The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:
Yoke \Yoke\ (y[=o]k), n. [OE. yok, [yogh]oc, AS. geoc; akin to
D. juk, OHG. joh, G. joch, Icel. & Sw. ok, Dan. aag, Goth.
juk, Lith. jungas, Russ. igo, L. jugum, Gr. zy`gon, Skr.
yuga, and to L. jungere to join, Gr. ?, Skr. yui. [root]109,
280. Cf. Join, Jougs, Joust, Jugular, Subjugate,
Syzygy, Yuga, Zeugma.]
1. A bar or frame of wood by which two oxen are joined at the
heads or necks for working together.
A yearling bullock to thy name shall smoke,
Untamed, unconscious of the galling yoke. --Pope.
Note: The modern yoke for oxen is usually a piece of timber
hollowed, or made curving, near each end, and laid on
the necks of the oxen, being secured in place by two
bows, one inclosing each neck, and fastened through the
timber. In some countries the yoke consists of a flat
piece of wood fastened to the foreheads of the oxen by
thongs about the horns.
2. A frame or piece resembling a yoke, as in use or shape.
(a) A frame of wood fitted to a person's shoulders for
carrying pails, etc., suspended on each side; as, a
(b) A frame worn on the neck of an animal, as a cow, a
pig, a goose, to prevent passage through a fence.
(c) A frame or convex piece by which a bell is hung for
ringing it. See Illust. of Bell.
(d) A crosspiece upon the head of a boat's rudder. To its
ends lines are attached which lead forward so that the
boat can be steered from amidships.
(e) (Mach.) A bent crosspiece connecting two other parts.
(f) (Arch.) A tie securing two timbers together, not used
for part of a regular truss, but serving a temporary
purpose, as to provide against unusual strain.
(g) (Dressmaking) A band shaped to fit the shoulders or
the hips, and joined to the upper full edge of the
waist or the skirt.
3. Fig.: That which connects or binds; a chain; a link; a
Boweth your neck under that blissful yoke . . .
Which that men clepeth spousal or wedlock.
This yoke of marriage from us both remove. --Dryden.
4. A mark of servitude; hence, servitude; slavery; bondage;
Our country sinks beneath the yoke. --Shak.
My yoke is easy, and my burden is light. --Matt. xi.
5. Two animals yoked together; a couple; a pair that work
I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I go to prove
them. --Luke xiv.
6. The quantity of land plowed in a day by a yoke of oxen.
7. A portion of the working day; as, to work two yokes, that
is, to work both portions of the day, or morning and
afternoon. [Prov. Eng.] --Halliwell.
8. (Chiefly Mach.) A clamp or similar piece that embraces two
other parts to hold or unite them in their respective or
relative positions, as a strap connecting a slide valve to
the valve stem, or the soft iron block or bar permanently
connecting the pole pieces of an electromagnet, as in a
[Webster 1913 Suppl.]
Neck yoke, Pig yoke. See under Neck, and Pig.
Yoke elm (Bot.), the European hornbeam (Carpinus
Betulus), a small tree with tough white wood, often used
for making yokes for cattle.