Main definitions of yank in English

: yank1Yank2

yank1

verb

[WITH OBJECT]informal
  • Pull with a jerk.

    ‘her hair was yanked, and she screamed’
    ‘he yanked her to her feet’
    no object ‘Liz yanked at her arm’
    • ‘His weight should have been yanking her hair out by the roots, but she didn't even look strained.’
    • ‘It's no fun when you're yanked out of the pool against your will and then forced to get back into clothes and sit in your buggy.’
    • ‘People are always yanking your hair or dressing you up in different clothes or pulling at your uniform.’
    • ‘Xanadu's head was yanked back by her hair and a knife was pressed to her throat.’
    • ‘His jaw clenched as he walked in two swift strides to the door and pulled it open, nearly yanking it off the hinges.’
    • ‘Reacting on instinct, I pulled at his arm, and yanking him back into position.’
    • ‘After yanking his fish in the boat with one pull, he turned to and asked if he could try the Predator.’
    • ‘Next thing I know someone was yanking me on my arm, and pulling me out of my chair.’
    • ‘He grabbed the back of my head, weaving his fingers in my hair and then yanked my head up.’
    • ‘I retort, setting the brush down on the counter and yanking my hair into a ponytail.’
    • ‘Before I could stand, he wrapped his fingers in my long hair and yanked me to my feet.’
    • ‘Maxwell himself came and took a handful of Demetre's hair, yanking his face up.’
    • ‘She hissed as turned back to Ashley, pulling so hard on her hair that it yanked a cry from her throat.’
    • ‘At first, he considered yanking her up and dragging her out, but that was too easy.’
    • ‘As Jimmy reached me, he pulled my hair, yanking my head back as he placed the gun to my neck.’
    • ‘Two steps and he was at my side, his hand wrapped in my hair, yanking my face up to him.’
    • ‘In a couple of strides, Sonrisa made her way to the door, yanking it open with force.’
    • ‘I screamed with my hands on either side of my head, yanking my hair.’
    • ‘One long green arm whipped out, yanking the machete from her grasp and hurling it aside.’
    • ‘Instead I pulled at a strand of hair, yanking it until I felt a sharp pain.’
    jerk, pull, tug, wrench, heave, haul, drag, tweak, twitch, pluck, snatch, seize, rip, tear, whisk, jolt, force
    View synonyms

noun

informal
  • A sudden hard pull.

    ‘one of the other girls gave her ponytail a yank’
    • ‘For starters, grab your cap from the rear of the cap, place it over your knee and give a good hard yank.’
    • ‘Madison inhales and holds her breath while Greta grabs the ends of the corset string and gives them a hard yank.’
    • ‘Brion pulled him up with a swift yank and continued to walk as if nothing had happened.’
    • ‘With a quick yank, she pulled Shiloh in, and tied the rope to the fence.’
    • ‘I walked towards it cautiously and with a quick yank, pulled away the covers.’
    • ‘The two soldiers grinned at their prey and, with a sharp yank, the one on her left ripped the arrow out of her shoulder.’
    • ‘As if a rope from above were hooked to the bottom of the Dumpster, we spun upside down with a hard yank.’
    • ‘A sudden yank and that temporary feeling was gone, she was back on the bed in a daze.’
    • ‘Eventually with a hefty yank and a banshee-like howl (from me, not Ian), the damn thing came out.’
    • ‘A sudden yank, and she flew out of the water like a bird, being dragged up, and pulled over the railing.’
    • ‘The log upended there didn't split like it was suppose to and with an angry yank, Joe tried to pull the head free.’
    • ‘With a hard yank from Bren, Pryce managed to flop across the horse's back on his stomach.’
    • ‘China reached her hands out and grabbed my hair, giving it a hard yank.’
    • ‘With a quick yank, he struggled to get the gun out but proceeded to hit his assailant alongside the head with it still in the holster.’
    • ‘Every single one gives it a yank before remembering about the new card.’
    • ‘Paterson followed in to tie up the score, his mission criminally interrupted by a yank at his jersey as he prepared to seize and ground the ball.’
    • ‘After a hard yank, it finally burst open and revealed a normal master bedroom.’
    • ‘A simple yank on the bars timed to coincide with a pedal stroke is often sufficient to get things started.’
    • ‘After yet more threats and a hard yank on the arm she walked out of her cell and was led to the Ceremony Room.’
    • ‘I grabbed the snake by the neck, gave it a yank and put it straight into the bag.’
    jerk, pull, tug, jolt, wrench, heave, tweak, twitch
    View synonyms

Origin

Late 18th century (as a Scots word in the sense ‘sudden sharp blow’): of unknown origin.

Pronunciation

yank

/jaŋk/

Main definitions of yank in English

: yank1Yank2

Yank2

noun

informal
  • 1derogatory An American.

    • ‘I can't praise the ingenuity of the Yanks too highly here.’
    • ‘The City in particular has been revealed to be a place of probity and honour whose accountants couldn't be more different from the vulgar and grasping Yanks.’
    • ‘The inability of Americans like Gene to get the joke makes it quite difficult for me to sell the line here in London that not all Yanks come without irony detectors.’
    • ‘It's like the Yanks and the Canadians - not much love lost there.’
    • ‘Here, the Yanks we shared with were loud women who managed to chuck a McDonald's coffee cup out of the window while passing through the old docklands.’
    • ‘For a moment he looked baffled, ‘Good Lord no, it's to steal some decent rations from the Yanks.’’
    • ‘I subsequently found a good number of thoughtful, articulate, intelligent, amusing, entertaining blogs by Yanks.’
    • ‘The Yanks seemed to have an endless supply of strange sweet stuff called candy and an even stranger substance called ‘gum’.’
    • ‘Now, among nations, there is only America to fear, and it has never been difficult to get Britons to feel antagonistic towards the Yanks.’
    • ‘It's worth the price of admission to hear Lambert Wilson as a cigar-wielding Yank tycoon whose excruciating American accent hilariously stomps all over the French language in heavy boots.’
    • ‘The Yanks love almost everything about Scots and Scotland.’
    • ‘However, we save far more than our American brethren: the average Yank saves just one dollar of every $125 s/he earns.’
    • ‘The idea of the bully fits neatly with one of the most grotesquely enduring of all anti-American beliefs: that Americans are all dumb Yanks.’
    • ‘From people around me (not just the media) I heard my fair share of ‘you Yanks had it coming’.’
    • ‘Okay, you Yanks don't have a great track record of remaking British classics, but this trailer for The Italian Job makes it look quite fun.’
    • ‘It's big, bold Americana; it's the booming glory of being a Yank.’
    • ‘Help Britain keep up with America; as usual, the Yanks got her first after our A & R men refused her a deal.’
    • ‘Also, please do ignore these boorish Yanks who go about their business with flagrant disregard for military decorum and totally without charm.’
    • ‘The Hours, a great British film starring two Yanks and an Aussie’
    • ‘And they don't even have the excuse Sheena Easton has - Bellshill's former pop diva might be a wannabe Yank, but at least she has lived in America for years.’
    • ‘The American at home is the opposite of the Yank abroad: helpful, charming and painfully sincere.’
  • 2US

    another term for Yankee (sense 2)
    • ‘Boston should be fine for quite some time, just maybe not the Yanks.’
    • ‘The new, US-supported Georgian government has given the green light for the Yanks to stay.’
    • ‘Wonder what it will be like to have a few of those Yanks here with us.’
    • ‘So the game ends, the Yanks are swept by the Mets and dad tells us that he put a new flag up in front of the house to replace my mother's Yankee flag.’

Pronunciation

Yank

/jaŋk/