v. yield·ed, yield·ing, yields
a. To give forth by a natural process, especially by cultivation: a field that yields many bushels of corn.
b. To furnish as return for effort or investment; be productive of: an investment that yields a high return.
a. To give over possession of, as in deference or defeat; surrender: yielded my seat to the speaker; yielded his sword.
b. To give up (an advantage, for example) to another; concede: yielded the right of way to the oncoming traffic.
a. To give forth a natural product; be productive.
b. To produce a return for effort or investment: bonds that yield well.
a. To give up, as in defeat; surrender or submit.
b. To give way to pressure or force: The door yielded to a gentle push.
c. To give way to argument, persuasion, influence, or entreaty.
d. To give up one's place, as to one that is superior: yielded to the chairperson.
a. An amount yielded or produced; a product.
b. A profit obtained from an investment; a return.
2. The energy released by an explosion, especially by a nuclear explosion, expressed in units of weight (usually kilotons) of TNT required to produce an equivalent release.
[Middle English yielden, from Old English geldan, to pay.]
Synonyms: yield, relent, bow2, defer2, submit, capitulate, succumb
These verbs all mean to give in to what one can no longer oppose or resist. Yield has the widest application: My neighbor won't yield to reason. "The child ... soon yielded to the drowsiness" (Charles Dickens).
To relent is to moderate the harshness or severity of an attitude or decision: "The captain at last relented, and told him that he might make himself at home" (Herman Melville).
Bow suggests giving way in defeat or through courtesy: "Bow and accept the end / Of a love" (Robert Frost).
To defer is to yield out of respect for or in recognition of another's authority, knowledge, or judgment: "Philip ... had the good sense to defer to the long experience and the wisdom of his father" (William Hickling Prescott).
Submit implies giving way out of necessity, as after futile or unsuccessful resistance: "obliged to submit to those laws which are imposed upon us" (Abigail Adams).
Capitulate implies surrender to pressure, force, compulsion, or inevitability: "I am ashamed to think how easily we capitulate to badges and names, to large societies and dead institutions" (Ralph Waldo Emerson).
Succumb strongly suggests submission to something overpowering or overwhelming: "If a soldier stayed on the line long enough, he would succumb to mental stresses if he was not physically injured first" (Roger J. Spiller). See Also Synonyms at produce, relinquish.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.