In English, many verbs start with the letter “y,” each with its unique definition and usage.
These verbs embody language’s dynamic and diverse nature, demonstrating how words can be simple and complex, common and uncommon, and powerful and nuanced.
Whether expressing excitement or frustration or simply describing an action, verbs help us connect with others and bring our ideas to life.
The Most Common Verbs That Start With The Letter Y
The verb “yank” means pulling or tugging at something suddenly and with force, often jerking.
It refers to removing or extracting something with a sharp movement.
For example, you might yank a plant from the ground or yank a cord to turn on a light.
The word is often used to describe a quick and rough action that causes something to be dislodged or pulled out.
“He yanked the door open with a loud creak.”
“She yanked the weed from the garden, roots and all.”
“He yanked the rope to ring the bell and signal the start of the race.”
The verb “yap” means to talk or bark continuously in a high-pitched, irritating manner.
It describes the behavior of a dog that barks excessively.
Still, it is used to express a person who talks excessively, especially if they are annoying or persistent.
“The dog wouldn’t stop yapping, even though its owner tried to calm it down.”
“She yapped on and on about her latest vacation, utterly oblivious to the boredom of her audience.”
“He yapped into the phone for hours, ignoring the calls of his friends and family.”
The verb “yowl” means to make a long, loud, and often harsh cry, especially as a sign of pain, anger, or frustration.
It can also describe the sound that such a cry makes. For example, the sound of a yowl is often characterized by its length, volume, and sharp, piercing quality.
In some cultures and traditions, yowling is used as a form of communication or expression, such as in some indigenous cultures where people may yowl in a communal setting as part of a ceremony or ritual.
“The protesters yowled in outrage as the police used tear gas to disperse the crowd.”
“The coyotes yowled in the distance, filling the night air with eerie calls.”
“The older man yowled angrily as he threw his hat to the ground in frustration.”
The verb “yeast” refers to fermenting dough in baking. In this context, yeast is added to the dough, consuming sugar and producing carbon dioxide. This process causes the dough to rise and become light and fluffy, resulting in baked goods such as bread, rolls, and pastries.
For example, you might say, “I yeast the dough for one hour before baking it.” or “The dough needs to yeast for a few hours before it is ready to be baked.”
The verb “to yoke” generally means to join or connect two things together, often to make them work together as a team.
In this context, the term “yoke” refers to a wooden beam or frame placed over the necks of oxen or other draft animals to connect them to a plow or other equipment.
For example, you might say, “The farmer yoked the oxen to the plow” or “The two oxen were yoked together to pull the wagon.”
In other contexts, “to yoke” means to bind or control something or someone or to bring two things into association or connection.
For example, you might say, “The new law yokes businesses to strict regulations,” or “The two companies were yoked together in a merger.”
The verb “to yelp” means to utter a sharp, high-pitched cry or bark, typically due to pain, fear, or excitement.
In this context, a “yelp” is a short, robust sound often associated with dogs or other animals.
For example, you might say, “The dog yelped when he stepped on a nail,” or “The children yelped with excitement when they saw the amusement park.”
In some cases, “to yelp” can describe a similar sound made by a person.
For example, you might say, “She yelped in pain when she burned her hand.”
The verb “to yaw” refers to the movement of a vehicle or vessel in which it deviates from its forward path and rotates about a vertical axis.
In this context, “yawing” refers to a side-to-side movement that is not in the direction of travel.
For example, you might say, “The plane yawed to the left as it encountered turbulence,” or “The boat yawed in the strong currents.”
In aviation, yawing is a type of deviation from a straight-and-level flight that can affect the stability and control of an aircraft.
Yawing can make it challenging to maintain a straight course and impact safety and comfort in boating. However, in both cases, measures can be taken to correct yawing and maintain proper control.
The verb “to yammer” means to talk loudly, continuously, and complain or whine about something.
In this context, “yammering” refers to nonstop, often annoying or repetitive, talking.
For example, you might say, “She yammered on and on about her problems,” or “He yammered to the customer service representative for over an hour.”
“To yammer” is often used negatively or critically, implying that the person talking is annoying or not particularly interesting.
However, it is an informal word often used in conversational language.
The verb “to york” usually refers to striking a cricket ball with the front of the bat so that it lands near the batsman’s feet and bounces up for them to catch.
In this context, “yorking” refers to a specific type of shot that is played in the sport of cricket.
For example, you might say, “He yorked the bowler with a perfectly placed shot,” or “She yorked the ball to the fielder at mid-on.”
The verb “to yell” means to shout loudly or to make a loud, sharp cry.
In this context, “yelling” refers to making a loud, exclamatory utterance, typically with a voice raised in pitch and volume.
For example, you might say, “She yelled for help when she saw the fire,” or “He yelled at the players for not following the game plan.”
“To yell” can express excitement, anger, frustration, or get someone’s attention. It is a common word often used in formal and informal contexts.
The verb “to yaw” refers to the movement or deviation of an aircraft, ship, or other vehicles from its intended course or direction of travel.
In this context, “yawing” means the deviation or turning of the car from a straight line or heading.
For example, you might say, “The airplane yawed to the right as it tried to maintain its course,” or “The ship yawed in the strong winds, making it difficult for the crew to keep it on course.”
In navigation, yawing is essential to controlling a vehicle and keeping it on course.
It can be caused by various factors, such as wind, currents, or technical issues with the vehicle’s systems.
To correct yaw, the pilot or navigator must adjust the controls to bring the car back onto its intended course.
The verb “to yellow” refers to becoming yellow or taking on a yellow color.
This can happen to various objects and substances, such as plants or leaves turning yellow due to aging or disease or paper or textiles yellowing over time due to exposure to light or chemicals.
The verb can refer to causing something to become yellow, for example, by applying a yellow dye.
In some cases, “to yellow” may also be used metaphorically to describe the process of becoming old or outdated, with the idea that just as physical objects can become yellow with age, so too can ideas or cultural trends.
“The tree leaves began to yellow in the fall, signaling that winter was on its way.”
“Over time, the book’s pages yellowed, giving it an antique look.”
“The dress was yellowed from years of being stored in a musty attic.”
More Verbs That Start With Y