AskDefine | Define yes

The Collaborative Dictionary

Yes \Yes\, adv. [OE. yis, [yogh]is, [yogh]es, [yogh]ise, AS. gese, gise; probably fr. ge['a] yea + sw[=a] so. [root]188. See Yea, and So.] Ay; yea; -- a word which expresses affirmation or consent; -- opposed to no. [1913 Webster] Note: Yes is used, like yea, to enforce, by repetition or addition, something which precedes; as, you have done all this -- yes, you have done more. "Yes, you despise the man books confined." --Pope. [1913 Webster] Note: "The fine distinction between `yea' and `yes,' `nay' and `no,' that once existed in English, has quite disappeared. `Yea' and `nay' in Wyclif's time, and a good deal later, were the answers to questions framed in the affirmative. `Will he come?' To this it would have been replied, `Yea' or `Nay', as the case might be. But, `Will he not come?' To this the answer would have been `Yes' or `No.' Sir Thomas More finds fault with Tyndale, that in his translation of the Bible he had not observed this distinction, which was evidently therefore going out even then, that is, in the reign of Henry VIII.; and shortly after it was quite forgotten." --Trench. [1913 Webster]

Word Net

yes n : an affirmative; "I was hoping for a yes" [ant: no]

Moby Thesaurus

Australian ballot, Hare system, OK, Roger, abide by, absolutely, accede, accept, acclaim, accordantly, acquiesce, acquiesce in, acquiescently, affirmative, affirmative attitude, affirmatively, affirmativeness, agree, agree to, agree with, agreeably, agreed, all right, alright, alrighty, amen, applaud, approvingly, as you say, assent, assentingly, assuredly, aye, ballot, beyond a doubt, buy, by all means, canvass, canvassing, casting vote, certainly, cheer, compliantly, comply, consent, consentingly, counting heads, cumulative voting, da, deciding vote, division, enfranchisement, exactly, fagot vote, favorably, fine, franchise, give the nod, gladly, good, good enough, graveyard vote, hail, hand vote, hear, hold with, in toto, indeed, indeedy, ja, just so, list system, mais oui, most assuredly, naturally, naturellement, nay, no, nod, nod assent, nod of assent, nontransferable vote, of course, okay, oui, plebiscite, plebiscitum, plumper, plural vote, poll, polling, positively, precisely, preferential voting, proportional representation, proxy, quite, rather, really, receive, record vote, referendum, representation, right, right to vote, righto, rising vote, say, secret ballot, show of hands, single vote, snap vote, straw vote, subscribe, subscribe to, suffrage, sure, sure thing, surely, take kindly to, thumbs-up, to be sure, transferable vote, truly, undoubtedly, unquestionably, very well, viva voce, voice, voice vote, vote, vote for, voting, voting right, welcome, well and good, why yes, willingly, write-in, write-in vote, yea, yea-saying, yeah, yeas and nays, yep, yes indeed, yes indeedy, yes sir, yes sirree, yield assent



ġēse, probably from ġēa ‘yes’ + sīe ‘be it’. Compare yea.


  • /jɛs/, /jEs/
  • Rhymes with: -ɛs


  1. A word used to show agreement or acceptance.
    Yes, you are correct.
    Yes, you may go to the bathroom now.
  2. A word used to indicate disagreement or dissent in reply to a negative statement.
    — It wasn't my fault we lost the race.
    — Oh yes it was!



  • Standard form: no
  • Nautical, military, telecommunications: negative
  • Dialect or archaic forms: nay
  • Colloquial or slang forms: nah, naw, nope, ixnay


word used to indicate agreement or acceptance
  • Aleut: aang
  • Arabic: , (’áiwa)
  • Aramaic:
    Syriac: ܐܝܢ (’ēn)
    Hebrew: אין‎ (’ēn)
  • Bulgarian: да
  • Chinese: (shì), (duì)
  • Czech: ano
  • Danish: ja
  • Dutch: ja
  • Esperanto: jes
  • Faroese: ja
  • Finnish: kyllä
  • French: oui
  • German: ja
  • Greek: ναι (nai)
  • Hindi: हाँ (hā̃)
  • Hungarian: igen
  • Icelandic: já
  • Indonesian: ya
  • Italian: sì
  • Japanese: はい (hai) (polite), ええ (ee) (polite), うん (un) (informal)
  • Lao: ແມ່ນ, ແມ່ນແລ້ວ
  • Latvian: jā
  • Lithuanian: taip
  • Malay: ya
  • Maltese: iva
  • Norwegian: ja
  • Novial: yes
  • Polish: tak
  • Portuguese: sim
  • Romanian: da
  • Russian: да (da)
  • Slovak: áno, hey, no
  • Slovene: da, ja
  • Spanish: , simón (colloquial, Mexico, Guatemala)
  • Swedish: ja
  • Tagalog: oo
  • Turkish: evet
  • West Frisian: ja
word used to indicate disagreement or dissent in reply to a negative statement
  • Arabic: (bal)
  • Danish: jo
  • Dutch: jawel, toch, wel (most common)
  • Faroese: jú
  • Finnish: kylläpäs, verb + -pas
  • French: si
  • German: doch
  • Hungarian: de igen
  • Icelandic: jú
  • Norwegian: jo
  • Slovene: da, ja
  • Swedish: jo

Translations to be checked

Usage notes

  • In Old and Middle English, yes was a more forceful affirmative than yea.
  • An example of yes used to disagree with a statement: the questions "You don’t want it, do you?" and "Don’t you want it?" are answered by "yes" if the respondent does want the item, and no if he or she does not. Many languages use a specific word for this purpose; see translation table above.


  1. Used to express pleasure, joy, or great excitement.



expression of pleasure, joy or great excitement


  1. An affirmative expression; an answer that shows agreement or acceptance.
    Was that a yes?
  2. A vote of support or in favor/favour of something.
    The workers voted on whether to strike, and there were thirty "yeses" and one "no".




affirmative expression
  • Finnish: kyllä
vote of support
  • Finnish: jaa, kyllä


  1. In the context of "colloquial|transitive": To agree with, to affirm.
    Did he yes the veto?
  2. To attempt to flatter someone by habitually agreeing.


to affirm
  • Finnish: vahvistaa
attempt to flatter by agreeing

Derived terms



  1. yes
Yes () is a common English word indicating agreement, or favor and is used in a positive statement. It is the opposite of no. The informal variant yeah () indicates general agreement and is often used as a polite interjection. An older form, yea (), is used to express formality, as when casting or counting official votes, whereas yes sir is used in deference to the authority of another. "Yes" may also be used as an acknowledgement that one is listening to another.

See also

yes in German: Ja
yes in Spanish: Sí
yes in Japanese: はい
yes in Simple English: Yes
yes in Yiddish: יא


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