Nouns That Start With Y

It’s (almost) impossible to write a sentence without a noun. Minus a few exceptions, nouns abound in nearly every complete thought. They serve as the subject of our sentences, as well as the direct objects (or receivers of the actions of the verb).

But, before we discuss their all-important role in grammar, let’s enjoy a long list of nouns that start with Y. Who knows which one will pop up in your prose next?

nouns that start with y nouns that start with y
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50 Nouns Starting With Y

As you near the end of the alphabet, it can be difficult to come up with words that start with X, Y, or Z. But, we’ve got you covered with 50 Y-nouns, a definition for each, and a sampling of synonyms, too.

Noun

Definition

Synonym

y-axis

the vertical axis on a graph

yacht

a large luxury sailboat

boat, cruiser, sailboat

yachting

the act of sailing on a yacht

boating, cruising, sailing

yachtsman

a person who owns or sails a yacht

sailor, captain, seaman

yadda

a part of a sentence that is incomprehensible or unimportant

gibberish, jabber, nonsense

yahoo

a person who is coarse or unrefined in style

barbarian, brute, roughneck

yak

a long-haired ox used for milk and meat

oxen, buffalo, cattle

yakuza

a Japanese syndicate of organized criminals

mob, Mafia, gangsters

yam

a moist, orange-colored variety of sweet potato

sweet potato, tuber, spud

yang

in Chinese philosophy, an active, positive force in the universe

positivity, energy, masculinity

yankee

a person born or living in New England or in the United States in general

northerner, American, unionist

yard

a measurement that equals three feet

three feet, meter

yardage

a measurement in yards

distance, length

yardstick

a graduated stick or rod of one yard in length

ruler, measuring stick

yarn

a strand of thread used for sewing, knitting, or weaving

fabric, wool, thread

yarrow

a perennial plant with a strong smell and taste

flower, plant, Achillea millefolium

yaw

the motion of a vessel going back and forth along its path

curve, swerve, turn

year

a period of time equal to 365 days

twelve months, age, cycle

yearbook

a compilation of images and information that documents the past year

almanac, annual, class book

yearling

an animal one year of age

nursling, suckling, juvenile

yeast

a single-celled fungi that ferments sugars to form alcohol

catalyst, fermenting agent, leavening

yellowfin

a variety of fish with yellow fins

fish, tuna, croaker

yelp

a short, sharp cry or bark

bark, cry, yip

yen

a strong want

craving, desire, hunger

yeoman

an attendant, servant, or assistant in England

assistant, attendant, clerk

yeomanry

members of the yeomen class collectively

group, assistants, commoners

yerba

dried leaves and twigs of a plant native to South America used to make a caffeine-rich beverage

holly, leaves, plant

yeshiva

a seminary for the training of Orthodox rabbis

seminary, school, college

yesteryear

period of time in past years

past, yore, the old days

yeti

a large hairy creature resembling a human or bear, said to live in the Himalayas

abominable snowman, rakshasa

yew

an evergreen shrub or tree with cred, cuplike, waxy cones

evergreen, tree, plant

yin

in Chinese philosophy, the passive, negative force in the universe

negativity, passivity, femininity

yo-yo

a spool-like toy attached to one end of a string

toy

yoga

a system of exercise involving practiced postures and breathing

Pilates, stretching, exercise

yeller

a person who yells

screamer, bellower, crier

yogi

a person who practices yoga

yoga practitioner, guru, mentor

yogurt

a semisolid food made from milk fermented with bacteria

kefir, curd, froyo

yoke

something that binds, unites, or connects

chain, coupling, link

yolk

the yellow part of an egg

center, yelk

yore

the distant past or times long ago

yesteryear, past, history

youngster

a child

adolescent, babe, kid

youth

a young person who has not reached adulthood

adolescent, juvenile, teen

youthfulness

the act or quality of being young

adolescence, childhood, youngness

yuan

the basic monetary unit of China

money, cash, denomination

yucca

a plant from the agave family with stiff, sword-shaped leaves, and white flowers

agave, plant, root

yule

Christmas or the Christmas season

Christmas, holidays, wintertime

yuletide

Christmastime

wintertime

yumminess

the state of being tasty

tastiness, deliciousness

yuppie

a young urban professional regarded as upscale and materialistic

white-collar worker, urban professional, young consumer

yurt

a circular tent

tent, canvas, tupik

What Is a Noun?

A noun is a person, place, thing, or idea. When we use them in our writing, we often need to place an article before them, such as “a,” “an,” or “the.” For example, “a yucca” or “the yerba.”

One of the primary functions of nouns is to act as the subject of the sentence. So, in the sentence, “The yeast is growing,” “yeast” is a noun. Nouns are often direct objects, too. In the sentence, “He eats yellowfin,” “yellowfin” is the direct object. It’s the object of the verb, “eats.”

capital letter y
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Types of Nouns

Nouns are categorized into several types.

  • Proper nouns name specific things, like the names of people, cities, states, countries, buildings, and books. As proper nouns, they are capitalized. So, “Yolanda” is a proper noun, but “woman” is a common noun.
  • Common nouns refer to general items, such as “university,” instead of “Yale.”
  • Abstract nouns are used when you can’t touch the noun. These nouns are theoretical, such as “yearning” or “time.”
  • Collective nouns refer to large groups, such as a “yoke” of oxen.
  • Possessive nouns demonstrate ownership over something else. For example, with “Yusef’s puppy,” “Yusef’s” is a possessive noun, indicating that he owns the puppy.

To continue to explore these categories, check out Types of Nouns.

10 Example Sentences

Ready to see some of the Y-nouns above in action? From yachts to yuletide, here’s a closer look with sample sentences featuring nouns that start with Y:

  1. I’ve never seen a bright pink yacht before.
  2. We love to eat yams with our Christmas dinner.
  3. I was so upset to hear a yelp when I stepped on her paw.
  4. He has a yen for some cheesecake.
  5. Yerba mate is one of his favorite drinks.
  6. If you ever see a yeti, you should run!
  7. Yoga is a healing practice.
  8. Marriage is a yoke between their two souls.
  9. We should always maintain our youthfulness and sense of fun.
  10. Yuletide is coming; get out the twinkle lights!

More Y-Words for You

These nouns that start with Y are great terms to add to your vocabulary. They’re not the full scope of Y-words, though. If you want to explore even more, turn your attention to this list of words that start with Y on WordFinder by YourDictionary. Review the full list, or narrow it down to terms that meet specific search criteria using the on-screen search tool. You can specify the number of letters or request words that begin, end with or contain certain letters or letter combinations. From positive words that start with Y to verbs and more, you just might be surprised to learn how many Y-words there are.

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A Yearlong List of Y-Nouns

Or how about a yearlong list of nouns in general? We’re nearing the end of the alphabet with this list of Y-nouns. Make sure you haven’t missed out on all the fun and start back at our list of Nouns That Start With A. As you continue to write throughout the year, you just might find yourself inserting some colorful, new nouns into your prose!