AskDefine | Define yoke

The Collaborative Dictionary

Yoke \Yoke\ (y[=o]k), n. [OE. yok, [yogh]oc, AS. geoc; akin to D. juk, OHG. joh, G. joch, Icel. & Sw. ok, Dan. aag, Goth. juk, Lith. jungas, Russ. igo, L. jugum, Gr. zy`gon, Skr. yuga, and to L. jungere to join, Gr. ?, Skr. yui. [root]109,
Cf. Join, Jougs, Joust, Jugular, Subjugate, Syzygy, Yuga, Zeugma.] [1913 Webster]
A bar or frame of wood by which two oxen are joined at the heads or necks for working together. [1913 Webster] A yearling bullock to thy name shall smoke, Untamed, unconscious of the galling yoke. --Pope. [1913 Webster] Note: The modern yoke for oxen is usually a piece of timber hollowed, or made curving, near each end, and laid on the necks of the oxen, being secured in place by two bows, one inclosing each neck, and fastened through the timber. In some countries the yoke consists of a flat piece of wood fastened to the foreheads of the oxen by thongs about the horns. [1913 Webster]
A frame or piece resembling a yoke, as in use or shape. Specifically: (a) A frame of wood fitted to a person's shoulders for carrying pails, etc., suspended on each side; as, a milkmaid's yoke. (b) A frame worn on the neck of an animal, as a cow, a pig, a goose, to prevent passage through a fence. (c) A frame or convex piece by which a bell is hung for ringing it. See Illust. of Bell. (d) A crosspiece upon the head of a boat's rudder. To its ends lines are attached which lead forward so that the boat can be steered from amidships. (e) (Mach.) A bent crosspiece connecting two other parts. (f) (Arch.) A tie securing two timbers together, not used for part of a regular truss, but serving a temporary purpose, as to provide against unusual strain. (g) (Dressmaking) A band shaped to fit the shoulders or the hips, and joined to the upper full edge of the waist or the skirt. [1913 Webster]
Fig.: That which connects or binds; a chain; a link; a bond connection. [1913 Webster] Boweth your neck under that blissful yoke . . . Which that men clepeth spousal or wedlock. --Chaucer. [1913 Webster] This yoke of marriage from us both remove. --Dryden. [1913 Webster]
A mark of servitude; hence, servitude; slavery; bondage; service. [1913 Webster] Our country sinks beneath the yoke. --Shak. [1913 Webster] My yoke is easy, and my burden is light. --Matt. xi.
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Two animals yoked together; a couple; a pair that work together. [1913 Webster] I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I go to prove them. --Luke xiv.
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The quantity of land plowed in a day by a yoke of oxen. [Obs.] --Gardner. [1913 Webster]
A portion of the working day; as, to work two yokes, that is, to work both portions of the day, or morning and afternoon. [Prov. Eng.] --Halliwell. [1913 Webster]
(Chiefly Mach.) A clamp or similar piece that embraces two other parts to hold or unite them in their respective or relative positions, as a strap connecting a slide valve to the valve stem, or the soft iron block or bar permanently connecting the pole pieces of an electromagnet, as in a dynamo. [Webster 1913 Suppl.] Neck yoke, Pig yoke. See under Neck, and Pig. Yoke elm (Bot.), the European hornbeam (Carpinus Betulus), a small tree with tough white wood, often used for making yokes for cattle. [1913 Webster]
Yoke \Yoke\, v. t. [imp. & p. p. Yoked; p. pr. & vb. n. Yoking.] [1913 Webster]
To put a yoke on; to join in or with a yoke; as, to yoke oxen, or pair of oxen. [1913 Webster]
To couple; to join with another. "Be ye not unequally yoked with unbelievers." --2 Cor. vi.
[1913 Webster] Cassius, you are yoked with a lamb. --Shak. [1913 Webster]
To enslave; to bring into bondage; to restrain; to confine. [1913 Webster] Then were they yoked with garrisons. --Milton. [1913 Webster] The words and promises that yoke The conqueror are quickly broke. --Hudibras. [1913 Webster]
Yoke \Yoke\, v. i. To be joined or associated; to be intimately connected; to consort closely; to mate. [1913 Webster] We 'll yoke together, like a double shadow. --Shak. [1913 Webster]

Word Net



1 fabric comprising a fitted part at the top of a garment
2 an oppresssive power; "under the yoke of a tyrant"; "they threw off the yoke of domination"
3 two items of the same kind [syn: couple, pair, twosome, twain, brace, span, couplet, distich, duo, duet, dyad, duad]
4 a pair of draft animals joined by a yoke; "pulled by a yoke of oxen"
5 support consisting of a wooden frame across the shoulders that enables a person to carry buckets hanging from each end
6 a connection (like a clamp or vise) between two things so they move together [syn: coupling]
7 stable gear that joins two draft animals at the neck so they can work together as a team


1 become joined or linked together
2 link with or as with a yoke; "yoke the oxen together" [syn: link]
3 put a yoke on or join with a yoke; "Yoke the draft horses together" [ant: unyoke]

Moby Thesaurus

Oregon boat, accouple, accumulate, agglutinate, amass, articulate, assemble, associate, back band, backstrap, band, bearing rein, bed, bed down, bellyband, bilbo, bit, blinders, blinds, bond, bonds, both, brace, bracket, break, breeching, bridge, bridge over, bridle, brush, camisole, caparison, cavesson, cement, chain, chains, checkrein, cheekpiece, chinband, cinch, clap together, collar, collect, combine, comprise, concatenate, conglobulate, conjoin, conjugate, connect, copulate, couple, couple up, couplet, cover, crownband, crupper, cuffs, curb, curry, currycomb, distich, double harness, double-harness, double-team, doublet, drench, duad, duet, duo, dyad, embrace, encompass, enslavement, feed, fetter, fodder, gag, gag swivel, gather, gentle, girth, glue, groom, gyves, hackamore, halter, hames, hametugs, hamper, handcuffs, handle, harness, headgear, headstall, helotry, hip straps, hitch, hitch up, hobbles, hook up, hopples, include, irons, jaquima, jerk line, join, knot, lay together, leading strings, league, leash, ligament, ligature, lines, link, litter, lump together, manacle, manage, marry, marshal, martingale, mass, match, mate, mates, merge, milk, mobilize, muzzle, nexus, noseband, pair, pair off, peonage, piece together, pillory, pole strap, put together, reins, restraint, restraints, ribbons, roll into one, rub down, saddle, serfdom, servility, servitude, set of two, shackle, shaft tug, side check, slavery, snaffle, solder, span, splice, stick together, stocks, straightjacket, strait-waistcoat, straitjacket, stranglehold, surcingle, tack, tackle, take in, tame, tape, team, team up, tend, tether, the two, thralldom, tie, train, trammel, trammels, trappings, tug, twain, two, twosome, unify, unite, vinculum, water, wed, weld, winker braces



geoc, from . Cognate with Latin iugum, Sanskrit युग, Old Church Slavonic sc=Cyrl (Russian sc=Cyrl), Persian sc=fa-Arab. Compare yoga.



  1. to link or to join
  2. to unite, to connect


  1. A bar or frame of wood by which two oxen are joined at the heads or necks for working together.
  2. A burden; something which represses or restrains a person.
  3. The electro-magnetic coil that deflects the electron beam in a CRT (Cathode Ray Tube).
  4. 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.
  5. Common misspelling of yolk
  6. The part of a shirt that stretches over the shoulders, usually made out of a doubled piece of fabric. Or, a pair of fabric panels on trousers (especially jeans) or a skirt, across the back of the garment below the waistband.
  7. In the context of "informal|Ireland": An undefined object, a gadget.
  8. The column-mounted control wheel of an aircraft.




wooden bar
  • Albanian: zgjedhë
  • Catalan: jou
  • Bosnian: igo, jaram
  • Bulgarian: иго
  • Croatian: igo, jaram
  • Czech: jařmo
  • Danish: åg
  • Dutch: juk
  • Esperanto: jugo
  • Estonian: ike
  • Finnish: ies
  • French: joug
  • German: Joch
  • Hungarian: iga, járom
  • Italian: giogo
  • Korean: 겨리 (gyeori), 멍에 (meongE)
  • Kurdish: nîr
  • Latin: iugum
  • Macedonian: иго, јарем
  • Old Church Slavonic:
  • Old English: geoc
  • Polish: jarzmo
  • Russian: ярмо
  • Sanskrit: युग
  • Serbian:
    Cyrillic: иго
    Latin: igo
  • Slovak: jarmo
  • Slovene: komat, jarem
  • Spanish: yugo
  • Swedish: ok
yoke of a shirt
  • Swedish: ok
A bow yoke is a shaped wooden crosspiece bound to the necks of a pair of oxen, or occasionally horses. It is held on the animals' necks by an oxbow, from which it gets its name. The oxbow is usually U-shaped and also transmits force from the animals' shoulders. A swivel beneath the centre of the yoke, between the animals, attaches the pole of the vehicle (when the animals steer the vehicle) or chains that are used to drag the load.
A head yoke is a yoke that fits onto the head of the oxen and has carved out sections which the horns fit into. The yoke is then strapped to the head of the oxen with yoke straps and ox pads for cushioning on the oxen's foreheads. The yoke is held on in that manner, it does not rest on their necks. A tug pole is held to the bottom of the yoke using yoke irons and chains. The tug pole can either be a short pole with a chain attached for hauling or can be a long pole with a hook on the end that has no chain at all. Sometimes the pole is attached to a wagon and the oxen are simply backed over this pole, the pole is then raised between them and a backing bolt is dropped into the chains on the yoke irons in order to haul the wagon.
Although both yokes are effective, head yokes needs to be constantly shaped to fit the animals' horns, while bow yokes do not. However a head yoke is better for teaching animals to stand quietly without fighting because they cannot move their heads around freely.
"Yoke" may also designate a bar by which the end of the tongue of a wagon or carriage is suspended from the collars of a harness.
"A yoke of oxen" means "two oxen".
yoke in Aragonese: Chubo
yoke in Aymara: Lluku
yoke in Catalan: Jou
yoke in Czech: Jho
yoke in Welsh: Iau
yoke in German: Geschirr (Zugtier)
yoke in Spanish: Yugo
yoke in French: Joug
yoke in Galician: Xugo
yoke in Hebrew: עול
yoke in Polish: Jarzmo (uprząż)
yoke in Quechua: Yunta
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