- I. noun (plural yokes) Etymology: Middle English yok, from Old English geoc; akin to Old High German joh yoke, Latin jugum, Greek zygon, Sanskrit yuga, Latin jungere to join Date: before 12th century 1. a. a wooden bar or frame by which two draft animals (as oxen) are joined at the heads or necks for working together b. an arched device formerly laid on the neck of a defeated person c. a frame fitted to a person's shoulders to carry a load in two equal portions d. a bar by which the end of the tongue of a wagon or carriage is suspended from the collars of the harness e. (1) a crosspiece on the head of a boat's rudder (2) an airplane control operating the elevators and ailerons f. a frame from which a bell is hung g. a clamp or similar piece that embraces two parts to hold or unite them in position 2. plural usually yoke two animals yoked or worked together 3. a. (1) an oppressive agency (2) servitude, bondage b. tie, link; especially marriage 4. a fitted or shaped piece at the top of a skirt or at the shoulder of various garments II. verb (yoked; yoking) Date: before 12th century transitive verb 1. a. (1) to put a yoke on (2) to join in or with a yoke b. to attach a draft animal to; also to attach (a draft animal) to something 2. to join as if by a yoke 3. to put to work intransitive verb to become joined or linked
New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.