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yank

To yank is to pull or move suddenly and sharply. You might reach for a pan on the stove and then yank your hand away when you realize the handle is hot.

Your little sister might yank at your arm to get your attention, while a bully might yank your hair just to be mean. In both cases, they're tugging abruptly, and you can call the pull itself a yank. Don't confuse this noun with the yank that serves as a slightly offensive nickname for Americans, or even more specifically, for New Englanders. Dutch settlers in then New Amsterdam first used this word to insult English colonists in Connecticut.

Definitions of yank
  1. verb
    pull, or move with a sudden movement
    synonyms: jerk
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    type of:
    draw, force, pull
    cause to move by pulling
  2. noun
    a sudden abrupt pull
    synonyms: jerk, tug
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    type of:
    pull, pulling
    the act of pulling; applying force to move something toward or with you
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