Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • intransitive verb To pull with a quick, strong movement; jerk.
  • intransitive verb Informal To extract or remove abruptly.
  • intransitive verb To pull on something suddenly.
  • noun A sudden vigorous pull; a jerk.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun A quick, sharp stroke; a buffet.
  • noun A jerk or twitch.
  • noun plural Leggings or long gaiters worn in England by agricultural laborers.
  • noun A Yankee.
  • noun [The word acquired during the war of the rebellion wide currency as a nickname or contemptuous epithet among the Confederates for a Union soldier, the Confederates themselves being in like spirit dubbed Johnnies or Rebs by the Union soldiers.]
  • To be in active motion; move or work quickly; bustle.
  • To talk fast or constantly; scold; nag.
  • To move, carry, bring, take, etc., with a sudden jerk or jerking motion: usually with along, over, or out: as, to yank a fish out of the water.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun Slang An abbreviation of Yankee.
  • transitive verb Colloq. U. S. To twitch; to jerk.
  • noun Colloq. U. S. A jerk or twitch.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun A sudden, vigorous pull (sometimes defined as mass times jerk, or rate of change of force).
  • verb transitive To pull something with a quick, strong action.
  • verb transitive to remove from circulation

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • verb pull, or move with a sudden movement
  • noun an American who lives in the North (especially during the American Civil War)
  • noun an American (especially to non-Americans)

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Origin unknown.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Attested since 1822 CE; from Scots. Unknown origin.

Examples

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