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yo-yo

[yoh-yoh] /ˈyoʊ yoʊ/
noun, plural yo-yos.
1.
a spoollike toy consisting of two thick wooden, plastic, or metal disks connected by a dowel pin in the center to which a string is attached, one end being looped around the player's finger so that the toy can be spun out and reeled in by wrist motion.
2.
something that fluctuates or moves up and down, especially suddenly or repeatedly.
3.
Slang. a stupid, foolish, or incompetent person.
adjective
4.
Informal. moving up and down or back and forth; fluctuating; vacillating:
yo-yo prices; a yo-yo foreign policy.
verb (used without object)
5.
Informal. to move up and down or back and forth; fluctuate or vacillate:
Mortgage rates are still yo-yoing.
verb (used with object)
6.
Informal. to cause to yo-yo.
Origin
earlier, a U.S. trademark for such a toy (1932); recorded in 1915 as the name of a Philippine toy; of undetermined orig.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for yoyo
  • And he has watched a hairy skipper chew out a yoyo properly.
  • Trotlines, yoyo's and limb lines are permitted for recreational use only.
  • All trotlines, yoyo's and limb lines must be removed when not in use.
British Dictionary definitions for yoyo

yo-yo

/ˈjəʊjəʊ/
noun (pl) -yos
1.
a toy consisting of a spool attached to a string, the end of which is held while it is repeatedly spun out and reeled in
2.
(US & Canadian, slang) a stupid person, esp one who is easily manipulated
verb (intransitive) yo-yos, yo-yoing, yo-yoed
3.
(informal) to change repeatedly from one position to another; fluctuate
adjective
4.
(informal) changing repeatedly; fluctuating
Word Origin
from Filipino yo yo, come come, a weapon consisting of a spindle attached to a thong
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 yoyo

yo-yo

n.

1915, apparently from a language of the Philippines. Registered as a trademark in Vancouver, Canada, in 1932, the year the first craze for them began (subsequent fads 1950s, 1970s, 1998). The toy itself is much older and was earlier known as bandalore (1824). Figurative sense of any "up-and-down movement" is first recorded 1932. Meaning "stupid person" is recorded from 1970. The verb in the figurative sense is attested from 1967.

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

yo-yo

noun
  1. A vacillating person; one who has no firm convictions: Feldstein's sudden turnaround makes the president look like a yo-yo (1958+)
  2. A stupid and obnoxious person; jerk, nerd: Some yo-yo yells ''What happened, you bum?'' (1970+ Teenagers)

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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Related Abbreviations for yoyo

YOYO

you're on your own
The American Heritage® Abbreviations Dictionary, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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Encyclopedia Article for yoyo

Korean poetic form that flourished during the Koryo period (935-1392). Of folk origin, the pyolgok was sung chiefly by women performers (kisaeng) and was intended for performance on festive occasions. The theme of most of these anonymous poems is love, and its joys and torments are expressed in frank and powerful language. The pyolgok is characterized by the presence of a refrain either in the middle or at the end of each stanza. The refrain not only establishes a mood or tone that carries the melody and spirit of the poem but also serves to link the discrete parts and contents of the poem. The pyolgok entitled "Tongdong" ("Ode on the Seasons") and "Isanggok" ("Winter Night") are among the most moving love lyrics in the Korean language.

Learn more about yoyo with a free trial on Britannica.com
Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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