yoke around one’s neck


yoke around one’s neck


  • a fatiguing burden.
  • a trouble for someone.
  • something that oppresses people.
  • an obligation.
  • a smothering commitment.
  • a debilitating restraint.
  • a heavy harness around the shoulder to facilitate pulling a heavy load.

Example Sentences

  1. I refused to be the yoke around his neck, and so I turned down his generous offer of employment in a job for which I was unqualified.
  2. Trying to get his sister to leave the abusive marriage she was in was pointless, and had become nothing but a yoke around his neck.
  3. The mortgage had become a heavy yoke around her neck, and she was relieved to make the final payment on it.
  4. It was time for the laziest son to move out, for he had been nothing but a yoke around his father’s neck lately.
  5. The relationship had become so toxic that she made a vow to free herself of the yoke around her neck as soon as possible.
  6. Since the loss of her job, the credit card payments had become a yoke around her neck that was dragging her down.
  7. She wanted to shrug off the yoke around her neck, but there was no one else to pick up the burden.
  8. He tried to stop the fighting between two people, but there was a yoke around his neck. They both hurt him badly for coming in between.
  9. Consider your job to be an arena in which you can achieve and excel, rather than a yoke around your neck.


The word “yoke” is derived from Old English, meaning “to join together.” It is defined as a heavy wooden collar or harness that is fitted around the necks of draught animals (or draft animals). The yoke is attached to a cart or plow (or plough in British English) that the animals will be pulling. An alternate meaning of the word is used in reference to the part of an article of clothing that fits over the shoulders, to which the main body of the garment is attached. 

Figuratively speaking, it denotes a feeling of oppression or great burden. The word is mentioned many times in the scriptures from the Bible in connotation with slavery and servitude. An example would be to say “my yoke is easy to bear,” the meaning of which would be to say “my burden or servitude is easy to bear.”

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