Definition of yo-yo in US English:

yo-yo

noun

trademark in UK
  • 1A toy consisting of a pair of joined discs with a deep groove between them in which string is attached and wound, which can be spun alternately downward and upward by its weight and momentum as the string unwinds and rewinds.

    • ‘It's like a yo-yo made in China with a string that breaks within 2 seconds of it being unfurled.’
    • ‘Mitchell Wan is one of this rare breed of self-confessed yo-yo fanatics.’
    • ‘Teams of yo-yo experts came to Australia to demonstrate the toy in the early years and the rest is history.’
    • ‘Like the yo-yo, the hula hoop, and the Mohican haircut, vehicle fads come and go.’
    • ‘Having arthritis is like having a yo-yo for a body.’
    • ‘It is something like the toy we call a yo-yo: you play with it and make it spin, but there is always a string attached.’
    • ‘Children's games include kite-flying, spinning tops, yo-yos, and hobbyhorses.’
    • ‘The yo-yos are pretty cool.’
    • ‘A self-identified yo-yo fanatic, he's one of a hundred official Coca-Cola yo-yo collectors in this country.’
    • ‘Because the kids will be housed in DannyMart day care, there will be no need for yo-yos, squirt guns and other toys to clutter the shelves.’
    1. 1.1often as modifier A thing that repeatedly falls and rises again.
      ‘the yo-yo syndrome of repeatedly losing weight and gaining it again’
      • ‘With just four games remaining, City look in grave danger of re-capturing their unwanted yo-yo tag of recent years.’
      • ‘Now seriously committed to stopping the yo-yo syndrome, Jacqui is making amazing progress.’
      • ‘I'm a yo-yo dieter.’
      • ‘If you're overweight, lose it, as this increases uric acid levels, but do it slowly as crash and yo-yo dieting can mean the kidneys retain uric acid.’
      • ‘You'll stabilize your appetite, which is in yo-yo mode from all the extra sugar.’
      • ‘Fad diets only add to the confusion and contribute to the yo-yo syndrome so many of us experience.’
      • ‘I have witnessed failures from low-carb diets after 6 months to 1 year; in fact, a yo-yo effect may be much more common than many people may realize.’
      • ‘A seasoned Weight Watchers member, Fiona already enjoyed a reasonably good diet but was still plagued by the all too familiar yo-yo syndrome.’
      • ‘As for food, yo-yo diets, involving periods of near starvation, damage valuable muscle and are positively unhealthy.’
      • ‘She swapped a lifetime of yo-yo diets and calorie counting for a healthy-eating regime after walking down the aisle in August 1999 in a size 22 wedding gown.’
      • ‘After 20 years of yo-yo light dieting, Butler joined Overeater's Anonymous and started to take control.’
      • ‘Research continues as to whether yo-yo dieting is dangerous to cardiovascular health.’
      • ‘The ultimate yo-yo team in recent seasons, Nottinghamshire have made some astute signings over the winter.’
      • ‘We are a yo-yo culture, a culture of mood swings.’
    2. 1.2North American informal A stupid, insane, or unpredictable person.
      idiot, ass, halfwit, nincompoop, blockhead, buffoon, dunce, dolt, ignoramus, cretin, imbecile, dullard, moron, simpleton, clod
      View synonyms

verb

  • 1no object, usually with adverbial of direction Move up and down; fluctuate.

    ‘popularity polls yo-yo up and down with the flow of events’
    • ‘He was beginning to yo-yo between two other women.’
    • ‘The next few months saw Williams yo-yoing in and out of hospital.’
    • ‘Now 41 years old, her weight has yo-yoed since she was 12, when her mother left her father to marry another man and move to Argentina.’
    • ‘My weight yo-yoed between 170 and 180 pounds.’
    • ‘Rough weather - wind and rain and yo-yoing wind direction - has made it tough for anglers to find and catch those fish.’
    • ‘Hearts were relegated in 1977 and spent six years yo-yoing between the Premier League and the First Division before resurfacing as a competitive force in the mid-1980s.’
    • ‘Caley Thistle came into the match on thumping good form after thrashing Raith Rovers, but have the knack of yo-yoing from spectacular results to disappointment.’
    • ‘The brothers had spectacularly yo-yoing lives, but all the expeditions to far-flung places and fraternal love-hatred have not been harnessed into a shapely book.’
    • ‘Establish yourselves as a new unit rather than becoming the property of two families and yo-yoing between them.’
    • ‘While stockmarkets yo-yo around the world, the gravy train is picking up speed in one sector of the economy.’
    • ‘Bear markets have more to do with uncertainty than with decisive gloom, and yo-yoing shares are the clearest possible evidence of that.’
    • ‘In college, my weight yo-yoed between 140 and 185 pounds.’
    • ‘City now are an established Premiership side after years of yo-yoing and have a healthy crop of young players coming through the ranks.’
    • ‘Over the next five years, Laura's weight yo-yoed and she began eating high-fat foods more often.’
    oscillate, swing, fluctuate, alternate, see-saw, veer, waver, sway, go from one extreme to the other, vary, vacillate, teeter, hover
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1with object Manipulate or maneuver (someone or something)
      ‘I don't want the job if it means he gets to yo-yo me around’
      • ‘I don't want to be the girl that's yo-yoed on a string, made to believe she's something she's not.’

Origin

Early 20th century: probably ultimately from a language of the Philippines.

Pronunciation

yo-yo

/ˈjoʊˌjoʊ//ˈyōˌyō/