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  • IPA(key): /jɛlp/
    • (file)
  • Rhymes: -ɛlp

Etymology 1[edit]

From Middle English ȝelp, yelp, from Old English ġielp (boasting, arrogance, pride), from Proto-West Germanic *gelp, from Proto-Germanic *gelpą (boasting), from Proto-Indo-European *gʰel- (to shout).


yelp (plural yelps)

  1. An abrupt, high-pitched noise or utterance.
    The puppy let out a yelp when I stepped on her tail.
  2. A type of emergency vehicle siren sounding quicker and more intense than the wail.

Etymology 2[edit]

From Middle English ȝelpen, yelpen, from Old English ġielpan (to boast), from Proto-West Germanic *gelpan, from Proto-Germanic *gelpaną (to sound off, boast), from Proto-Indo-European *gʰel‑ (to call, shout, scream). Cognate with Saterland Frisian jalpe, galpe (to bleep; cheep), German Low German galpen (to scream, shriek, howl), Middle High German gelpfen, gelpfen (to roar, howl, bark, boast, sing loudly).


yelp (third-person singular simple present yelps, present participle yelping, simple past and past participle yelped)

  1. To utter an abrupt, high-pitched noise.
    The children yelped with delight as they played in the cold water.
    • 1987, Gene Wolfe, chapter VI, in The Urth of the New Sun, 1st US edition, New York: Tor Books, →ISBN, →OCLC, page 38:
      I followed it as well as I could, I who have so often boasted of my memory now sniffing along for what seemed a league at least like a brachet and ready almost to yelp for joy at the thought of a place I knew, after so much emptiness, silence, and blackness.


Middle English[edit]



  1. Alternative form of ȝelp