Meaning of PULL in English

I. ˈpu̇l verb

( -ed/-ing/-s )

Etymology: Middle English pullen, from Old English pullian; probably akin to Frisian pûlje to shell, Middle Low German pulen to shell, cull, perform a laborious task, Middle Dutch pulen, puilen, pullen to bulge, protrude, Norwegian dialect pulla to bubble up, Icelandic pūla to work hard, push hard

transitive verb



(1) : to draw out from the skin : pluck

we'll pull his plumes — Shakespeare

specifically : to remove (as the wool or hair) from hides or skins usually by means of a blunt knife, scraper, or rotating spiral knife

as the wool is pulled it is put into containers by grade — A.L.Anderson

(2) chiefly dialect : pluck

pull poultry

b. : to pick from a tree or plant : gather

handed me a gay bouquet of roses pulled in the rain — Katherine Mansfield

pull corn from the stalk


(1) : to take out of the ground by the roots

ate plenty of green food, all home-grown and freshly pulled; lettuce and radishes and young onions — Flora Thompson

(2) : to dig out : uproot

immigrants were planting garden plots and pulling stumps as the forest wall receded — American Guide Series: Oregon

d. : extract

had two teeth pulled


a. : to exert force upon so as to cause or tend to cause motion toward the force : tug at

the engine pulled a long line of freight cars

pulled the sled with a rope

pulled his hair

pull off a ring

— opposed to push


(1) : to change the state or condition of by exerting a tugging force

the major pulled open a zipper on the corner of the oxygen tent — Raymond Boyle

pulled the door shut behind him

(2) : to stretch (cooling candy) repeatedly in order to produce a desired color, texture, and flavor

(3) : to strain or stretch abnormally

pull a muscle

pull a tendon

c. : to exert an influence on : impel

driven by ambitions, pulled by private sentiments — Carl Van Doren

through his affection for his brother, was pulled, now this way, now that — Edith Sitwell

d. : to hold back (a racehorse) from running at full speed and winning

told track stewards he was approached by gamblers to pull his mount — Springfield (Massachusetts) Daily News


(1) : to draw (an oar) through the water

pulled an oar in the winning shell

(2) : row

pulled a dinghy across the star-bright water to the lugger — Olaf Ruhen

f. : to set in action or operation

pulled a fire alarm

some positive safeguard was required against the chance of signalmen pulling the wrong levers — O.S.Nock

pull the trigger


(1) baseball : to hit (a pitched ball) into or toward left field from a right-handed batting stance or into or toward right field from a left-handed batting stance

some left-handed batters are shallow left field hitters but may pull the ball a mile to right — Lou Boudreau

(2) cricket : to hit (a bowled ball) to the on side with a stroke resembling a drive in which the bat swings downward and approximately parallel to the popping crease

(3) golf : to hit (a ball) toward the left from a right-handed swing or toward the right from a left-handed swing

3. : to draw apart : rend , tear

hath turned aside my ways, and pulled me in pieces — Lam 3:11 (Authorized Version)

pulled his opponent's arguments to bits


a. : to make (as a proof or impression) by printing

b. : to make a proof or impression of (as a type form, lithographic stone, etching)


a. : to remove or cause to be removed from a place, enclosure, or situation

started pulling the wounded out of the vehicles — J.P.O'Neill

get the prop off, pull that tail shaft and put in the spare — K.M.Dodson

pulled the pitcher in the third inning

traveling gagman who pulls jokes out of his inside pockets — Lee Rogow

b. : to bring (a weapon) into the open ready for use especially by removing from a sheath : draw

pulled a gun on his partner — Erle Stanley Gardner

pulled a knife on me and tried to slash my face — William Goyen

c. : to draw from a barrel or other container

pulling pints of porter for the men off the boats — Frank Ritchie

d. : to remove (a bullet) from a cartridge

e. : to remove the old construction from (a book) preparatory to rebinding


(1) : to call out on strike

pulled all the workers out of the plant

(2) : to call a strike in

pulled the plant

(3) : to call (a strike) into effect

pulled a strike in the plant

g. : to break up

they pulled camp and headed for home


a. : to carry out with daring and imagination

pulled another coup, sailing his fleet out under cover of darkness — American Guide Series: Vermont

pulled a play that was entirely unexpected — F.G.Lieb


(1) : to put (a crime) into execution : commit

concluded that the same bandit probably had pulled all three holdups — Al Spiers

(2) : to be guilty of

pull a boner

(3) : to do, perform, or say with a deceptive intent : perpetrate

had been pulling all this stuff for years and getting away with it — Richard Bissell

pull a fast one

c. : to draw or carry out as an assignment or duty

was pulling KP when his discharge papers came through — Mack Morriss

pulled 23 combat missions


a. : to put on : assume

pulled a reluctant grin as he rode away — L.C.Douglas

b. slang : to act or behave in the manner of

pull a Simon Legree


a. : to draw the support or attention of : attract

pulled more votes than his running mates

pulled the largest crowds in baseball history

b. : obtain , secure

pulled an A in his English course

the motorist who dawdles at less than forty pulls a ticket — Noel Houston

9. : to demand or obtain an advantage over someone by the assertion of (as a real or fancied superiority)

pulled his scientific authority on me — Saul Bellow

liked to pull his rank on his inferiors

intransitive verb


a. : to exert a pulling force or perform a pulling action

the second button of his dark blue coat … was strained, pulling on the threads that held it — Stuart Cloete

somebody was pulling again and again at the rusty knob — Marcia Davenport

b. : to move to or from a particular place or in a particular direction especially through the exercise of mechanical energy or physical force

the train pulled into the platform

the car pulled out of the driveway

the rowers pulled clear of the ship

pulled into town last night

decided to pull south to avoid pursuit


(1) : to take a drink

pulled at rum bottles — S.T.Williamson

(2) : to puff or draw hard in smoking

pulled at his pipe and stared at the fire — Kathleen Freeman

d. of a horse : to strain against the bit

e. of a hawk : to feed by tearing or snatching

pull upon a stump

f. : to draw a gun

without warning he pulled and fired

g. : to pull a ball

he'd be a better hitter if he could learn to pull


a. : to admit of being pulled

these roots pull easily

b. of type : to become pulled out of a form (as by an ink roller) — often used with out

3. : to attract attention or influence people especially to buy a particular product

this ad pulled better than any other we have run

the clearance sale is pulling well

4. : to feel or express strong sympathy : vigorously encourage or support : root

nearly always pulls for the underdog — Time

was pulling for his team to win


draw , drag , haul , hale , tug , tow : pull is a general term meaning to move in the direction of the person or thing exerting force

locomotives pulling the train

pulling the drowning child from the water

pulling the box off the shelf

draw , often interchangeable with pull , may sometimes apply to lighter action marked by smooth continuity or dexterity

draw up a chair

draw the curtains

draw off the fluid with a pipette

drag may suggest a slow, heavy, labored, rough pulling against resistance, over an uneven surface, or of something that does not readily roll or glide

dragging the overturned car off the road

a ship dragging her anchor

dragging the rocks out of the field

haul may apply to steady forceful heavy pulling or dragging; it may apply to transporting of heavy bulky materials, often those undergoing rough handling

haul the trunk up the stairs

he made a rope fast round the body and it was unceremoniously hauled aboard — Nevil Shute

haul the coal from the mines

hauling the bricks from the town upon his wheelbarrow — Pearl Buck

hauled in, the fish are dumped into bins partially filled with cracked ice — American Guide Series: Florida

hale , once a fairly common synonym of haul , is now most likely to be used of the constraining, compelling, and dragging involved in arresting someone resisting

natives, haled long distances to court as liquor witnesses — Elbridge Colby

tug applies to strenuous pulling, sometimes steady but more often in marked spasmodic bursts

tugging at the ropes

tug the rug out from under the furniture

tow applies to pulling along behind one with a rope, chain, cable, or bar

tugs towing strings of barges

a plane towing a glider

towing the wrecked car to the garage

- pull a face

- pull a fast one

- pull a lone oar

- pull a punch

- pull caps

- pull devil, pull baker

- pull fodder

- pull in one's horns

- pull leather

- pull oneself together

- pull one's freight

- pull one's leg

- pull one's teeth

- pull one's weight

- pull stakes

- pull strings

- pull the string

II. noun

( -s )

Usage: often attributive

Etymology: Middle English pul, from pullen, v.


a. : the act or an instance of pulling

gave a quick pull on the rope

supposed to hold the man's foot in a certain position and keep a steady straight pull on it — R.H.Newman

a candy pull


(1) : a draft of liquid or an inhalation of smoke : drag

paused to take a long pull on his stein of beer — Warner Bloomberg

the old man would take a pull at his pipe — Donn Byrne

taking a pull of milk from the can on the window sill — B.T.Cleeve

(2) : a pull on the bridle of a horse to check its speed

in race after race he won in a gallop, under a pull — Collier's Year Book

to avoid a collision our young friend has to take a pull — Geoffrey Brooke

(3) : the act of pulling at an oar ; broadly : an excursion in a rowboat

enjoyed the pull , though the river is very desolate-looking down there — Rachel Henning

(4) : the act or an instance of pulling a ball (as in golf, cricket)

a powerful pull to leg

a pull stroke

a pull shot

(5) : the change of course of a curling stone as it moves down the ice


(1) : a force or effort exerted in pulling

its pull is only one third that of the earth — J.G.Vaeth

the sun's sideward pull — Newsweek

(2) : the effort expended in moving forward or upward

a long pull uphill

his long hard pull to get where he had got in her uncle's firm — Louis Auchincloss

(3) : the force required to overcome the resistance to pulling of a specific object (as a bow or the trigger of a firearm)

a bow with a 30 pound pull

a trigger with a four pound pull

(4) : the resistance of a paint to brushing : drag under the brush


a. : something (as a quality, attainment, or circumstance) that favors an individual in a comparison or contest : advantage

people who have had a classical education do start with a pull — Archibald Marshall

the old families, with all the pull of their name and possessions — A.L.Rowse

b. : special influence exerted or capable of being exerted on behalf of a person or group

got that job through pull — W.J.Reilly

has come up from the ranks without any pull or family backing — Current History

3. : proof 10a

4. : a device (as a knob, cord, handle) for pulling something or for operating (as in opening, closing, or lifting) by pulling

a plastic pull for a window shade

a wooden pull for a desk drawer


a. : a force that attracts, compels, or influences : attraction

writes of the natural world with scientific accuracy and the pull of humor — N.J.Berrill

a being constantly torn between the pull of desires on the one hand and the demands of reason on the other — O.A.Johnson

b. : the ability to arouse public interest or stimulate public demand

an actress with great box-office pull

an advertising slogan with tremendous pull

c. : a response to an advertisement or advertising campaign

a mail pull heavy enough to make any sponsor drool — New Republic

6. : the length of a shotgun stock measured by the distance between the front of the trigger and the center of the butt plate


a. — used as a skeet shooter's command for the release of the high-house target; compare mark I 1c(7)

b. — used as a trapshooter's command for the release of the target

III. intransitive verb

or pull out the stops or pull the rug out from under

1. of an offensive lineman in football : to move back from the line of scrimmage toward one flank to provide blocking for a ballcarrier

2. : to work together to achieve a goal

pulling with them to get the bill passed

- pull one's coat

- pull out all the stops

- pull the plug

- pull the rug from under

IV. noun

: an injury resulting from abnormal straining or stretching especially of a muscle — see groin pull herein

Webster's New International English Dictionary.      Новый международный словарь английского языка Webster.