subjection, bondage, thrall;
bonds, chains, fetters, shackles
bond, tie, connection, link
1.5Used of something that represents a bond between two parties: the yoke of marriage
2Something resembling or likened to a yoke, in particular.
2.1A part of a garment that fits over the shoulders and to which the main part of the garment is attached, typically in gathers or pleats.
Example sentences
  • Experiment with this technique on shirt yokes and sleeve seams.
  • It has the right yoke, waistband and pocket details.
  • Foam usually isn't recommended for use on lightweight fabrics; however, it can be used in the yoke or neckline area of form-fitting garments.
2.2The crossbar at the head of a rudder, to whose ends ropes are fastened.
2.3A bar of soft iron between the poles of an electromagnet.
2.4(In ancient Rome) an arch of three spears under which a defeated army was made to march.
Example sentences
  • Roman troops experienced the humiliation of having to walk like slaves under a yoke of spears after their defeat at the Caudine Forks.
2.5chiefly North American A control lever in an aircraft.
Example sentences
  • We turn the control yoke just a little toward the wind and the aileron comes up a little.
  • It still had sticks, rather than control yokes, and got most of its performance out of its light weight.
  • The control yoke must be held fully rearward to maintain the stall.


[with object] Back to top  
1Put a yoke on (a pair of animals); couple or attach with or to a yoke: a plow drawn by a camel and donkey yoked together
More example sentences
  • Oxen are yoked to the plough, donkeys carry the harvest from field to village, and cows and sheep trample the grain on the threshing floor.
  • Because Cassius is yoked to him both in love and their deadly and momentous endeavour, he is a tragic hero too, powerless against the unbending resolve of Brutus to do what philosophy, not opportunity, dictates.
  • The two cannot go together, and is akin to yoking a horse and a camel together.
harness, hitch, couple, tether, fasten, attach, join
1.1Cause (two people or things) to be joined in a close relationship: Hong Kong’s dollar has been yoked to America’s
More example sentences
  • True pastors will caution their beloved children in the gospel, not to be unequally yoked.
  • Privatization is an economic tool inexorably yoked to politics.
  • The second thing to consider is the very nature of the discipleship yoked upon God's people in Christ.
2 informal Rob; mug: two crackheads yoked this girl


Old English geoc (noun), geocian (verb), of Germanic origin; related to Dutch juk, German Joch, from an Indo-European root shared by Latin jugum and Greek zugon, also by Latin jungere 'to join'.

Words that rhyme with yoke

awoke, bespoke, bloke, broke, choke, cloak, Coke, convoke, croak, evoke, folk, invoke, joke, Koch, moke, oak, okey-doke, poke, provoke, revoke, roque, smoke, soak, soke, spoke, stoke, stony-broke (US stone-broke), stroke, toke, toque, woke, yolk
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There are 2 main definitions of yoke in English:

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yoke 2 Line breaks: yoke

Entry from British & World English dictionary


Irish informal
A thing whose name one cannot recall, does not know, or does not wish to specify: how much did that yoke set you back?


Early 20th century: of unknown origin.

Definition of yoke in:
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