Definition of yo-yo in English:

yo-yo

noun

  • 1trademark in UK A 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.

    ‘with a flick of the wrist, she sent the yo-yo spiraling down and watched it spin there’
    • ‘The yo-yos are pretty cool.’
    • ‘Like the yo-yo, the hula hoop, and the Mohican haircut, vehicle fads come and go.’
    • ‘Children's games include kite-flying, spinning tops, yo-yos, and hobbyhorses.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘A self-identified yo-yo fanatic, he's one of a hundred official Coca-Cola yo-yo collectors in this country.’
    • ‘Teams of yo-yo experts came to Australia to demonstrate the toy in the early years and the rest is history.’
    1. 1.1often as modifier A thing that repeatedly fluctuates.
      ‘the yo-yo syndrome of repeatedly losing weight and gaining it again’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Fad diets only add to the confusion and contribute to the yo-yo syndrome so many of us experience.’
      • ‘You'll stabilize your appetite, which is in yo-yo mode from all the extra sugar.’
      • ‘The ultimate yo-yo team in recent seasons, Nottinghamshire have made some astute signings over the winter.’
      • ‘I'm a yo-yo dieter.’
      • ‘With just four games remaining, City look in grave danger of re-capturing their unwanted yo-yo tag of recent years.’
      • ‘Research continues as to whether yo-yo dieting is dangerous to cardiovascular health.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Now seriously committed to stopping the yo-yo syndrome, Jacqui is making amazing progress.’
      • ‘As for food, yo-yo diets, involving periods of near starvation, damage valuable muscle and are positively unhealthy.’
      • ‘We are a yo-yo culture, a culture of mood swings.’
  • 2North American informal A stupid, insane, or unpredictable person.

    ‘they think they're tangling with some small-town yo-yos, but they're not’
    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.’
    • ‘My weight yo-yoed between 170 and 180 pounds.’
    • ‘In college, my weight yo-yoed between 140 and 185 pounds.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Bear markets have more to do with uncertainty than with decisive gloom, and yo-yoing shares are the clearest possible evidence of that.’
    • ‘City now are an established Premiership side after years of yo-yoing and have a healthy crop of young players coming through the ranks.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Rough weather - wind and rain and yo-yoing wind direction - has made it tough for anglers to find and catch those fish.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘While stockmarkets yo-yo around the world, the gravy train is picking up speed in one sector of the economy.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Establish yourselves as a new unit rather than becoming the property of two families and yo-yoing between them.’
    • ‘Over the next five years, Laura's weight yo-yoed and she began eating high-fat foods more often.’
    • ‘The next few months saw Williams yo-yoing in and out of hospital.’
    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 manoeuvre (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

/ˈjəʊjəʊ/