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[yelp] /yɛlp/
verb (used without object)
to give a quick, sharp, shrill cry, as a dog or fox.
to call or cry out sharply:
The boy yelped in pain when the horse stepped on his foot.
verb (used with object)
to utter or express by or as if by yelping.
a quick, sharp bark or cry.
Origin of yelp
before 900; (v.) Middle English yelpen, Old English gielpan to boast; cognate with Low German galpen to croak; (noun) Middle English: boasting, Old English gielp, derivative of the v.
Related forms
yelper, noun
outyelp, verb (used with object) Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for yelp
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • I always temporized until I heard the tree falling, then off he would dash, and bounce into its top to yelp and explore.

    Bruno Byrd Spilman Dewey
  • The sound was such as is the yelp of a foxhound drawing a cover.

    The Watchers of the Plains Ridgewell Cullum
  • The hound began to yelp and his master cast an angry glance at me, asking why I had been allowed access to him.

  • Coaly gave a yelp of delight and stood barking before the door.

    Shawn of Skarrow James Tandy Ellis
  • And when Judson's yelp answered him: "All right; now, what was it you were trying to tell me about the special?"

British Dictionary definitions for yelp


verb (intransitive)
(esp of a dog) to utter a sharp or high-pitched cry or bark, often indicating pain
a sharp or high-pitched cry or bark
Derived Forms
yelper, noun
Word Origin
Old English gielpan to boast; related to Low German galpen to croak, Danish gylpe to croak
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 yelp

Old English gelpan (Anglian), gielpan (West Saxon) "to boast," from Proto-Germanic *gelpanan (cf. Old Saxon galpon, Old Norse gjalpa "to yelp," Old Norse gjalp "boasting," Old High German gelph "outcry"), from PIE root *ghel- "to cry out" (see yell). Related: Yelped; yelping.


Old English gielp "boasting," from source of yelp (v.). Meaning "quick, sharp bark or cry" is attested from c.1500.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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