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

  • n. A toy consisting of a flattened spool wound with string that is spun down from and reeled up to the hand by motions of the wrist.
  • n. Informal One that undergoes frequent abrupt shifts or reversals, as of opinion or emotion; a vacillator.
  • n. Slang A stupid or objectionable person.
  • intransitive v. Informal To undergo frequent abrupt shifts or reversals, as of opinion or emotion; vacillate.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A toy consisting of a spheroidal or cylindrical spindle having a circular groove in which string is wound; it is used by holding the string in the fingers and reeling the spindle up and down by movements of the wrist.
  • n. A volatile market that moves up and down.
  • n. Someone who vacillates.
  • n. A foolish, annoying or incompetent person.
  • v. To vacillate; to move up and down.

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

  • n. a toy consisting of a spool that is reeled up and down on a string by motions of the hand


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

Originally a trademark.


  • When asked why officials would not give Alden another chance, Gelder said the state wanted to avoid what he termed "yo-yo" facilities: "They do a really good job when they know someone is coming to look, but yet we have problems as soon as the spotlight is turned off. - News

  • First, they make you feel like a loser, and then something even worse happens to so-called yo-yo dieters.

    Six Weeks to Sleeveless and Sexy

  • But this leads to a behavioral cycle in which your system “doesn’t work” or you can’t get back into a healthy mind-set—some people call it yo-yo dieting.

    The Flex Diet

  • I could continue this yo-yo description of euroland affairs were it not that I will run out of good news to juxtapose against the bad.

    Euroland Should Prepare for More Ups and Downs in Its Yo-Yo Economy

  • Kim Bensen, a lifetime yo-yo dieter who lost more than 200 pounds, currently leads motivational weight loss meetings at Calvary Church in Trumbull at 6:30, Wednesday nights.

    Kim Bensen: Samantha: One Woman's Weight Loss Journey

  • A crew from the conservative news site gave passersby the choice of a T-shirt, a yo-yo or lip balm.

    CPAC gets underway on wave of 2010 midterm momentum

  • We pass the shoe market, where hundreds of shoes hang from the ceilings on strings; the purse market, hanging by purse strings; the music mart, where the rich interdental consonants of Arabic songs consume the air; the basket bazaar; a merchant unfurling a yo-yo.

    Richard Bangs: Why Would Anyone Bomb Jemaa El F'na Square in Marrakesh?

  • When the final bell rang to end classes, my heart felt like a yo-yo.

    Family Storms

  • The market's "somewhat rudderless, yo-yo like behavior" shows a lack of definite direction as earnings season starts, said Lawrence Creatura , portfolio manager at Federated Investors.

    Earnings Help DJIA Turn a Bad Day Good

  • While tics and habits are related on a neurological level, it's simplistic to suggest that we can establish complex and difficult habits, like a rigorous, long-range diet and exercise routine, as easily as we master, say, the yo-yo.

    You are not the boss of you


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