• (British) enPR: yōk, IPA: /jəʊk/

yoke (plural yokes)

  1. Frame around the neck, and related senses.
    1. A bar or frame of wood by which two oxen or other draught animals are joined at the heads or necks enabling them to pull a plough, cart etc. [from 8th c.]
      • 1725, Homer; [Alexander Pope], transl., “Book III”, in The Odyssey of Homer. […], volume I, London: Printed for Bernard Lintot, OCLC 8736646 ↗:
        A yearling bullock to thy name shall smoke, / Untamed, unconscious of the galling yoke.
    2. (now, US) A frame or convex crosspiece from which a bell is hung. [from 10th c.]
    3. Any of various linking or supporting objects that resemble a yoke; a crosspiece, a curved bar etc. [from 12th c.]
    4. A frame worn on the neck of an animal, such as a cow, pig, or goose, to prevent passage through a fence. [from 16th c.]
    5. A pole carried on the neck and shoulders of a person, used for carrying a pair of buckets, etc., one at each end of the pole. [from 17th c.]
    6. (nautical) A fitting placed across the head of the rudder with a line attached at each end by which a boat may be steered. In modern use it is primarily found in sailing canoes and kayaks. [from 18th c.]
    7. (electronics) The electromagnetic coil that deflects the electron beam in a cathode ray tube. [from 19th c.]
    8. The part of an item of clothing which fits around the shoulders, or the hips, from which the rest of the garment hangs, and which is often distinguished by having a double thickness of material, or decorative flourishes. [from 19th c.]
      • 1913, Willa Cather, O Pioneers!
        […] this city child was dressed in what was then called the "Kate Greenaway" manner, and her red cashmere frock, gathered full from the yoke, came almost to the floor.
      • 1952, Doris Lessing, Martha Quest, Panther 1974, p. 23:
        The dresses her mother made looked ugly, even obscene, for her breasts were well grown, and the yokes emphasized them, showing flattened bulges under the tight band of material […]
    9. (aviation) Any of various devices with crosspieces used to control an aircraft; now specifically, the control column. [from 20th c.]
    10. (video games) A similar device used as a game controller.
    11. (glassblowing) A Y-shaped stand used to support a blowpipe or punty while reheating in the glory hole.
    12. (bodybuilding) Well-developed muscles of the neck and shoulders.
      • 2010, Jim Wendler, "Build an NFL Neck", Men's Fitness (April), page 73.
        Nothing says you're a dedicated lifter and true athlete more than a massive yoke—that is, the muscles of the neck, traps, and rear delts.
  2. Pair of harnessed draught animals, and related senses.
    1. (now, chiefly, historical) A pair of animals, especially oxen, yoked together to pull something. [from 10th c.]
      • 1526, William Tyndale, trans. Bible, Luke XIV:
        And another sayd: I have bought fyve yooke of oxen, and I must goo to prove them, I praye the have me excused.
    2. (Scotland, Ireland) A horse and cart, a carriage; now generally, a car or other vehicle. [from 19th c.]
    3. (informal, Ireland) A miscellaneous object; a gadget. [from 20th c.]
    4. (slang, Ireland) Pill of a psychoactive drug.
  3. Extended uses and quantities.
    1. An area of arable land, especially specifically consisting of a quarter of a suling, or around 50-60 acres. [from 9th c.]
    2. (figuratively) A burden; something which oppresses or restrains a person. [from 9th c.]
    3. A bond of love, especially marriage, otherwise, any kind of friendship. [from 10th c.]
    • circa 1596-97 William Shakespeare, The Merchant of Venice, Act III scene iv:
      […] for in companions
      That do converse and waste the time together,
      Whose souls do bear an equal yoke of love,
      There must be needs a like proportion
      Of lineaments, of manners, and of spirits; […]
    1. (chiefly, Scotland, English regional) An amount of work done with draught animals, lasting about half a day; a shift of work. [from 18th c.]
      to work two yokes, i.e. to work both morning and afternoon
  • (aviation) control wheel
Translations Translations Translations Translations
  • Italian: sprone, carré
  • Russian: коке́тка
Translations Verb

yoke (yokes, present participle yoking; past and past participle yoked)

  1. To link or to join.
    • 1945 August 17, George Orwell [pseudonym; Eric Arthur Blair], chapter 6, in Animal Farm: A Fairy Story, London: Secker & Warburg, OCLC 3655473 ↗:
      […] Muriel and Benjamin yoked themselves into an old governess-cart and did their share.
  2. To unite, to connect.
    • 1611, The Holy Bible, […] (King James Version), imprinted at London: By Robert Barker, […], OCLC 964384981 ↗, Corinthians 2 2-Chapter-6/#14 6:14 ↗:
      Be ye not unequally yoked with unbelievers.
  3. To enslave; to bring into bondage; to restrain; to confine.
    • 1670, John Milton, The History of Britain, […] , London: Printed by J.M. for James Alleſtry, […] , OCLC 78038412 ↗:
      Then were they yoked with garrisons.
    • , Hudibras
      The words and promises that yoke / The conqueror are quickly broke.
Translations Translations
  • Russian: объединя́ть
  1. Misspelling of yolk

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