Definition of yes in English:



  • 1Used to give an affirmative response.

    ‘“Do you understand?” “Yes.”’
    • ‘I don't hear a lot of calls on behalf of economic officials saying, yes, please come and invest.’
    • ‘Let him say yes… Please let him say yes… Kit paused and then nodded a quick affirmative.’
    • ‘Of course, I said yes but I only agreed to make it only after I read what he has written about me.’
    • ‘If your Honour pleases, yes, it is even more strongly stated there.’
    • ‘In all seriousness - yes, please stand for the leadership.’
    • ‘Oh yes, please call Adam's mother and tell her he is okay.’
    • ‘So from my point of view, yes, I understand there have to be sometimes corporate policies, but at the end of the day I know my business better than the centre does.’
    • ‘And yes, please throw away any tools that are worn out and replace them.’
    • ‘And she says yes, please, are you free this evening?’
    • ‘At a quick glance around she was please to note that yes, they did.’
    • ‘My response is yes, and that is a danger that we worked out when we took the decision.’
    • ‘Please say yes, as I really don't want to have to explain basic optics.’
    • ‘He asked me if I wanted to go to the Valentine dance with him and of course I said yes!’
    • ‘When I asked the - the secretary to stay on as secretary of defense, I was very pleased when he said yes.’
    • ‘We would love a new ‘academy’ for our children, yes please, but we'd like it for everyone.’
    • ‘Say ‘Ooh, yes please’ when your father-in-law asks if you would like an eighth beer.’
    • ‘Err yes, please - but why the Fawlty Towers impression?’
    • ‘I asked Craig if he would consider making a jump with him, Craig's response was a resounding yes!’
    • ‘So, yes, I understand that, but I think it needs to be both.’
    • ‘He blushed so hard that he could have sworn his face looked like a tomato. ‘Please say yes,’ He thought eagerly.’
    • ‘I am pleased with the record yes, but my main feeling at this moment is disappointment for not having been able to beat Montgomery.’
    • ‘And yes, I do understand that marriage may have begun as a means of social control by the church.’
    all right, alright, very well, of course, by all means, sure, certainly, absolutely, indeed, affirmative, in the affirmative, agreed, roger
    aye aye
    yeah, yah, yep, yup, uh-huh, okay, ok, okey-dokey, okey-doke
    righto, righty-ho
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    1. 1.1Expressing agreement with a positive statement just made.
      ‘“That was a grand evening.” “Yes, it was.”’
      • ‘Of course, yes, certainly, it was a chance to be associated with the games.’
      • ‘We would be in a better position economically now, yes, definitely.’
      • ‘Well actually… (catches panicked look from Willow) yes, you're absolutely right.’
      • ‘Although felt extremely happy when I heard that, I could not give a big positive yes at the moment he asked.’
      • ‘I pondered the significance of this statement before agreeing, yes, his hypothesis may prove correct.’
      • ‘You know, I agree to a certain degree that, yes, the way we dress, the way that we present ourselves in their society does carry weight.’
      • ‘Ah yes, that's certainly true, but we are also obliged to notify the next of kin.’
      • ‘And to the extent that terrorism is part of the security problem, then, yes, I absolutely agree with that.’
      • ‘Perhaps he was aesthetically pleasing, yes, but as far as his personality went…’
      • ‘Well, I mean, yes, of course, we all have the right to do that.’
      • ‘Asked if he would file the necessary papers before the Kharar court to record his statement, Kohli replied with a categorical yes but was not sure when he would do so.’
    2. 1.2Expressing contradiction of a negative statement.
      ‘“You don't want to go.” “Yes, I do.”’
  • 2Used as a response to someone addressing one or otherwise trying to attract one's attention.

    ‘“Oh, Mr. Lawrence.” “Yes?”’
  • 3Used to question a remark or ask for more detail about it.

    ‘“It should be easy to check.” “Oh yes? How?”’
    1. 3.1Asked at the end of a statement to indicate the expectation of agreement.
      ‘you think I perhaps killed Westbourne, yes?’
  • 4Encouraging someone to continue speaking.

    ‘“When you bought those photographs …” “Yes?”’
  • 5Expressing delight.

    ‘plenty to eat, including hot roast beef sandwiches (yes!)’


  • An affirmative answer or decision, especially in voting.

    ‘answering with assured and ardent yeses’
    • ‘The response was a bunch of yeahs, sures, OKs, and yeses.’
    • ‘But as the vote went on, those yeses quickly dropped off.’
    • ‘I smiled thoughtfully to myself as I ticked off the amount of yeses on my fingers.’
    • ‘If it doesn't bother you, send me a yes at my e-mail address.’
    • ‘The no votes had just nosed past the yeses by a few tenths of a percent.’
    • ‘So, if you're reading this could you please post a yes or a no as to whether you are on the Organ Donor register.’
    • ‘That'd be three yesses. [Laughs.] But I was just thinking, as I was answering that, that when I'm writing for the theater, I write more in a filmic way.’
    • ‘Rilla counted them up as each name was called, and found a large majority of yesses.’
    • ‘Super-optimists suggest that, perhaps with some changes and reassurance from European leaders, the noes might be turned into yeses, like water into wine.’
    • ‘We have 5 yesses, two nos, and a maybe as long as nobody goes into labour that day.’
    • ‘So, what happens though, the combination of all of those yeses, you know, over a period of time, builds your own brand, builds your life brand; it really determines who you are.’
    • ‘Ok, I got a few yeses, and a few people just telling me to continue.’
    • ‘One coolly abstracted the city, taking what he wanted and discarding the rest, reshaping it to his liking with emphatic yesses and nos.’
    • ‘And then I go into the unknown once I get a lot of yeses.’
    • ‘I got some quite reluctant yesses from one or two - so I had my photos done first to show them it was tasteful and not at all pornographic.’
    • ‘And by the way, there are a lot of yeses on that question.’
    • ‘‘I've come up with a lot of yesses and nos,’ came the measured response.’
    • ‘But all I have is one maybe and a handful of yeses conditional on coming up with the money.’
    • ‘The yeses are the different areas of struggle, the different lines of flight to possible different worlds.’
    • ‘A chorus of yeses, head nods, and wolf calls went around the table.’
    approval, seal of approval, approbation, endorsement, welcome, encouragement
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  • yes and no

    • Partly and partly not.

      ‘“Did it come as a surprise to you?” “Yes and no.”’
      • ‘The answer, like so many things in politics, is yes and no.’
      • ‘Asked whether he was disappointed with the team score of 228, he said, ‘Both yes and no.’’
      • ‘The answer, according to Dr. Robert Polisky, a dermatologist in Elk Grove Village, Illinois, is both yes and no.’
      • ‘As for violence being in our faces 24-7, well yes and no.’
      • ‘Asked if he was still doing legal work, he replied: ‘The answer is yes and no in that I have always done wee bits and pieces.’’
      • ‘Yet no one has offered to suggest that Ablett's woes are anything other than those of his own making - but I would argue yes and no?’
      • ‘To me, lightly grilling him in a hotel in Kensington High Street, he simply says: ‘The answer's yes and no.’’
      • ‘Well yes and no - sure you want to have your search index in RAM, accessing RAM is 1000 times faster than disk access, but the main problem with Windows is the lack of a decent searchable index in the first place.’
      • ‘Larissa Behrendt: I think the answer to that is yes and no.’
      • ‘That is why the answer to your question is, yes and no.’


Old English gēse, gīse, probably from an unrecorded phrase meaning may it be so.