Definition of yes in US English:



  • 1Used to give an affirmative response.

    ‘“Do you understand?” “Yes.”’
    • ‘And yes, please throw away any tools that are worn out and replace them.’
    • ‘If your Honour pleases, yes, it is even more strongly stated there.’
    • ‘I am pleased with the record yes, but my main feeling at this moment is disappointment for not having been able to beat Montgomery.’
    • ‘In all seriousness - yes, please stand for the leadership.’
    • ‘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!’
    • ‘Say ‘Ooh, yes please’ when your father-in-law asks if you would like an eighth beer.’
    • ‘So, yes, I understand that, but I think it needs to be both.’
    • ‘I asked Craig if he would consider making a jump with him, Craig's response was a resounding yes!’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘We would love a new ‘academy’ for our children, yes please, but we'd like it for everyone.’
    • ‘And yes, I do understand that marriage may have begun as a means of social control by the church.’
    • ‘Of course, I said yes but I only agreed to make it only after I read what he has written about me.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Err yes, please - but why the Fawlty Towers impression?’
    • ‘I don't hear a lot of calls on behalf of economic officials saying, yes, please come and invest.’
    • ‘Oh yes, please call Adam's mother and tell her he is okay.’
    • ‘He blushed so hard that he could have sworn his face looked like a tomato. ‘Please say yes,’ He thought eagerly.’
    • ‘And she says yes, please, are you free this evening?’
    • ‘Let him say yes… Please let him say yes… Kit paused and then nodded a quick affirmative.’
    • ‘When I asked the - the secretary to stay on as secretary of defense, I was very pleased when he said yes.’
    all right, alright, very well, of course, by all means, sure, certainly, absolutely, indeed, affirmative, in the affirmative, agreed, roger
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    1. 1.1 Expressing agreement with a positive statement just made.
      ‘“That was a grand evening.” “Yes, it was.”’
      • ‘And to the extent that terrorism is part of the security problem, then, yes, I absolutely agree with that.’
      • ‘I pondered the significance of this statement before agreeing, yes, his hypothesis may prove correct.’
      • ‘Perhaps he was aesthetically pleasing, yes, but as far as his personality went…’
      • ‘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, I mean, yes, of course, we all have the right to do that.’
      • ‘Ah yes, that's certainly true, but we are also obliged to notify the next of kin.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Although felt extremely happy when I heard that, I could not give a big positive yes at the moment he asked.’
      • ‘Well actually… (catches panicked look from Willow) yes, you're absolutely right.’
      • ‘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. 1.2 Asked at the end of a statement to indicate the expectation of agreement.
      ‘you think I perhaps killed Westbourne, yes?’
    3. 1.3 Expressing 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?”’
  • 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’
    • ‘‘I've come up with a lot of yesses and nos,’ came the measured response.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘If it doesn't bother you, send me a yes at my e-mail address.’
    • ‘Super-optimists suggest that, perhaps with some changes and reassurance from European leaders, the noes might be turned into yeses, like water into wine.’
    • ‘The no votes had just nosed past the yeses by a few tenths of a percent.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘And then I go into the unknown once I get a lot of yeses.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Rilla counted them up as each name was called, and found a large majority of yesses.’
    • ‘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.’
    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.”’
      • ‘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?’
      • ‘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.’’
      • ‘Larissa Behrendt: I think the answer to that is 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.’’
      • ‘That is why the answer to your question is, yes and no.’
      • ‘As for violence being in our faces 24-7, well 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.’
      • ‘To me, lightly grilling him in a hotel in Kensington High Street, he simply says: ‘The answer's yes and no.’’
      • ‘The answer, according to Dr. Robert Polisky, a dermatologist in Elk Grove Village, Illinois, is both yes and no.’


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