Definition of yes in English:



  • 1Used to give an affirmative response.

    ‘‘Do you understand?’ ‘Yes.’’
    • ‘Of course, I said yes but I only agreed to make it only after I read what he has written about me.’
    • ‘When I asked the - the secretary to stay on as secretary of defense, I was very pleased when he said yes.’
    • ‘So, yes, I understand that, but I think it needs to be both.’
    • ‘Let him say yes… Please let him say yes… Kit paused and then nodded a quick affirmative.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘He blushed so hard that he could have sworn his face looked like a tomato. ‘Please say yes,’ He thought eagerly.’
    • ‘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?’
    • ‘And yes, please throw away any tools that are worn out and replace them.’
    • ‘We would love a new ‘academy’ for our children, yes please, but we'd like it for everyone.’
    • ‘My response is yes, and that is a danger that we worked out when we took the decision.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘I am pleased with the record yes, but my main feeling at this moment is disappointment for not having been able to beat Montgomery.’
    • ‘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!’
    • ‘And yes, I do understand that marriage may have begun as a means of social control by the church.’
    • ‘If your Honour pleases, yes, it is even more strongly stated there.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘In all seriousness - yes, please stand for the leadership.’
    • ‘And she says yes, please, are you free this evening?’
    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.
      ‘‘That was a grand evening.’ ‘Yes, it was.’’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Although felt extremely happy when I heard that, I could not give a big positive yes at the moment he asked.’
      • ‘And to the extent that terrorism is part of the security problem, then, yes, I absolutely agree with that.’
      • ‘We would be in a better position economically now, yes, definitely.’
      • ‘Of course, yes, certainly, it was a chance to be associated with the games.’
      • ‘I pondered the significance of this statement before agreeing, yes, his hypothesis may prove correct.’
      • ‘Ah yes, that's certainly true, but we are also obliged to notify the next of kin.’
      • ‘Well actually… (catches panicked look from Willow) yes, you're absolutely right.’
    2. 1.2Asked at the end of a statement to indicate the expectation of agreement.
      ‘you think I perhaps killed Westbourne, yes?’
    3. 1.3Expressing contradiction of a negative statement.
      ‘‘You don't want to go.’ ‘Yes, I do.’’
  • 2Used as a response to someone addressing one or trying to attract one's attention.

    ‘‘Oh, Mr Lawrence.’ ‘Yes?’’
  • 3Used to question a remark.

    ‘‘It should be easy to check.’ ‘Oh yes? How?’’
  • 4Encouraging someone to continue speaking.

    ‘‘When you bought those photographs …’ ‘Yes?’’
  • 5Expressing great pleasure or excitement.

    ‘plenty to eat, including hot hamburger sandwiches (yes!)’
  • 6Expressing irritation or impatience.

    ‘‘Is the pain still there?’ ‘Yes, yes, damn you, the pain is always there’’
    • ‘I start to drum my fingernails on my purse, out of habit, boredom, and yes, irritation.’
    • ‘Yes, yes, I know that some of the best dining in the world can be had in the UK these days but wander just a little way from any cosmopolitan hub and you are in a culinary wasteland.’
    • ‘Yes yes yes - why didn't I just give up there and then?’
    • ‘Yes, yes: I realize it's gauche to go on about the Strokes.’
    • ‘Yes, yes, I know he's utilizing organic instrumentation, but when, for most of the album, the drummer sounds like a drum machine, what is the point?’
    • ‘Yes, yes, the clitoris is the woman's sex organ.’
    • ‘Yes, yes, it's a famous passage - I've not wit enough at present to be obscure.’
    • ‘Yes, yes, I know all of this will pass but why can't it pass NOW?’
    • ‘Yes, yes, Gerry, but what's wrong with entertainment?’
    • ‘Yes, yes, we know it takes time to undo 17 years of Tory government - but exactly what difference has Labour to show after five years?’
    • ‘Yes, yes, we know that Pete Doherty could no more go to the Brit Awards than he could a Midnight Mass, what with the curfew and all, and we suspect that Williams knows that too.’
    • ‘Yes, yes, obviously I've an interest; obviously I'm hoping you're going to rush to the bookshop to buy mine.’
    • ‘Yes, yes, it's all very pretty but there's not much there that grabs you… even in that sort of gentle way that their last couple of albums did.’
    • ‘Yes, yes, yes, though as Leslie Nielsen says in Airplane: ‘Don't call me Shirley’.’
    • ‘Yes, yes, yes, damn we love this in our bijou pantry laughingly called the Losing Today record room, which suspiciously resembles a coat cupboard.’
    • ‘Marriage rates are falling, the number of single households is increasing, fewer people are having children… Yes, yes, we know!’


  • An affirmative answer or decision, especially in voting.

    ‘answering with assured and ardent yeses’
    • ‘But all I have is one maybe and a handful of yeses conditional on coming up with the money.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘A chorus of yeses, head nods, and wolf calls went around the table.’
    • ‘And by the way, there are a lot of yeses on that question.’
    • ‘But as the vote went on, those yeses quickly dropped off.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The no votes had just nosed past the yeses by a few tenths of a percent.’
    • ‘The response was a bunch of yeahs, sures, OKs, and yeses.’
    • ‘Ok, I got a few yeses, and a few people just telling me to continue.’
    • ‘The yeses are the different areas of struggle, the different lines of flight to possible different worlds.’
    • ‘‘I've come up with a lot of yesses and nos,’ came the measured response.’
    • ‘If it doesn't bother you, send me a yes at my e-mail address.’
    • ‘We have 5 yesses, two nos, and a maybe as long as nobody goes into labour that day.’
    • ‘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 smiled thoughtfully to myself as I ticked off the amount of yeses on my fingers.’
    approval, seal of approval, approbation, endorsement, welcome, encouragement
    View synonyms


  • yes and no

    • Partly and partly not.

      ‘‘Did it come as a surprise to you?’ ‘Yes and no.’’
      • ‘The answer, according to Dr. Robert Polisky, a dermatologist in Elk Grove Village, Illinois, is both yes and no.’
      • ‘The answer, like so many things in politics, is yes and no.’
      • ‘To me, lightly grilling him in a hotel in Kensington High Street, he simply says: ‘The answer's yes and no.’’
      • ‘That is why the answer to your question is, 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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘As for violence being in our faces 24-7, well 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 whether he was disappointed with the team score of 228, he said, ‘Both yes and no.’’


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