Main meanings of yak in English

: yak1yak2

yak1

nounyak, yaks

  • A large domesticated wild ox with shaggy hair, humped shoulders, and large horns, used in Tibet as a pack animal and for its milk, meat, and hide.

    Genus Bos, family Bovidae; the domesticated B. grunniens, descended from the wild B. mutus, which is still found on rare occasions at high altitude

    • ‘Milk products were common in the form of sour cream and butter from cows and yaks.’
    • ‘Butchers from Tibet come especially to slaughter yaks whose meat is then dried and smoked.’
    • ‘Their yaks share these high, sunny pastures with blue sheep and plump marmots.’
    • ‘It was only after the Mongols tamed horses, yaks and camels that they took to a nomadic herding lifestyle.’
    • ‘Shaggy yaks tread the icy pastures, their huge bodies belying their importance in mountain life.’
    • ‘Because they bulk up faster and on less feed than cattle, yaks are raised without growth hormones or steroids.’
    • ‘Here the goods are either loaded on the backs of yaks or on mule caravans to send into Tibet or to Nepal and Bhutan to be forwarded to Tibet.’
    • ‘Now black yaks and white sheep graze peacefully on dry grassland, tended by Tibetan herdsmen clad in bright orange.’
    • ‘A woman in angular swaths of black was milking one of the yaks.’
    • ‘In the valleys there are orchards, and up on the high pastures, where not even barley will grow, people husband yaks, cows or sheep.’
    • ‘Shaggy yaks stomp around threshing circles, ears of barley are thrashed with sticks and winnowed by singing villagers in twos and threes.’
    • ‘Located at the base of the snowcapped Ala-Too Mountains, the rich farm valley provides plenty of food for sheep, mountain goats and yaks.’
    • ‘They look after the animals - sheep, yaks, goats and cows.’
    • ‘In an entirely different style, Ma Yuan's The Top of the World Mountains is a stunning realist landscape of Tibet with a herd of yaks crossing a desert plateau.’
    • ‘Donkeys, mules, oxen, and water buffalo carry loads, as do the offspring of the temperamental yaks, which are kept only to crossbreed with cattle.’
    • ‘However, few families own more than a small number of cows, water buffalo, or yaks because the mountainous topography does not provide grazing land for large animals.’
    • ‘Outside the city, loggers have denuded the mountain slopes of their thick forests, and millions of sheep, goats, and yaks have left lush pastures rutted and barren.’
    • ‘The route has been used for centuries by Tibetan traders who would bring down yaks, salt and dried sheep meat from Tibet and return with goods from India, such as rice, corn and millet.’
    • ‘During warmer periods the land turned into meadows and steppes, ideal grazing grounds for woolly mammoths, rhinoceroses, bison, horses, elk, and yaks.’
    • ‘We found a pastoral scene of verdant meadows and a scattered population of seminomadic Kyrgyz - Islamic subsistence farmers who come here in summer, tending yaks and cows.’
    • ‘Williams - disappointed and frustrated - was inspired to let loose a profanity he speaks about as often as he dines on barbecued yak.’
    • ‘We all have a need to commune with our gods, whether they be male or female, sexual or chaste, whether they reside in the devil's asshole or in the soul of a yak.’
    • ‘If we break down we have to leave everything and make our own way to the finishing line - or home either on foot or by catching a ride on the next yak,’ said Neil.’
    • ‘After all, this ticket could say that I was taking a mud bath with a yak in the Gobi desert for all we know, right?’
    • ‘For all its dark intensity, What Animal is a measured, almost quiet collection; if we come to the book as bewildered onlookers, we leave understanding the yak's sorrow is much like our own.’
    • ‘Babu checks us into the Panorama Lodge, where many Everest mountaineers stay, in part because a flat stretch of land behind the lodge is a perfect staging ground for the yak trains that supply Base Camp.’
    • ‘The monks' chanting is heard as a deep growling sound, which is the result of producing three octaves simultaneously (not unlike a female yak, we are led to believe).’
    • ‘Your dad's impression of a yak may be ‘legendary’ in your family, but it really means nothing, in the same way that David Beckham or John Peel mean very little in the legendary stakes.’
    • ‘Now watch me eat a whole yak dipped in barbecue sauce.’
    • ‘What an experience it was; I was smellier than a yak and dirtier than the local kids, worried that MAD wouldn't allow me home.’
    • ‘Altitude sickness, parasites, frostbite and being gored by a yak are some of the reasons most people prefer to travel in their armchairs.’
    • ‘The shrines in their homes are spattered with cooking fat and they recite a mantra (holy phrase) in the same breath as they yell at a yak.’
    • ‘A team of Royal Navy marines joined the rescue effort before Conan endured a 17-hour journey back to base camp on the back of a yak.’
    • ‘It is the home of the yak, which has to be the coolest animal around.’
    • ‘He once chased a yak to the top of the mountain to take its picture.’
    • ‘I love that I don't have to make cheese from the juice of a yak, or headache pills from bark, or butter from the hooves of a caribou.’
    • ‘We parallel the river, following an old yak trail.’
    • ‘Tinle, the man's father and a proud old chief, refuses to grant another young herder leadership of the annual yak caravan across the mountains to exchange salt for grain.’
    • ‘We stopped in a yak meadow near the falls, at 10,000 feet.’
    • ‘He'd spent years traveling the Wakhan as a yak trader.’
    • ‘Regular oxygen infusions from my canister prevent me from fainting, but a fellow passenger is not so lucky when we stop for a yak photo-op.’
    • ‘We walked through a yak herder's camp where great black beasts snorted columns of white steam.’
    • ‘About a third of the population are herdsmen, and many families raise one or two yak for themselves.’

Origin

Late 18th century from Tibetan gyag.

Pronunciation

yak

/jak/

Main meanings of yak in English

: yak1yak2

yak2

(also yack)

noun

mass nouninformal
  • Trivial or unduly prolonged conversation.

    • ‘He was quick to raise his voice through a cordless microphone to silence the gathering engaged in a yak.’
    • ‘Certainly the bombast of cable's top yak show host, Bill O'Reilly, seems anything but cool.’
    • ‘Likewise, Laurie Brereton, Latham's numbers man, occasionally walked the floor to have a yak to colleagues.’
    • ‘She'd been sitting quietly up until this point, but decided to have a great old yak in protest while Lee does this really appalling campy dance.’
    • ‘The need to fill 24-hour cycles creates the yak factor.’
    • ‘He doesn't even write literature - he writes… yak!’
    • ‘At no point do their jobs, careers or family obligations (do they have parents or were they virgin births?) impinge on their endless yackety-yak about relationships.’
    • ‘There'll be a hell mood if you insist on grizzling about disgraceful this and outrageous that, yakkity yak.’

verbyaks, yakking, yakked

[no object]informal
  • Talk at length about trivial or boring subjects.

    ‘she wondered what he was yakking about’
    • ‘All too often, diners get to the table and yack away and make the waitress come back several times.’
    • ‘So it was easier to let the old blowhard yak away and just nod occasionally.’
    • ‘This is a sweet fella, wouldn't hurt a soul, but he yaks, and yaks, and yaks.’
    • ‘We hit it off straight away and before long we were yakking away about guitars, amps, and the fine art of making music on a Macintosh.’
    • ‘You and your friend would proceed to seat on either side of the inconsiderate twit and yak to each other as if he/she is a table and not a person.’
    • ‘And he's sitting there in his car or his home, where Laci disappeared, yack yack yacking on the phone.’
    • ‘I'm outta here early this week so's I can make the haj to Kalamazoo and yak about Making Senses Out of Scripture.’
    • ‘But then again what's so attractive about noisy girls who keep yakking?’
    • ‘And now I'm knackered and going to lie down on the bed, squish my new do with my headset and yak to Walker until it's time for work.’
    • ‘I sighed with relief and we just continued talking, till he told me he would call me on his house phone and we continued yakking for 3 hours.’
    • ‘I was mainly doing vocals and they'd tell me what they had been doing all day, mainly we'd get together and yak away, mix all the material up.’
    • ‘We'd usually cycle in gangs, groups of friends yakking away as we made our way to our respective parts of the village, peeling off from the pack as we reached our roads.’
    • ‘Why the HELL do women ALWAYS yak about jewellery and clothes.’
    • ‘If you think the city's sidewalks are crowded with folks yakking on cell phones, look at the streets around the NYU campus near Washington Square.’
    • ‘It took us 15 minutes (10 of which were spent yakking about other things) and he'll likely bill me a minimum of $60.’
    • ‘They all knew each other, and were yakking away about various reviews of their books in the broadsheet newspapers and their appearances at political ideas festivals, etc.’
    • ‘There were even surprise guest appearances by long lost aunts and uncles, teleported in from a time called Way Back, and I'm confident Mum will be yakking embarrassingly about this for months to come.’
    • ‘Csif people would often go over the lab and sit on the couch drinking coffee and just yak about film stuff.’
    • ‘Maybe it's down to people just not paying attention to what they're doing while they're yakking on their mobile phones, arguing with their kids, spouses, significant other, or (saddest of all) the Radio as they drive.’
    prattle, blather, blether, blither, babble, babble on, gabble, prate, drivel, rattle away, rattle on, ramble, maunder, go on, run on, talk at length, talk incessantly, talk a lot, chatter, yap, gossip
    View synonyms

Origin

1950s imitative.

Pronunciation

yak

/jak/