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[yel] /yɛl/
verb (used without object)
to cry out or speak with a strong, loud, clear sound; shout:
He always yells when he is angry.
to scream with pain, fright, etc.
verb (used with object)
to utter or tell by yelling:
to yell an order to the troops.
a cry uttered by yelling.
a cheer or shout of fixed words or syllables, as one adopted by a school or college to encourage a team.
Origin of yell
before 1000; (v.) Middle English yellen, Old English gellan, giellan; cognate with German gellen to resound, Dutch gillen; akin to Old English galan to sing (see nightingale); (noun) Middle English, derivative of the v.
Related forms
outyell, verb (used with object) Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for yell
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • yell hae to gang ben, gudeman, said she, and speak to Watty.

    The Entail John Galt
  • A yell from the people assured us that we were all right, if we did not find it out before.

    Up the River Oliver Optic
  • The office boy uttered a yell as the wrist was bent backwards.

  • A yell of rage swept them, and a dozen men sprang toward him with curses.

    The Root of Evil Thomas Dixon
  • yell no be able to make a start until were sure of the money.

    The Protector Harold Bindloss
British Dictionary definitions for yell


to shout, scream, cheer, or utter in a loud or piercing way
a loud piercing inarticulate cry, as of pain, anger, or fear
(US & Canadian) a rhythmic cry of words or syllables, used in cheering in unison
Derived Forms
yeller, noun
Word Origin
Old English giellan; related to Old Saxon gellon, Old High German gellan, Old Norse gjalla; see nightingale
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 yell

Old English gellan (Mercian), giellan (West Saxon), class III strong verb (past tense geal, past participle gollen), from Proto-Germanic *gelnanan (cf. Old Norse gjalla "to resound," Middle Dutch ghellen, Dutch gillen, Old High German gellan, German gellen "to yell"), extended form of root of Old English galan "to sing" (source of the -gale in nightingale); from PIE *ghel- "to cry out, shout, sing." Related: Yelled; yelling.


late 14c., originally in Scottish, from yell (v.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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