yoke

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English[edit]

Pronunciation[edit]

A bow yoke (noun sense 1.1) on a bullock team.
A 19th-century photograph of a water carrier from Khujand (now in Tajikistan) with his yoke (noun sense 1.2.1).
The yoke (noun sense 1.2.2) of a Boeing 737 aeroplane.
The well-developed yoke (noun sense 1.2.3) of a bodybuilder.
A drawing showing the yoke (noun sense 1.2.4) of a girl’s dress.
An American West-style shirt with an appliqued yoke (noun sense 1.2.4).
The yoke (noun sense 1.2.6) of a cathode ray tube.
A 20th-century illustration of conquered people in Ancient Rome being made to pass under the yoke (noun sense 1.3.3).[n 1]

Etymology 1[edit]

From Middle English yok, yoke, ȝok [and other forms],[1] from Old English ġeoc (yoke) [and other forms], from Proto-Germanic *juką (yoke), from Proto-Indo-European *yugóm (yoke), from *yewg- (to join; to tie together, yoke).[2] Doublet of yuga, jugum, yoga and possibly yogh.

Senses 3.1 (“area of arable land”) and 3.2 (“amount of work done with draught animals”) probably referred to the area of land that could generally be ploughed by yoked draught animals within a given time.[2]

Noun[edit]

yoke (plural yokes)

  1. Senses relating to a frame around the neck.
    1. A bar or frame by which two oxen or other draught animals are joined at their necks enabling them to pull a cart, plough, etc.; (by extension) a device attached to a single draught animal for the same purpose.
      • 1557 February 13, Thomas Tusser, “Februarij”, in A Hundreth Good Pointes of Husbandrie., London: [] Richard Tottel, OCLC 1049068421; republished London: Reprinted for Robert Triphook, [], and William Sancho, [], 1810, OCLC 7109675, stanza 64, page 13:
        Thy seruant in walking thy pastures aboute: / for yokes, forkes and rakes, let him loke to finde oute. / And after at leyser let this be his hier: / to trimme them and make them at home by the fier.
      • c. 1595–1596, William Shakespeare, A Midsommer Nights Dreame. [] (First Quarto), London: [] [Richard Bradock] for Thomas Fisher, [], published 1600, OCLC 1041029189, [Act II, scene i]:
        The Oxe hath therefore ſtretcht his yoake in vaine, / The Ploughman loſt his ſweat, and the greene corne / Hath rotted, ere his youth attainde a bearde: []
      • 1697, Virgil, “The Third Book of the Georgics”, in John Dryden, transl., The Works of Virgil: Containing His Pastorals, Georgics, and Æneis. [], London: [] Jacob Tonson, [], OCLC 403869432, lines 226–227, page 103:
        Firſt let 'em [horses] run at large; and never know / The taming Yoak, or draw the crooked Plough.
      • 1725, Homer; [Alexander Pope], transl., “Book III”, in The Odyssey of Homer. [], volume I, London: [] Bernard Lintot, OCLC 8736646, lines 500–503, page 127:
        A yearling bullock to thy name ſhall ſmoke, / Untam'd, unconſcious of the galling yoke, / With ample forehead, and yet tender horns / Whoſe budding honours ductile gold adorns.
      • 1728, James Thomson, “Spring”, in The Seasons, London: [] A[ndrew] Millar, and sold by Thomas Cadell, [], published 1768, OCLC 642619686, lines 34–40, page 4:
        Joyous, th' impatient huſbandman perceives / Relenting Nature, and his luſty ſteers / Drives from their ſtalls, to where the well-us'd plough / Lies in the furrow, looſened from the froſt. / There, unrefuſing, to the harneſs'd yoke / They lend their ſhoulder, and begin their toil, / Chear'd by the ſimple ſong and ſoaring lark.
    2. Any of various linking or supporting objects that resembles a yoke (sense 1.1); a crosspiece, a curved bar, etc.
      1. A pole carried on the neck and shoulders of a person, used for carrying a pair of buckets, etc., one at each end of the pole; a carrying pole. [from 17th c.]
        Synonyms: (Sri Lanka, dated) pingo, milkmaid's yoke, shoulder pole
        • 1821, John Clare, “[Poems.] The Disappointment.”, in The Village Minstrel, and Other Poems, volume I, London: [] [T. Miller] for Taylor and Hessey, []; and E. Drury, [], OCLC 230654424, stanza 5, page 155:
          And whenever to rest she her buckets set down, / She jingled her yokes to and fro, / And her yokes she might jingle till morn—a rude clown, / Ere he it seem'd offered to go.
        • 1876, Thomas Hardy, “A Street in Anglebury—A Heath Near—Inside the ‘Old Fox Inn’”, in The Hand of Ethelberta: A Comedy in Chapters [], volume I, London: Smith, Elder, & Co., [], OCLC 912954463, page 3:
          The speaker, who had been carrying a pair of pails on a yoke, deposited them upon the edge of the pavement in front of the inn, and straightened his back to an excruciating perpendicular.
      2. (aviation) Any of various devices with crosspieces used to control an aircraft; specifically, the control column. [from 20th c.]
        Synonym: control wheel
        1. (video games) A similar device used as a game controller.
      3. (bodybuilding) Well-developed muscles of the neck and shoulders.
        • 2010 April, Sean Hyson; Jim Wendler, “Build an NFL Neck”, in Men’s Fitness, New York, N.Y.: American Media, ISSN 1541-2776, OCLC 1135605773, page 73; reproduced as “The Big Yoke Workout”, in Men’s Journal[1], accessed 19 November 2021, archived from the original on 19 November 2021:
          Nothing says you're a dedicated lifter and true athlete more than a massive yoke—that is, the muscles of the neck, traps, and rear delts.
      4. (clothing) The part of an item of clothing which fits around the shoulders or the hips from which the rest of the garment hangs, and which is often distinguished by having a double thickness of material, or decorative flourishes. [from 19th c.]
        • 1913 June, Willa Sibert Cather, chapter I, in O Pioneers!, Boston, Mass.; New York, N.Y.: Houghton Mifflin Company [], OCLC 878906256, part I (The Wild Land), pages 11–12:
          The country children thereabouts wore their dresses to their shoe-tops, but this city child was dressed in what was then called the "Kate Greenaway" manner, and her red cashmere frock, gathered full from the yoke, came almost to the floor.
        • 1952, Doris Lessing, chapter 1, in Martha Quest, London: HarperCollinsPublishers, published 1993, →ISBN, part 1, page 28:
          The dresses her mother made looked ugly, even obscene, for her breasts were well grown, and the yokes emphasized them, showing flattened bulges under the tight band of material; and the straight falling line of the skit was spoiled by her full hips.
      5. (electrical engineering) Originally, a metal piece connecting the poles of a magnet or electromagnet; later, a part of magnetic circuit (such as in a generator or motor) not surrounded by windings (wires wound around the cores of electrical transformers).
      6. (electronics) The electromagnetic coil that deflects the electron beam in a cathode ray tube. [from 19th c.]
      7. (glassblowing) A Y-shaped stand used to support a blowpipe or punty while reheating in the glory hole.
      8. (nautical) A fitting placed across the head of the rudder with a line attached at each end by which a boat may be steered; in modern use it is primarily found in sailing canoes and kayaks. [from 18th c.]
      9. (chiefly US) A frame or convex crosspiece from which a bell is hung.
    3. (historical)
      1. A collar placed on the neck of a conquered person or prisoner to restrain movement.
      2. (agriculture) A frame placed on the neck of an animal such as a cow, pig, or goose to prevent passage through a fence or other barrier. [from 16th c.]
        • 1580, Thomas Tusser, “A Digression to Husbandlie Furniture”, in Fiue Hundred Pointes of Good Husbandrie: [], London: [] Henrie Denham [beeing the assigne of William Seres] [], OCLC 837741850; republished as W[illiam] Payne and Sidney J[ohn Hervon] Herrtage, editors, Five Hundred Pointes of Good Husbandrie. [], London: Published for the English Dialect Society by Trübner & Co., [], 1878, OCLC 7391867535, stanza 17, page 38:
          Strong yoke for a hog, with a twicher and rings, / with tar in a tarpot, for dangerous things: []
          According to footnote 1, in the 1577 edition the lines were as follows: “Hog yokes, and a twicher, and ringes for a hog, / with tar in a pot, for the byeting of dog.”
        • 1770, Peter Kalm [i.e., Pehr Kalm], John Reinhold Forster, transl., Travels into North America; [], volume I, Warrington, Cheshire: [] William Eyres, OCLC 1179516875, pages 164–165:
          Each hog had a wooden triangular yoke about its neck, by which it was hindered from penetrating through the holes in the encloſures; and for this reaſon, the encloſures are made very ſlender, and eaſy to put up, and do not require much wood.
      3. (Ancient Rome) Chiefly in pass under the yoke: a raised yoke (sense 1.1), or a symbolic yoke formed from two spears installed upright in the ground with another spear connecting their tops, under which a defeated army was made to march as a sign of subjugation.
        • 1659, T[itus] Livius [i.e., Livy], “[Book III]”, in Philemon Holland, transl., The Romane Historie [], London: [] W. Hunt, for George Sawbridge, [], OCLC 12997447, page 89:
          [H]is will and pleaſure was they ſhould paſſe all under the yoke or gallows: the maner wherof is this. They took three ſpears or javelins, and ſet two of them pitched in the ground endlong, and their overthwart faſtned unto the other. Under this kind of gallows the Dictator compelled the Æquians to go.
        • 1769, [Oliver] Goldsmith, “From the Creation of the Tribunes to the Appointment of the Decemviri”, in The Roman History, from the Foundation of the City of Rome, to the Destruction of the Western Empire. [], volume I, London: [] S. Baker and G. Leigh, []; T[homas] Davies, []; and L. Davis, [], OCLC 756495447, page 127:
          [T]he Æqui being attacked on both ſides and unable to reſiſt or fly, begged a ceſſation of arms. They offered the dictator his own terms; he gave them their lives, but obliged them, in token of ſervitude, to paſs under the yoke, which was two ſpears ſet upright, and another acroſs, in the form of a door, beneath which the vanquiſhed were to march.
  2. Senses relating to a pair of harnessed draught animals.
    1. (chiefly historical) A pair of draught animals, especially oxen, yoked together to pull something.
    2. (archaic) A pair of things linked in some way.
    3. (Ireland, Scotland) A carriage, a horse and cart; (by extension, generally) a car or other vehicle. [from 19th c.]
    4. (Ireland, informal) A miscellaneous object; a gadget. [from 20th c.]
    5. (Ireland, informal) A chap, a fellow.
    6. (Ireland, slang) A pill of a psychoactive drug.
  3. Senses relating to quantities, and other extended uses.
    1. (chiefly Kent, archaic) An area of arable land, specifically one consisting of a quarter of a suling, or around 50–60 acres (20–24 hectares); hence, a small manor or piece of land.
      • 1790, Edward Hasted, “The Hundred of Calehill”, in The History and Topographical Survey of the County of Kent. [], volume III, Canterbury, Kent: [] [F]or the author, by Simmons and Kirkby, OCLC 85906403, page 207, column 2:
        Of this ſuling Ralph de Curbeſpine holds one yoke and an half, which is and was worth ſeparately ten ſhillings. Adelold had half a ſuling and half a yoke, and in the time of K. Edward the Confeſſor it was worth 40 ſhillings, and afterwards 20 ſhillings, now 40 ſhillings.
    2. (chiefly England, regional (especially Kent), and Scotland, historical) An amount of work done with draught animals, lasting about half a day; (by extension) an amount or shift of any work. [from 18th c.]
      to work two yokes
      (literally, “to work both morning and afternoon”)
    3. (figuratively)
      1. From sense 1.1: a bond of love, especially marriage; also, a bond of friendship or partnership; an obligation or task borne by two or more people.
      2. From sense 1.3.1: something which oppresses or restrains a person; a burden.
Derived terms[edit]
Translations[edit]

Etymology 2[edit]

From Middle English yoken, yoke, ȝoken (to put a harness or yoke on a draught animal or pair of such animals, to yoke; to attach (an animal to a cart, plough, etc.) with a yoke; to lock (arms) in wrestling; to bind (oneself or someone) to something) [and other forms],[3] from Old English ġeocian, iucian, from Old English ġeoc (yoke) (see etymology 1) + -ian (suffix forming verbs from adjectives and nouns).[4]

Verb[edit]

yoke (third-person singular simple present yokes, present participle yoking, simple past and past participle yoked)

  1. (transitive)
    1. To join (several draught animals) together with a yoke; also, to fasten a yoke (on one or more draught animals) to pull a cart, plough, etc.; or to attach (a cart, plough, etc.) to a draught animal.
      • 1585, Adrianus Iunius [i.e., Hadrianus Junius], “Bubulcus”, in Iohn Higins [i.e., John Higgins], transl., The Nomenclator, or Remembrancer of Adrianus Iunius Physician, [], Conteining Proper Names and Apt Termes for All Thinges vnder Their Conuenient Titles, [], London: [] Ralph Newberie, and Henrie Denham, OCLC 84768489, pages 513–514:
        Bubulcus, [] An oxeheard, or coweheard: a driuer of oxen and kine: he that yoketh oxen, and [] goeth to plowe with them.
      • 1697, Virgil, “The First Book of the Georgics”, in John Dryden, transl., The Works of Virgil: Containing His Pastorals, Georgics, and Æneis. [], London: [] Jacob Tonson, [], OCLC 403869432, lines 298–301, page 58:
        But when Astrea’s Ballance, hung on high, / Betwixt the Nights and Days divides the Sky, / Then Yoke your Oxen, ſow your Winter Grain; / ’Till cold December comes with driving Rain.
      • 1697, Virgil, “The Twelfth Book of the Æneis”, in John Dryden, transl., The Works of Virgil: Containing His Pastorals, Georgics, and Æneis. [], London: [] Jacob Tonson, [], OCLC 403869432, lines 433–434, page 591:
        Theſe on their Horſes vault, thoſe yoke the Car; / The reſt with Swords on high, run headlong to the War.
      • 1791, Oliver Goldsmith, “Animals of the Cat Kind”, in An History of the Earth, and Animated Nature. [], volume III, new edition, London: [] F[rancis] Wingrave, successor to Mr. [John] Nourse, [], OCLC 877622212, page 184:
        However, it is probable that even the fierceſt could be rendered domeſtic, if man thought the conqueſt worth the trouble. Lions have been yoked to the chariots of conquerors, and tigers have been taught to tend thoſe herds which they are known at preſent to deſtroy; []
      • 1860, J[ohn] Muir, “The Languages of Northern India: Their History and Relations”, in Original Sanskrit Texts on the Origin and History of the People of India, Their Religion and Institutions. [], 2nd part (The Trans-Himalayan Origin of the Hindus, and Their Affinity with the Western Branches of the Arian Race), London; Edinburgh: Williams and Norgate, [], OCLC 769856545, section X (Various Stages of Sanskrit Literature, []), page 208:
        Nodhas, son of Gotama, has fabricated this new prayer to thee, O India, who art eternal, and yokest thy coursers, []
      • 1882, Ouida [pseudonym; Maria Louise Ramé], chapter II, in In Maremma [], volume I, London: Chatto & Windus, [], OCLC 82083686, page 33:
        Twice a year regularly she yoked her mule to her cart and drove into Grosseto, making a two days' journey on the road each way, on purpose to sell the homespun linen she had woven from the thread she had spun in the six months' time.
      • 1880, Mark Twain [pseudonym; Samuel Langhorne Clemens], chapter XI, in A Tramp Abroad; [], Hartford, Conn.: American Publishing Company; London: Chatto & Windus, OCLC 166605526, page 105:
        As we tramped gaily out at the gate of the town, we overtook a peasant's cart, partly laden with odds and ends of cabbages and similar vegetable rubbish, and drawn by a small cow and a smaller donkey yoked together.
      • 1918, Rudyard Kipling, “The Fumes of the Heart”, in The Eyes of Asia, Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday, Page & Company, OCLC 561613113, pages 37–38:
        The men go to the war daily. It is the women who do all the work at home, having been well taught in their childhood. We have only yoked one buffalo to the plough up till now. It is now time to yoke up the milch-buffaloes.
      • 1945 August 17, George Orwell [pseudonym; Eric Arthur Blair], chapter VI, in Animal Farm [], London: Secker & Warburg, OCLC 3655473; republished as Animal Farm (eBook no. 0100011h.html), Australia: Project Gutenberg Australia, March 2008:
        Transporting the stone when it was once broken was comparatively simple. [] [E]ven Muriel and Benjamin [a goat and a donkey] yoked themselves into an old governess-cart and did their share.
    2. To put (one's arm or arms) around someone's neck, waist, etc.; also, to surround (someone's neck, waist, etc.) with one's arms.
    3. To put (something) around someone's neck like a yoke; also, to surround (someone's neck) with something.
    4. (historical)
      1. To place a collar on the neck of (a conquered person or prisoner) to restrain movement.
      2. (agriculture) To place a frame on the neck of (an animal such as a cow, pig, or goose) to prevent passage through a fence or other barrier.
    5. (figuratively)
      1. To bring (two or more people or things) into a close relationship (often one that is undesired); to connect, to link, to unite.
        • c. 1610–1611, William Shakespeare, “The VVinters Tale”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies [] (First Folio), London: [] Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358, [Act I, scene ii], page 281, column 1:
          Oh then, my beſt blood turne / To an infected Gelly, and my Name / Be yoak'd with his, that did betray the Beſt: []
        • 1647, John Lightfoote [i.e., John Lightfoot], “Sect. XIV. St. Iohn Chap. III.”, in The Harmony of the Four Evangelists, among Themselves, and vvith the Old Testament. [], 3rd part (From the First Passeover after Our Saviours Baptisme to the Second), London: [] R[ichard] C[otes] for Andrew Crook [], published 1650, OCLC 1191004128, page 12:
          The Author of Juchaſin yoketh him in the ſame time and the ſame ſociety with Rabban Jochanan ben Zacchai, who flouriſhed in the times of Chriſts being upon earth, and till after the deſtruction of Ieruſalem: []
        • 1817 December 31 (indicated as 1818), [Walter Scott], chapter I, in Rob Roy. [], volume II, Edinburgh: [] James Ballantyne and Co. for Archibald Constable and Co. []; London: Longman, Hurst, Rees, Orme, and Brown, OCLC 82790126, page 12:
          There's the kingdom o' Fife, frae Borrowstownness to the east nook, it's just like a great combined city—Sae mony royal boroughs yoked on end to end, like ropes of ingans, []
        • 1881, Aeschylus, “Prometheus Bound”, in Anna Swanwick, transl., The Dramas of Æschylus, 3rd edition, London: George Bell & Sons, [], OCLC 776245198, lines 593–595, page 372:
          What trespass canst find, son of Kronos, in me, / That thou yokest me ever to pain? / Woe! Ah, woe!
        • 2004, Patricia Bate; Esther Thelen, “Development of Turning and Reaching”, in Mark L. Latash and ‎Mindy F. Levin, editors, Progress in Motor Control: Volume Three: Effects of Age, Disorder, and Rehabilitation, Champaign, Ill.: Human Kinetics, →ISBN, part I (Sensorimotor Integration), page 61:
          The level of support and relation to gravity also influence whether infants used one or two hands to reach. [] They [researchers] showed that across all postures, nonsitting infants more frequently yoked their arms into a bilateral reach pattern than the independent sitters.
      2. (obsolete) To bring into or keep (someone) in bondage or a state of submission; to enslave; to confine, to restrain; to oppress, to subjugate.
    6. (chiefly Scotland, archaic, passive) To be joined to (another person) in wedlock (often with the implication that it is a burdensome state); to be or become married to (someone).
  2. (intransitive)
    1. To be or become connected, linked, or united in a relationship; to have dealings with.
      • c. 1608–1609, William Shakespeare, “The Tragedy of Coriolanus”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies [] (First Folio), London: [] Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358, [Act III, scene i], page 14, column 2:
        [I]f you will paſſe / To where you are bound, you muſt enquire your way, / Which you are out of, with a gentler ſpirit, / Or neuer be ſo Noble as a Conſull, / Nor yoake with him for Tribune.
      • 1851 March, Alfred Tennyson, “To the Queen”, in The Complete Poetical Works of Alfred Tennyson, Chicago, Ill.: The Dominion Company, published 1897, OCLC 1157956905, page 1:
        And should your greatness, and the care / That yokes with empire, yield you time / To make demand of modern rhyme / If aught of ancient worth be there; []
    2. (chiefly Scotland, obsolete) To be or become joined in wedlock; to be married, to wed.
Conjugation[edit]
Derived terms[edit]
Translations[edit]

Etymology 3[edit]

See yolk.

Noun[edit]

yoke

  1. Misspelling of yolk.

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ From Edward S[ylvester] Ellis; Charles F[rancis] Horne (1906), “Conquest beyond Italy, Rome and Carthage”, in The Story of the Greatest Nations: From the Dawn of History to the Twentieth Century [], volume II, New York, N.Y.: Francis R. Niglutsch, OCLC 3777254, plate between pages 328 and 329.

References[edit]

  1. ^ yōke, n.”, in MED Online, Ann Arbor, Mich.: University of Michigan, 2007.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Compare “yoke, n.”, in OED Online Paid subscription required, Oxford, Oxfordshire: Oxford University Press, September 2021; “yoke1, n.”, in Lexico, Dictionary.com; Oxford University Press, 2019–present.
  3. ^ yōken, v.”, in MED Online, Ann Arbor, Mich.: University of Michigan, 2007.
  4. ^ Compare “yoke, v.1”, in OED Online Paid subscription required, Oxford, Oxfordshire: Oxford University Press, December 2020; “yoke1, v.”, in Lexico, Dictionary.com; Oxford University Press, 2019–present.

Further reading[edit]

Anagrams[edit]


Middle English[edit]

Etymology 1[edit]

From Old English ġeoc.

Noun[edit]

yoke

  1. Alternative form of ȝok

Etymology 2[edit]

From Old English ġeocian.

Verb[edit]

yoke

  1. Alternative form of ȝoken