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[yak] /yæk/
a large, stocky, shaggy-haired wild ox, Bos grunniens, of the Tibetan highlands, having long, curved horns: endangered.
a domesticated variety of this animal.
Origin of yak1
1785-95; < Tibetan, spelling gyag


or yack, yackety-yak

[yak] /yæk/ Slang.
verb (used without object), yakked, yakking.
to talk, especially uninterruptedly and idly; gab; chatter:
They've been yakking on the phone for over an hour.
incessant idle or gossipy talk.
1945-50, Americanism; apparently of expressive orig.
Related forms
yakker, noun


[yak] /yæk/
noun, verb (used with or without object), yakked, yakking. Slang.
yuk1 .


or yuck, yock, yok, yak

[yuhk] /yʌk/ Slang.
a loud, hearty laugh.
a joke evoking such a laugh.
verb (used with or without object), yukked, yukking.
to laugh or joke:
The audience really yukked it up at the movie.
imitative Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for yak
Historical Examples
  • We crawled from the tent, but as yet could see nothing, whilst the yak began to low in a terrified manner.

    Ayesha H. Rider Haggard
  • He is called "yak" in Tibetan, and the name has been transferred to most European languages.

    From Pole to Pole Sven Anders Hedin
  • The Jogpa, in our mad flight, cut off a long lock of the yak's silky hair.

    An Explorer's Adventures in Tibet A. Henry Savage Landor
  • He told me about going for yak in the snow mountains south of Thibet.

    That Fortune Charles Dudley Warner
  • Tsering rides past us with his yak caravan, and four Ladakis have stayed behind in the valley suffering from acute headache.

  • (217 f. 192b) yak qad-i-adm; de Courteille, brasse (fathom).

    The Bbur-nma in English Babur, Emperor of Hindustan
  • In Thibet the yak is, perhaps, the most useful animal to be found in the country.

  • At one of them sat two Tibetans cutting up a yak which had died.

  • The inner entrance is a gateway decorated with a yak's head and many Buddhist emblems.

    Among the Tibetans Isabella L. Bird
  • Water was handy, but yak dung, our only fuel, was scarce and scanty.

    Mount Everest the Reconnaissance, 1921 Charles Kenneth Howard-Bury
British Dictionary definitions for yak


a wild and domesticated type of cattle, Bos grunniens, of Tibet, having long horns and long shaggy hair
Word Origin
C19: from Tibetan gyag


Also yakety-yak. noisy, continuous, and trivial talk or conversation
verb yaks, yakking, yakked
(intransitive) to chatter or talk in this way; jabber
Word Origin
C20: of imitative origin
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for yak

"wild ox of central Asia," 1795, from Tibetan g-yag "male yak."


"laugh," 1938; "talk idly," 1950; echoic, perhaps of Yiddish origin.


"laughter, something evoking laughs," 1964, imitative; see yuck (2).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for yak



  1. Talk, esp idle or empty chatter; mere babbling: All they can talk about, yack-yack-yack, is their own specialty/ I don't care how owlish you look, how convincing you sound, this is just yak yak yak until you do it/ in the midst of all the political yuk-yuk that dins around us/ if the State Department would stop its incessant yakitty-yak (1958+)
  2. A laugh; a guffaw: ''Take off your clothes.'' Pause for audience yuks/ It makes me furious when I have a corny line and it gets a yock (1938+)


  1. (also yack it up or yak it up or yock it up or yuk it up): Everybody is yakking out an opinion on whether he should now reconsider his candidacy/ sparing the rod and yak-yakking and explaining all the time/ The students were seated on the floor, still yocking away/ I'll be 75 and hanging around bars yocking it up (1950+)
  2. (also yack it up or yak it up or yock it up or yuk it up): Ken Gaul is yukking, tugging at his pointy satyr's beard/ There'd be Don, yockin' it up like crazy. He's so hysterical with laughter/ former senator George McGovern, yukking it up with Paul Volcker (1938+)

[echoic, perhaps of Yiddish origin]



An exclamation of disgust: ''Those women on the PBS specials seem to love it.'' ''Yuck,'' Connie mugged (1969+)


A disgusting substance, person, or thing; someone or something nasty: precipitation in the form of rain, snow, and assorted other atmospheric yuck/ clean all the yecch out of her system/ Mario is an intellectually dishonest person. He's just yecch (1943+)

Related Terms


[perhaps echoic of gagging or vomiting]

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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