From Middle English ȝerken (“to move suddenly, excite, bind tightly, attack”), from Old English ġearcian (“to prepare, make ready”), compare ġearc (“active, quick”), from Proto-Germanic *garwakōną (“to prepare”), from Proto-Indo-European *gʰrebʰ- (“to grab, take”). Cognate with jerk; see yare for more cognates.
- (archaic) to stab.
- To throw or thrust with a sudden, smart movement; to kick or strike suddenly; to jerk.
- They flirt, they yerk, they backward […] fling.
- Their wounded steeds […] / Yerk out their armed heels at their dead masters.
- (obsolete, Scotland) To strike or lash with a whip or stick.
- (obsolete, Scotland) To rouse or excite.
- To bind or tie with a jerk.
yerk (plural yerks)
- (archaic) A sudden or quick thrust or motion; a jerk.