The word "yank" is similar to the word "pull," but when you yank something, there’s usually more force applied, or the movement is very quick. In most of the sentences below, "yank" is a verb:

simplepastpast participle
  • The dentist yanked a rotten tooth from the patient’s mouth.
  • Don’t yank too hard on the chain. You might break it.
  • Don’t yank on it!
  • Stop yanking on it!
  • The company quickly yanked its products off of the shelves when it discovered a defect.
  • The manager yanked a player out of the game because he wasn’t doing very well on the field.
  • Yvonne was quickly yanked off the stage because of her poor performance. (This sentence is in the passive voice.)
  • Craig gave the rope a quick yank and the door opened. (The word "yank" is a noun in this sentence.)
  • Give it a yank!
  • When walking a dog, sometimes the owner has to yank on the leash to get the dog’s attention.

walking dog

Note: The word "yank" is a shortened form of "yankee," which is sometimes used when referring to an American.

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This page was first published on May 18, 2012. It was updated on January 28, 2016.