One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1Release (a pair of animals) from a yoke.
untie, unchain, unfetter, unshackle, unmanacle, unfasten, untether, unknot, unlace, undo, loosen, unloose, disentangleView synonyms
- ‘The trekking routes and outspans - a term derived from unyoking a team of oxen - became major channels of communication into the interior.’
- ‘He said, ‘First the horses of your chariots will be unyoked, then even on this narrow pass the chariots can easily be turned round.’’
- ‘Indeed the expense and the nature of the gifts - unyoked animals for unmarried goddesses, for example - help to colour in those personalities, their status and importance.’
- ‘He got to work, and some other men came forward and unyoked those of the second waggon, so it was clear that the wagons were to be left as they stood.’
- ‘During the sack, the countryside had taken on the marks of anarchy: farm-dogs foraging in packs, empty farmhouses, trampled gardens, neglected vineyards, unyoked oxen wandering in the road.’
- 1.1archaic no object Cease work.
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