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From Middle English yok, yoke, ȝok from Old English ġeoc (“yoke”), from Proto-Germanic *juką (“yoke”), from Proto-Indo-European *yugóm (“yoke”), from *yewg- (“to join; to tie together, yoke”). Doublet of yuga, jugum, yoga and possibly yogh.
Senses 3.1 (“area of arable land”) and 3.2 (“amount of work done with draught animals”) probably referred to the area of land that could generally be ploughed by yoked draught animals within a given time.
yoke (plural yokes)
- Senses relating to a frame around the neck.
- A bar or frame by which two oxen or other draught animals are joined at their necks enabling them to pull a cart, plough, etc.; (by extension) a device attached to a single draught animal for the same purpose.
1557 February 13, Thomas Tusser, “Februarij”, in A Hundreth Good Pointes of Husbandrie., London: Richard Tottel, →OCLC; republished London: Reprinted for Robert Triphook, , and William Sancho, , 1810, →OCLC, stanza 64, page 13: Thy seruant in walking thy pastures aboute: / for yokes, forkes and rakes, let him loke to finde oute. / And after at leyser let this be his hier: / to trimme them and make them at home by the fier.
c. 1595–1596 (date written), William Shakespeare, A Midsommer Nights Dreame. (First Quarto), London: for Thomas Fisher, , published 1600, →OCLC, [Act II, scene i]:
The Oxe hath therefore ſtretcht his yoake in vaine, / The Ploughman loſt his ſweat, and the greene corne / Hath rotted, ere his youth attainde a bearde: […]
1697, Virgil, “The Third Book of the Georgics”, in John Dryden, transl., The Works of Virgil: Containing His Pastorals, Georgics, and Æneis. , London: Jacob Tonson, , →OCLC, page 103, lines 226–227:
Firſt let 'em run at large; and never know / The taming Yoak, or draw the crooked Plough.
1725, Homer, “Book III”, in [Alexander Pope], transl., The Odyssey of Homer. , volume I, London: Bernard Lintot, →OCLC, page 127, lines 500–503:
A yearling bullock to thy name ſhall ſmoke, / Untam'd, unconſcious of the galling yoke, / With ample forehead, and yet tender horns / Whoſe budding honours ductile gold adorns.
1728, James Thomson, “Spring”, in The Seasons, London: A Millar, and sold by Thomas Cadell, , published 1768, →OCLC, page 4, lines 34–40:
Joyous, th' impatient huſbandman perceives / Relenting Nature, and his luſty ſteers / Drives from their ſtalls, to where the well-us'd plough / Lies in the furrow, looſened from the froſt. / There, unrefuſing, to the harneſs'd yoke / They lend their ſhoulder, and begin their toil, / Chear'd by the ſimple ſong and ſoaring lark.
- Any of various linking or supporting objects that resembles a yoke (sense 1.1); a crosspiece, a curved bar, etc.
1890 July 4, “‘Engineering’ Illustrated Patent Record”, in W H Maw, J Dredge [Jr.], editors, compiled by W. Lloyd Wise, Engineering: An Illustrated Weekly Journal, volume L, London: Offices for advertisements and publication—35 & 36, Bedford Street, Strand, W.C., →ISSN, →OCLC, page 29, column 1:
Steam Engines. […] The valve rods are coupled by connecting-rods […] and yokes […], to eccentrics […].
- 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; a carrying pole.
- Synonyms: (Sri Lanka, dated) pingo, milkmaid's yoke, shoulder pole
1821, John Clare, “[Poems.] The Disappointment.”, in The Village Minstrel, and Other Poems, volume I, London: for Taylor and Hessey, ; and E Drury, , →OCLC, stanza 5, page 155:
And whenever to rest she her buckets set down, / She jingled her yokes to and fro, / And her yokes she might jingle till morn—a rude clown, / Ere he it seem'd offered to go.
1876, Thomas Hardy, “A Street in Anglebury—A Heath Near—Inside the ‘Old Fox Inn’”, in The Hand of Ethelberta: A Comedy in Chapters , volume I, London: Smith, Elder, & Co., , →OCLC, page 3:
The speaker, who had been carrying a pair of pails on a yoke, deposited them upon the edge of the pavement in front of the inn, and straightened his back to an excruciating perpendicular.
- (aviation) Any of various devices with crosspieces used to control an aircraft; specifically, the control column.
- Synonym: control wheel
- (video games) A similar device used as a game controller.
- (bodybuilding) Well-developed muscles of the neck and shoulders.
2010 April, Sean Hyson, Jim Wendler, “Build an NFL Neck”, in Men’s Fitness, New York, N.Y.: American Media, →ISSN, →OCLC, page 73; reproduced as “The Big Yoke Workout”, in Men’s Journal, accessed 19 November 2021, archived from the original on 19 November 2021:
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.
- (clothing) 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.
1913 June, Willa Sibert Cather, chapter I, in O Pioneers!, Boston, Mass., New York, N.Y.: Houghton Mifflin Company , →OCLC, part I (The Wild Land), pages 11–12: The country children thereabouts wore their dresses to their shoe-tops, but 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, chapter 1, in Martha Quest, London: HarperCollinsPublishers, published 1993, →ISBN, part 1, page 28:
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; and the straight falling line of the skit was spoiled by her full hips.
- (electrical engineering) Originally, a metal piece connecting the poles of a magnet or electromagnet; later, a part of magnetic circuit (such as in a generator or motor) not surrounded by windings (“wires wound around the cores of electrical transformers”).
- (electronics) The electromagnetic coil that deflects the electron beam in a cathode ray tube.
- (glassblowing) A Y-shaped stand used to support a blowpipe or punty while reheating in the glory hole.
- (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.
1840, R H D, Jr., chapter XXIII, in Two Years before the Mast. (Harper’s Family Library; no. CVI), New York, N.Y.: Harper & Brothers , →OCLC, page 237:
A light whale-boat, handsomely painted, and fitted out with stern seats, yoke, tiller-ropes, &c. hung on the starboard quarter, and was used as the gig. […] The bow-man had charge of the boat-hook and painter, and the coxswain of the rudder, yoke, and stern-sheets.
- (chiefly US) A frame or convex crosspiece from which a bell is hung.
- A collar placed on the neck of a conquered person or prisoner to restrain movement.
- (agriculture) A frame placed on the neck of an animal such as a cow, pig, or goose to prevent passage through a fence or other barrier.
1580, Thomas Tusser, “A Digression to Husbandlie Furniture”, in Fiue Hundred Pointes of Good Husbandrie: , London: Henrie Denham , →OCLC; republished as W Payne and Sidney J[ohn Hervon] Herrtage, editors, Five Hundred Pointes of Good Husbandrie. , London: Published for the English Dialect Society by Trübner & Co., , 1878, →OCLC, stanza 17, page 38: Strong yoke for a hog, with a twicher and rings, / with tar in a tarpot, for dangerous things: […] 1770, Peter Kalm [i.e., Pehr Kalm], translated by John Reinhold Forster, Travels into North America; , volume I, Warrington, Cheshire: William Eyres, →OCLC, pages 164–165:
Each hog had a wooden triangular yoke about its neck, by which it was hindered from penetrating through the holes in the encloſures; and for this reaſon, the encloſures are made very ſlender, and eaſy to put up, and do not require much wood.
- (Ancient Rome) Chiefly in pass under the yoke: a raised yoke (sense 1.1), or a symbolic yoke formed from two spears installed upright in the ground with another spear connecting their tops, under which a defeated army was made to march as a sign of subjugation.
1659, T Livius [i.e., Livy], “[Book III]”, in Philemon Holland, transl., The Romane Historie , London: W. Hunt, for George Sawbridge, , →OCLC, page 89:
is will and pleaſure was they ſhould paſſe all under the yoke or gallows: the maner wherof is this. They took three ſpears or javelins, and ſet two of them pitched in the ground endlong, and their overthwart faſtned unto the other. Under this kind of gallows the Dictator compelled the Æquians to go.
1769, Goldsmith, “From the Creation of the Tribunes to the Appointment of the Decemviri”, in The Roman History, from the Foundation of the City of Rome, to the Destruction of the Western Empire. , volume I, London: S. Baker and G. Leigh, ; T Davies, ; and L. Davis, , →OCLC, page 127:
he Æqui being attacked on both ſides and unable to reſiſt or fly, begged a ceſſation of arms. They offered the dictator his own terms; he gave them their lives, but obliged them, in token of ſervitude, to paſs under the yoke, which was two ſpears ſet upright, and another acroſs, in the form of a door, beneath which the vanquiſhed were to march.
- Senses relating to a pair of harnessed draught animals.
- (chiefly historical) A pair of draught animals, especially oxen, yoked together to pull something.
1861, E. J. Guerin, Mountain Charley, page 31:
One yoke of cattle became so foot sore that they were unserviceable, and we were obliged to drive them behind the wagon.
- (archaic) A pair of things linked in some way.
c. 1597 (date written), William Shakespeare, “The Merry Wiues of Windsor”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies (First Folio), London: Isaac Iaggard, and Ed Blount, published 1623, →OCLC, [Act II, scene i], page 44, column 2:
heſe that accuſe him in his intent towards our wiues, are a yoake of his diſcarded men: very rogues, now they be out of ſeruice.
1851 November 14, Herman Melville, “Does the Whale’s Magnitude Diminish?—Will He Perish?”, in Moby-Dick; or, The Whale, 1st American edition, New York, N.Y.: Harper & Brothers; London: Richard Bentley, →OCLC, page 513:
hese whales, influenced by some views to safety, now swim the seas in immense caravans, so that to a large degree the scattered solitaries, yokes, and pods, and schools of other days are now aggregated into vast but widely separated, unfrequent armies.
- (Ireland, Scotland) A carriage, a horse and cart; (by extension, generally) a car or other vehicle.
- (Ireland, informal) A miscellaneous object; a gadget.
- Synonym: yokibus
2023 August 5, Paul Williams, quoting Gerry ‘The Monk’ Hutch, “What Hutch and Downhall said on their drive north”, in Irish Independent, page 12:
These three yokes [AK-47s] we're throwin' them up to them either way…
- (Ireland, informal) A chap, a fellow.
- (Ireland, slang) A pill of a psychoactive drug.
- Senses relating to quantities, and other extended uses.
- (chiefly Kent, archaic) An area of arable land, specifically one consisting of a quarter of a suling, or around 50–60 acres (20–24 hectares); hence, a small manor or piece of land.
1790, Edward Hasted, “The Hundred of Calehill”, in The History and Topographical Survey of the County of Kent. , volume III, Canterbury, Kent: or the author, by Simmons and Kirkby, →OCLC, page 207, column 2:
Of this ſuling Ralph de Curbeſpine holds one yoke and an half, which is and was worth ſeparately ten ſhillings. Adelold had half a ſuling and half a yoke, and in the time of K. Edward the Confeſſor it was worth 40 ſhillings, and afterwards 20 ſhillings, now 40 ſhillings.
- (chiefly England, especially Kent; also Scotland; historical) An amount of work done with draught animals, lasting about half a day; (by extension) an amount or shift of any work.
to work two yokes
- (literally, “to work both morning and afternoon”)
- A bond of love, especially marriage; also, a bond of friendship or partnership; an obligation or task borne by two or more people.
c. 1596–1598 (date written), W Shakespeare, The Excellent History of the Merchant of Venice. (First Quarto), : J Roberts , published 1600, →OCLC, [Act III, scene i]:
n companions / That do conuerſe and waſte the time together, / Whoſe ſoules do beare an equall yoke of loue, / There muſt be needs a like proportion / Of lineaments, of manners, and of ſpirit […]
1697, Virgil, “The Fourth Book of the Æneis”, in John Dryden, transl., The Works of Virgil: Containing His Pastorals, Georgics, and Æneis. , London: Jacob Tonson, , →OCLC, page 297, lines 21–23 and 25:
Such were his Looks, ſo gracefully he ſpoke, / That were I not reſolv'd againſt the Yoke / Of hapleſs Marriage; […] / To this one Error I might yield again: […]
1885 September, H Rider Haggard, “Umbopa Enters Our Service”, in King Solomon’s Mines, London, Paris: Cassell & Company, , published 1887, →OCLC, page 38:
First of all, gentlemen, I have been observing you both for the last two days, and if you will not think me impertinent I will say that I like you, and think that we shall come up well to the yoke together.
- Something which oppresses or restrains a person; a burden.
c. 1588–1593 (date written), [William Shakespeare], The Most Lamentable Romaine Tragedie of Titus Andronicus: (First Quarto), London: Iohn Danter, and are to be sold by Edward White & Thomas Millington, , published 1594, →OCLC, [Act IV, scene i]:
Their mothers bed-chamber ſhould not be ſafe, / For theſe baſe bond-men to the yoake of Rome.
1610, William Camden, “Romans in Britaine”, in Philémon Holland, transl., Britain, or A Chorographicall Description of the Most Flourishing Kingdomes, England, Scotland, and Ireland, , London: Georgii Bishop & Ioannis Norton, →OCLC, page 48:
Whereupon our enemies, kindled with rage, and pricked forward with an ignominious indignity, leſt they ſhould be brought under the yoke of a womans government, with a strong power of choiſe youth, by force of armes invaded her kingdome, which was foreſeen by us: […]
1648, Joseph Beaumont, “Canto XI. The Traytor.”, in Psyche: Or Loves Mysterie, , London: George Boddington, , published 1651, →OCLC, stanza 28, page 186, column 2:
O ſhameleſſe boldneſſe! which can in defence / Of meek Religion, put on Barbarouſnes, / And make the Bond of Sweetnes a pretence / To break all other yoakes; […]
1660 February, John Milton, The Ready and Easy Way to Establish a Free Commonwealth, and the Excellence thereof, Compar’d with the Inconveniencies and Dangers of Readmitting Kingship in this Nation; republished in A Complete Collection of the Historical, Political, and Miscellaneous Works of John Milton, , volume II, Amsterdam [actually London: s.n.], 1698, →OCLC, page 792:
For Kings to com, never forgetting thir former Ejection, will be ſure to fortify and arm themſelves ſufficiently for the future againſt all ſuch Attempts hereafter from the People: who ſhall be then ſo narrowly watch'd and kept ſo low, that […] they never ſhall be able to regain what they now have purchas'd and may enjoy, or to free themſelves from any Yoke impos'd upon them: […]
1757 (date written), [Edmund Burke], “Introduction. On Taste.”, in A Philosophical Enquiry into the Origin of Our Ideas of the Sublime and Beautiful, 2nd edition, London: R and J Dodsley, , published 1759, →OCLC, part, pages 34–35:
t frequently happens that a very poor judge, merely by force of a greater complexional ſenſibility, is more affected by a very poor piece, than the beſt judge by the moſt perfect; […] the judgment is for the greater part employed in throwing ſtumbling blocks in the way of the imagination, in diſſipating the ſcenes of its enchantment, and in tying us down to the diſagreeable yoke of our reaſon: […]
1849, Thomas Babington Macaulay, chapter I, in The History of England from the Accession of James II, volume I, London: Longman, Brown, Green, and Longmans, →OCLC, page 42:
If any state forms a great regular army, the bordering states must imitate the example, or must submit to a foreign yoke.
bar or frame by which two oxen or other draught animals are joined at their necks enabling them to pull a cart, plough, etc.; device attached to a single draught animal for the same purpose
- Ahom: 𑜒𑜢𑜀𑜫 (ʼik)
- Akkadian: 𒉌𒄿𒊒 (nīru)
- Albanian: zgjedhë (sq) f
- Amharic: ቀንበር (ḳänbär)
- Arabic: نِير m (nīr) (most standard), مِضْمَدَة f (miḍmada), مِضْمَد m (miḍmad) (West Yemen, and from there Al-Andalus, Morocco, Algeria), وَيْج m (wayj) (now in all of Oman), أُرْعُوَّة f (ʔurʕuwwa) (now extinct in this form but used in spots in North Yemen as رِعْوَة f (riʕwa), رَعْوَة f (raʕwa) – compare the Ge'ez); in Ḥaḍramawt هِجّ m (hijj); in Lower Egyptian Arabic نَاف m (nāf), in Upper Egyptian Arabic كَرَب m (kaṛab)
- Jewish: נִירָא m (nīrā), כְּדָנָא (kḏānā)
- Syriac: ܢܺܝܪܳܐ m (nīrā)
- Archi: окь (okˡʼ)
- Armenian: լուծ (hy) (luc)
- Aromanian: giug
- Asturian: xugu m
- Avestan: 𐬫𐬎𐬎𐬀 (yuua)
- Azerbaijani: boyunduruq
- Bashkir: ҡамыт (qamıt)
- Basque: uztarri
- Belarusian: ярмо́ n (jarmó), хаму́т m (xamút), і́га n (íha) (figuratively)
- Bengali: জোয়াল (jōẇal)
- Breton: yev (br) m
- Bulgarian: и́го (bg) n (ígo), яре́м (bg) m (jarém), хомо́т (bg) m (homót)
- Burmese: please add this translation if you can
- Catalan: jou (ca) m
- Chechen: дукъ (duqʼ)
- Mandarin: 軛／轭 (zh) (è), 牛軛／牛轭 (zh) (niú'è)
- Czech: jařmo (cs) n, jho (cs) n
- Dalmatian: zaug m
- Danish: åg (da) n
- Daur: aral
- Dutch: juk (nl) n
- Esperanto: jugo (eo)
- Estonian: ike (et)
- Faroese: ok (fo) n
- Finnish: ies (fi)
- French: joug (fr) m
- Friulian: jôf m
- Galician: xugo (gl) m, canga (gl) f
- Ge'ez: አርዑት (ʾärʿut)
- Georgian: უღელი (ka) (uɣeli)
- German: Joch (de) n
- Gothic: 𐌾𐌿𐌺 n (juk), 𐌾𐌿𐌺𐌿𐌶𐌹 f (jukuzi)
- Greek: ζυγός (el) m (zygós)
- Ancient: ζυγόν n (zugón)
- Hebrew: עֹל (he) m (ʿol), צֶמֶד (he) m (ṣemeḏ)
- Hindi: जुआ (hi) m (juā)
- Hungarian: iga (hu), járom (hu)
- Icelandic: ok (is) n
- Indonesian: kuk (id)
- Irish: gabháil m, cuing f
- Italian: giogo (it) m
- Japanese: 軛 (ja) (くびき, kubiki), 頸木 (くびき, kubiki), 衡 (ja) (くびき, kubiki)
- Kazakh: қамыт (qamyt), мойынтұрық (moiyntūryq), жарма (jarma)
- Khmer: ដៀវ (km) (diəw)
- Korean: 멍에 (ko) (meong'e)
- Northern Kurdish: nîr (ku) m
- Kyrgyz: моюнтурук (ky) (mojunturuk), каамыт (ky) (kaamyt)
- Lao: ແອກ (ʼǣk), ຄອມ (khǭm)
- Latgalian: aizjiugs m
- Latin: iugum n
- Latvian: jūgs m, iejūgs m
- Lezgi: вик (vik)
- Lithuanian: jungas m
- Lü: ᦶᦀᧅ (˙ʼaek)
- Luxembourgish: Jach n
- Macedonian: иго n (igo), јарем m (jarem)
- Malay: kuk (ms)
- Malayalam: നുകം (ml) (nukaṁ)
- Maori: ioka
- Cyrillic: буулга (mn) (buulga)
- Bokmål: åk (no) n
- Nynorsk: åk n
- Occitan: jos (oc)
- Old Church Slavonic:
- Cyrillic: иго n (igo), ꙗрьмъ m (jarĭmŭ)
- Glagolitic: ⰹⰳⱁ n (igo)
- Old East Slavic: иго n (igo), ꙗрьмъ m (jarĭmŭ), ꙗръмъ m (jarŭmŭ)
- Old English: ġeoc n
- Oromo: waanjoo, qambarrii
- Ottoman Turkish: بویوندرق (boyunduruk), یوغ (yug)
- Pashto: يوغ (ps) m (yoǧ), زغونډى m (zǧunḍay), ژغ (ps) m (žәǧ)
- Persian: یوغ (fa) (yuğ)
- Middle Persian: 𐭩𐭥𐭢 (yʿg)
- Plautdietsch: Joch n
- Polish: jarzmo (pl) n
- Portuguese: jugo (pt) m
- Romanian: jug (ro) n
- Russian: ярмо́ (ru) n (jarmó), хому́т (ru) m (xomút), и́го (ru) n (ígo) (figuratively)
- Sanskrit: युग (sa) n (yuga)
- Sardinian: giuabi, giuale
- Cyrillic: и́го n, ја́рам m
- Roman: ígo (sh) n, járam (sh) m
- Shan: ဢႅၵ်ႇ (shn) (ʼèk)
- Sicilian: giugu (scn) m, jugu (scn) m, iugu (scn) m, juvu (scn) m, iuvu (scn) m
- Slovak: jarmo n
- Slovene: komat (sl) m, jarem (sl) m
- Lower Sorbian: jabeŕ m
- Spanish: yugo (es) m
- Swahili: nira
- Swedish: ok (sv) n
- Tagalog: pamatok, paod
- Tai Nüa: ᥟᥦᥐᥱ (ʼǎek)
- Tajik: юғ (yuġ), тавқ (tavq)
- Tatar: камыт (tt) (qamıt)
- Thai: แอก (th) (ɛ̀ɛk)
- Tigrinya: አርዑት (ʾärʿut)
- Tocharian B: pyorye
- Turkish: boyunduruk (tr)
- Ottoman: بویندرق (boyunduruk)
- Turkmen: boýuntyryk (tk)
- Ugaritic: 𐎓𐎍 m (ʿl)
- Ukrainian: ярмо́ (uk) n (jarmó), хому́т m (xomút), і́го n (ího) (figuratively)
- Urdu: جوا m (juā)
- Uyghur: بويۇنتۇرۇق (boyunturuq)
- Uzbek: boʻyinturuq, xomut (uz)
- Venetian: dógo m, dóvo m, dóo m, zóo m, giòa f, dhovo m, dóf m
- Vietnamese: ách (vi)
- Walloon: djeu (wa) m
- Welsh: iau f
- Yiddish: יאָך (yokh)
- Zhuang: ek
frame placed on the neck of an animal to prevent passage through a fence or other barrier
linking or supporting object that resembles a yoke
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 — see carrying pole
device with crosspieces used to control an aircraft
well-developed muscles of the neck and shoulders
part of an item of clothing which fits around the shoulders or the hips from which the rest of the garment hangs
electromagnetic coil that deflects the electron beam in a cathode ray tube
(glassblowing) Y-shaped stand used to support a blowpipe or punty while reheating in the glory hole
fitting placed across the head of the rudder with a line attached at each end by which a boat may be steered
frame or convex crosspiece from which a bell is hung
collar placed on the neck of a conquered person or prisoner to restrain movement
raised yoke, or a symbolic yoke formed from two spears installed upright in the ground with another spear connecting their tops, under which a defeated army was made to march as a sign of subjugation
pair of draught animals yoked together to pull something
pair of things linked in some way
miscellaneous object — see gadget
pill of a psychoactive drug
unit of land area notionally equivalent to the area a team of yoked draft animals can work in a day
amount of work done with draught animals, lasting about half a day; an amount or shift of any work
bond of love, especially marriage
bond of friendship or partnership; obligation or task borne by two or more people
something which represses or restrains a person — see also burden
From Middle English yoken, yoke, ȝoken (“to put a harness or yoke on a draught animal or pair of such animals, to yoke; to attach (an animal to a cart, plough, etc.) with a yoke; to lock (arms) in wrestling; to bind (oneself or someone) to something”) , from Old English ġeocian, iucian, from Old English ġeoc (“yoke”) (see etymology 1) + -ian (suffix forming verbs from adjectives and nouns).
yoke (third-person singular simple present yokes, present participle yoking, simple past and past participle yoked)
- To join (several draught animals) together with a yoke; also, to fasten a yoke (on one or more draught animals) to pull a cart, plough, etc.; or to attach (a cart, plough, etc.) to a draught animal.
1585, Adrianus Iunius [i.e., Hadrianus Junius], “Bubulcus”, in Iohn Higins [i.e., John Higgins], transl., The Nomenclator, or Remembrancer of Adrianus Iunius Physician, , Conteining Proper Names and Apt Termes for All Thinges vnder Their Conuenient Titles, , London: Ralph Newberie, and Henrie Denham, →OCLC, pages 513–514:
Bubulcus, […] An oxeheard, or coweheard: a driuer of oxen and kine: he that yoketh oxen, and […] goeth to plowe with them.
1697, Virgil, “The First Book of the Georgics”, in John Dryden, transl., The Works of Virgil: Containing His Pastorals, Georgics, and Æneis. , London: Jacob Tonson, , →OCLC, page 58, lines 298–301: But when Astrea’s Ballance, hung on high, / Betwixt the Nights and Days divides the Sky, / Then Yoke your Oxen, ſow your Winter Grain; / ’Till cold December comes with driving Rain.
1697, Virgil, “The Twelfth Book of the Æneis”, in John Dryden, transl., The Works of Virgil: Containing His Pastorals, Georgics, and Æneis. , London: Jacob Tonson, , →OCLC, page 591, lines 433–434:
Theſe on their Horſes vault, thoſe yoke the Car; / The reſt with Swords on high, run headlong to the War.
1791, Oliver Goldsmith, “Animals of the Cat Kind”, in An History of the Earth, and Animated Nature. , new edition, volume III, London: F Wingrave, successor to Mr. Nourse, , →OCLC, page 184:
However, it is probable that even the fierceſt could be rendered domeſtic, if man thought the conqueſt worth the trouble. Lions have been yoked to the chariots of conquerors, and tigers have been taught to tend thoſe herds which they are known at preſent to deſtroy; […]
1860, J Muir, “The Languages of Northern India: Their History and Relations”, in Original Sanskrit Texts on the Origin and History of the People of India, Their Religion and Institutions. , 2nd part (The Trans-Himalayan Origin of the Hindus, and Their Affinity with the Western Branches of the Arian Race), London, Edinburgh: Williams and Norgate, , →OCLC, section X (Various Stages of Sanskrit Literature, ), page 208:
Nodhas, son of Gotama, has fabricated this new prayer to thee, O India, who art eternal, and yokest thy coursers, […]
1882, Ouida [pseudonym; Maria Louise Ramé], chapter II, in In Maremma , volume I, London: Chatto & Windus, , →OCLC, page 33:
Twice a year regularly she yoked her mule to her cart and drove into Grosseto, making a two days' journey on the road each way, on purpose to sell the homespun linen she had woven from the thread she had spun in the six months' time.
1880, Mark Twain [pseudonym; Samuel Langhorne Clemens], chapter XI, in A Tramp Abroad; , Hartford, Conn.: American Publishing Company; London: Chatto & Windus, →OCLC, page 105:
As we tramped gaily out at the gate of the town, we overtook a peasant's cart, partly laden with odds and ends of cabbages and similar vegetable rubbish, and drawn by a small cow and a smaller donkey yoked together.
1918, Rudyard Kipling, “The Fumes of the Heart”, in The Eyes of Asia, Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday, Page & Company, →OCLC, pages 37–38:
The men go to the war daily. It is the women who do all the work at home, having been well taught in their childhood. We have only yoked one buffalo to the plough up till now. It is now time to yoke up the milch-buffaloes.
1945 August 17, George Orwell [pseudonym; Eric Arthur Blair], chapter VI, in Animal Farm , London: Secker & Warburg, →OCLC; republished as Animal Farm (eBook no. 0100011h.html), Australia: Project Gutenberg Australia, March 2008:
Transporting the stone when it was once broken was comparatively simple. […] ven Muriel and Benjamin [a goat and a donkey] yoked themselves into an old governess-cart and did their share.
- To put (one's arm or arms) around someone's neck, waist, etc.; also, to surround (someone's neck, waist, etc.) with one's arms.
- To put (something) around someone's neck like a yoke; also, to surround (someone's neck) with something.
- To place a collar on the neck of (a conquered person or prisoner) to restrain movement.
- (agriculture) To place a frame on the neck of (an animal such as a cow, pig, or goose) to prevent passage through a fence or other barrier.
- To bring (two or more people or things) into a close relationship (often one that is undesired); to connect, to link, to unite.
c. 1610–1611 (date written), William Shakespeare, “The Winters Tale”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies (First Folio), London: Isaac Iaggard, and Ed Blount, published 1623, →OCLC, [Act I, scene ii], page 281, column 1:
Oh then, my beſt blood turne / To an infected Gelly, and my Name / Be yoak'd with his, that did betray the Beſt: […]
1647, John Lightfoote [i.e., John Lightfoot], “Sect. XIV. St. Iohn Chap. III.”, in The Harmony of the Four Evangelists, among Themselves, and vvith the Old Testament. , 3rd part (From the First Passeover after Our Saviours Baptisme to the Second), London: R C for Andrew Crook , published 1650, →OCLC, page 12: The Author of Juchaſin yoketh him in the ſame time and the ſame ſociety with Rabban Jochanan ben Zacchai, who flouriſhed in the times of Chriſts being upon earth, and till after the deſtruction of Ieruſalem: […]
1817 December 31 (indicated as 1818), [Walter Scott], chapter I, in Rob Roy. , volume II, Edinburgh: James Ballantyne and Co. for Archibald Constable and Co. ; London: Longman, Hurst, Rees, Orme, and Brown, →OCLC, page 12:
There's the kingdom o' Fife, frae Borrowstownness to the east nook, it's just like a great combined city—Sae mony royal boroughs yoked on end to end, like ropes of ingans, […]
1881, Aeschylus, “Prometheus Bound”, in Anna Swanwick, transl., The Dramas of Æschylus, 3rd edition, London: George Bell & Sons, , →OCLC, page 372, lines 593–595: What trespass canst find, son of Kronos, in me, / That thou yokest me ever to pain? / Woe! Ah, woe! 2004, Patricia Bate, Esther Thelen, “Development of Turning and Reaching”, in Mark L. Latash, Mindy F. Levin, editors, Progress in Motor Control: Volume Three: Effects of Age, Disorder, and Rehabilitation, Champaign, Ill.: Human Kinetics, →ISBN, part I (Sensorimotor Integration), page 61:
The level of support and relation to gravity also influence whether infants used one or two hands to reach. […] They showed that across all postures, nonsitting infants more frequently yoked their arms into a bilateral reach pattern than the independent sitters.
- (obsolete) To bring into or keep (someone) in bondage or a state of submission; to enslave; to confine, to restrain; to oppress, to subjugate.
a. 1543, Thomas Wyatt, “Psalm CII. Domine, exaudi orationem meam.”, in John Holland, editor, The Psalmists of Britain. , volume I, London: R. Groombridge, ; Sheffield, Yorkshire: Ridge and Jackson, published 1843, →OCLC, page 83:
For thys frayltie, that yoketh all mankynde, / Thou shalt awake, and rue this mysereye: / Rue on Syon.
1586, Peter de la Primaudaye [i.e., Pierre de La Primaudaye], “Of Vice”, in T B[owes], transl., The French Academie, wherin is Discoursed the Institution of Maners, , London: Edmund Bollifant for G. Bishop and Ralph Newbery, →OCLC, pages 70–71:
It is moſt certaine, that vice putteth on a viſard, and goeth diſguiſed and couered with goodly ſhewes that belong onely to vertue, […] And being thus clothed, with the helpe of corruptible pleaſures that lightly paſſe away, it yoketh baſe minded men, whoſe care is onely ſet vpon the deſire of earthly things, […]
1591 (date written), William Shakespeare, “The First Part of Henry the Sixt”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies (First Folio), London: Isaac Iaggard, and Ed Blount, published 1623, →OCLC, [Act II, scene iii], page 103, column 1:
Theſe are his ſubſtance, ſinewes, armes, and ſtrength, / With which he yoaketh your rebellious Neckes, / Razeth your Cities, and ſubuerts your Townes, / And in a moment makes them deſolate.
1605, M. N. [pseudonym; William Camden], “The Languages”, in Remaines of a Greater Worke, Concerning Britaine, , London: G E for Simon Waterson, →OCLC, page 22:
he practiſe of the Normans, who as a monument of the Conqueſt, would have yoaked the Engliſh vnder their tongue, as they did vnder their command, by compelling them to teach their children in ſchooles nothing but French, […]
1662, [Samuel Butler], “[The First Part of Hudibras]”, in Hudibras. The First and Second Parts. , London: John Martyn and Henry Herringman, , published 1678; republished in A R Waller, editor, Hudibras: Written in the Time of the Late Wars, Cambridge: University Press, 1905, →OCLC, canto II, page 56: For Words and Promises that yoke / The Conqu’ror, are quickly broke, / Like Samson’s Cuffs, though by his own / Direction and advice put on.
1670, John Milton, “The Second Book”, in The History of Britain, that Part Especially now Call’d England. , London: J M for James Allestry, , →OCLC, page 62:
The Druids, thoſe were thir Prieſts, […] with hands lift up to Heav'n uttering direfull praiers, aſtoniſh'd the Romans; […] Then were they [the druids] yoak'd with Garriſons, and the places conſecrate to thir bloodie ſuperſtitions deſtroi'd.
1671, John Milton, “Samson Agonistes, ”, in Paradise Regain’d. A Poem. In IV Books. To which is Added, Samson Agonistes, London: J. M for John Starkey , →OCLC, pages 30–31, lines 408–412:
I yielded, and unlock'd her all my heart, / Who with a grain of manhood well reſolv'd / Might eaſily have ſhook off all her ſnares: / But foul effeminacy held me yok't / Her Bond-ſlave; […]
1781 (date written), William Cowper, “Table Talk”, in Poems, London: J Johnson, , →OCLC, page 14:
If all men indiſcriminately ſhare, / His foſt'ring pow'r and tutelary care, / As well be yok'd by deſpotiſm's hand, / As dwell at large in Britain's charter'd land.
- (chiefly Scotland, archaic, passive voice) To be joined to (another person) in wedlock (often with the implication that it is a burdensome state); to be or become married to (someone).
c. 1603–1604 (date written), William Shakespeare, The Tragœdy of Othello, the Moore of Venice. (First Quarto), London: N O for Thomas Walkley, , published 1622, →OCLC, [Act IV, scene i], page 63:
God ſir be a man, / Thinke euery bearded fellow, that's but yoak'd, / May draw with you, […]
1712 August 23 (Gregorian calendar), [Richard Steele], “TUESDAY, August 12, 1712”, in The Spectator, number 455; republished in Alexander Chalmers, editor, The Spectator; a New Edition, , volume V, New York, N.Y.: D Appleton & Company, 1853, →OCLC, page 245:
In short, I have the honour to be yoked to a young lady, who is, in plain English, for her standing, a very eminent scold.
1847, Alfred Tennyson, “Part VI”, in The Princess: A Medley, London: Edward Moxon, , →OCLC, page 160:
My bride, / My wife, my life. O we will walk this world, / Yoked in all exercise of noble end, / And so thro' those dark gates across the wild / That no man knows.
- To be or become connected, linked, or united in a relationship; to have dealings with.
c. 1608–1609 (date written), William Shakespeare, “The Tragedy of Coriolanus”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies (First Folio), London: Isaac Iaggard, and Ed Blount, published 1623, →OCLC, [Act III, scene i], page 14, column 2:
f you will paſſe / To where you are bound, you muſt enquire your way, / Which you are out of, with a gentler ſpirit, / Or neuer be ſo Noble as a Conſull, / Nor yoake with him for Tribune.
1851 March, Alfred Tennyson, “To the Queen”, in The Complete Poetical Works of Alfred Tennyson, Chicago, Ill.: The Dominion Company, published 1897, →OCLC, page 1:
And should your greatness, and the care / That yokes with empire, yield you time / To make demand of modern rhyme / If aught of ancient worth be there; […]
- (chiefly Scotland, obsolete) To be or become joined in wedlock; to be married, to wed.
c. 1591–1592 (date written), William Shakespeare, “The Third Part of Henry the Sixt, ”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies (First Folio), London: Isaac Iaggard, and Ed Blount, published 1623, →OCLC, [Act IV, scene i], page 163, column 1:
God forbid, that I ſhould wiſh them ſeuer'd, / Whom God hath ioyn'd together: / I, and 'twere pittie, to ſunder them, / That yoake ſo well together.
1624 (first performance), John Fletcher, Rule a Wife and Have a Wife. A Comoedy. , Oxford, Oxfordshire: Leonard Lichfield , published 1640, →OCLC, Act I, scene , page 8:
Alt[ea]. Shee would faine marry. / 1. Tis a proper calling, / And well beſeemes her yeares, who would ſhe yoke with?
to join (several draught animals) together with a yoke; also, to fasten a yoke (on one or more draught animals) to pull a cart, plough, etc.; or to attach (a cart, plough, etc.) to a draught animal
to put (one’s arm or arms) around someone's neck, waist, etc.; also, to surround (someone’s neck, waist, etc.) with one’s arms
to put (something) around someone’s neck like a yoke; to surround (someone’s neck) with something
to place a collar on the neck of (a conquered person or prisoner) to restrain movement
to place a frame on the neck of (an animal) to prevent passage through a fence or other barrier
to bring (two or more people or things) into a close relationship — see also connect
to be joined to (another person) in wedlock; to be or become married (to someone) — see marry
to be or become connected, linked, or united in a relationship
to be or become joined in wedlock — see marry
- Misspelling of yolk.
- ^ “yōke, n.”, in MED Online, Ann Arbor, Mich.: University of Michigan, 2007.
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 Compare “yoke, n.”, in OED Online , Oxford, Oxfordshire: Oxford University Press, September 2021; “yoke1, n.”, in Lexico, Dictionary.com; Oxford University Press, 2019–2022.
- ^ “yōken, v.”, in MED Online, Ann Arbor, Mich.: University of Michigan, 2007.
- ^ Compare “yoke, v.1”, in OED Online , Oxford, Oxfordshire: Oxford University Press, December 2020; “yoke1, v.”, in Lexico, Dictionary.com; Oxford University Press, 2019–2022.
From Old English ġeoc.
- Alternative form of ȝok
From Old English ġeocian.
- Alternative form of ȝoken