Alternative formsEdit


From yoke +‎ fellow.


yokefellow (plural yokefellows)

  1. A companion; a fellow labourer, a person who works at the same task as another. [from 16th c.]
    • c. 1603–1606, William Shakespeare, “The Tragedie of King Lear”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies: Published According to the True Originall Copies (First Folio), London: [] Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358, [Act III, scene vi]:
      I’ll see their trial first. Bring in their evidence. / [To Edgar] Thou, robed man of justice, take thy place. / [To the Fool] And thou, his yokefellow of equity, / Bench by his side.
    • 1849, Currer Bell [pseudonym; Charlotte Brontë], chapter 7, in Shirley. A Tale. [], volume (please specify |volume=I, II, or III), London: Smith, Elder and Co., [], OCLC 84390265:
      [] If two people like each other, why shouldn’t they consent to live together?” / “They tire of each other—they tire of each other in a month. A yokefellow is not a companion; he or she is a fellow-sufferer.”
    • 1922, James Ezra Darby, Jesus, an economic mediator: God's remedy for industrial and international ills
      Brain and hand, and means and muscle, are true yokefellows in modern industrialism. Without the inventor, there could be no machinery...
    • 1999, David E Garland, Reading Matthew: A Literary and Theological Commentary on the First Gospel
      Jesus treats his disciples as yokefellows rather than as camels and donkeys to be loaded down (23:4).
  2. (now rare, historical) Someone joined in marriage to another; a spouse. [from 16th c.]
    • 1751, Tobias Smollett, The Adventures of Peregrine Pickle, I.9:
      [H]is industrious yoke-fellow executed every circumstance of the plan she had projected; so that, when he recovered his vision, he was an utter stranger in his own house.
    • 1882, Edward Augustus Freeman, The Reign of William Rufus and the Accession of Henry the First:
      ...till new grounds of quarrel had arisen between the two unequal yokefellows who were at last fully coupled together.