yoke

Ever seen a picture of a farm girl carrying two buckets of water hanging from ropes attached to a stick she's balancing across her shoulders? That stick on her shoulders is a yoke.

Yoke also can mean the stick that connects two work animals together, or the act of connecting two things together as with a yoke. A classic tool of farmers for centuries, the yoke has also become a symbol of oppression — no one wants to live under the yoke of a tyrant's rule. Do not confuse yoke with yolk, the yellow part of an egg.

Definitions of yoke
  1. noun
    support consisting of a wooden frame across the shoulders that enables a person to carry buckets hanging from each end
    see moresee less
    type of:
    support
    any device that bears the weight of another thing
  2. noun
    stable gear that joins two draft animals at the neck so they can work together as a team
    see moresee less
    type of:
    saddlery, stable gear, tack
    gear for a horse
  3. noun
    a pair of draft animals joined by a yoke
    “pulled by a yoke of oxen”
    see moresee less
    type of:
    pair
    two people considered as a unit
  4. verb
    link with or as with a yoke
    yoke the oxen together”
    synonyms: link
    see moresee less
    type of:
    attach
    cause to be attached
  5. verb
    put a yoke on or join with a yoke
    Yoke the draft horses together”
    see moresee less
    Antonyms:
    unyoke
    remove the yoke from
    types:
    inspan
    attach a yoke or harness to
    type of:
    attach
    cause to be attached
  6. verb
    become joined or linked together
    see moresee less
    type of:
    conjoin, join
    make contact or come together
  7. noun
    a connection (like a clamp or vise) between two things so they move together
    synonyms: coupling
    see moresee less
    type of:
    connecter, connection, connective, connector, connexion
    an instrumentality that connects
  8. noun
    two items of the same kind
    synonyms: brace, couple, couplet, distich, duad, duet, duo, dyad, pair, span, twain, twosome
    see moresee less
    types:
    doubleton
    (bridge) a pair of playing cards that are the only cards in their suit in the hand dealt to a player
    type of:
    2, II, deuce, two
    the cardinal number that is the sum of one and one or a numeral representing this number
  9. noun
    an oppressive power
    “under the yoke of a tyrant”
    “they threw off the yoke of domination”
    see moresee less
    type of:
    oppression
    the state of being kept down by unjust use of force or authority: "after years of oppression they finally revolted"
  10. noun
    fabric comprising a fitted part at the top of a garment
    see moresee less
    types:
    tucker
    a detachable yoke of linen or lace worn over the breast of a low-cut dress
    type of:
    cloth, fabric, material, textile
    artifact made by weaving or felting or knitting or crocheting natural or synthetic fibers
Word Family
EDITOR’S CHOICE

Test prep from the experts

Boost your test score with programs developed by Vocabulary.com’s experts.

  • Proven methods: Learn faster, remember longer with our scientific approach.
  • Personalized plan: We customize your experience to maximize your learning.
  • Strategic studying: Focus on the words that are most crucial for success.

SAT/PSAT

$29.95
  • Number of words: 500+
  • Duration: 8 weeks or less
  • Time: 1 hour / week

TOEFL

$29.95
  • Number of words: 500+
  • Duration: 10 weeks or less
  • Time: 1 hour / week