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verb \ˈpu̇l also ˈpəl\

Simple Definition of pull

  • : to hold onto and move (someone or something) in a particular direction and especially toward yourself

  • : to remove (something) by gripping it and using force

  • : to cause (something you are holding or something that is attached to you) to move with you as you go in a particular direction

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of pull

  1. transitive verb
  2. 1 a :  to exert force upon so as to cause or tend to cause motion toward the force b :  to stretch (cooling candy) repeatedly <pull taffy> c :  to strain abnormally <pull a tendon> d :  to hold back (a racehorse) from winning e :  to work (an oar) by drawing back strongly

  3. 2 a :  to draw out from the skin <pull feathers from a rooster's tail> b :  to pluck from a plant or by the roots <pull flowers> <pull turnips> c :  extract <pull a tooth>

  4. 3 :  to hit (a ball) toward the left from a right-handed swing or toward the right from a left-handed swing — compare push

  5. 4 :  to draw apart :  rend, tear

  6. 5 :  to print (as a proof) by impression

  7. 6 :  to remove from a place or situation <pull the engine> <pulled the pitcher in the third inning> <pulled the show>

  8. 7 :  to bring (a weapon) into the open <pulled a knife>

  9. 8 a :  perform, carry out <pull an all-nighter> <pull guard duty> b :  commit, perpetrate <pull a robbery> <pull a prank>

  10. 9 a :  put on, assume <pull a grin> b :  to act or behave in the manner of <pulled a Horace Greely and went west — Steve Rushin>

  11. 10 a :  to draw the support or attention of :  attract <pull votes> —often used with in b :  obtain, secure <pulled a B in the course>

  12. 11 :  to demand or obtain an advantage over someone by the assertion of <pull rank>

  13. intransitive verb
  14. 1 a :  to use force in drawing, dragging, or tugging b :  to move especially through the exercise of mechanical energy <the car pulled clear of the rut> c (1) :  to take a drink (2) :  to draw hard in smoking <pulled at a pipe> d :  to strain against the bit

  15. 2 :  to draw a gun

  16. 3 :  to admit of being pulled

  17. 4 :  to feel or express strong sympathy :  root <pulling for my team to win>

  18. 5 of an offensive lineman in football :  to move back from the line of scrimmage and toward one flank to provide blocking for a ballcarrier

puller noun
pull a face
  1. :  to make a face :  grimace

pull a fast one
  1. :  to perpetrate a trick or fraud

pull punches also pull a punch
  1. :  to refrain from using all the force at one's disposal

pull oneself together
  1. :  to regain one's composure

pull one's leg
  1. :  to deceive someone playfully :  hoax

pull one's weight
  1. :  to do one's full share of the work

pull stakes or pull up stakes
  1. :  to move out :  leave

pull strings also pull wires
  1. :  to exert hidden influence or control

pull the plug
  1. 1 :  to disconnect a medical life-support system

  2. 2 :  to withdraw essential and especially financial support

pull the rug from under
  1. :  to weaken or unsettle especially by removing support or assistance from

pull the string
  1. :  to throw a changeup

pull the trigger
  1. :  to make a decisive move or action

pull the wool over one's eyes
  1. :  to blind to the true situation :  hoodwink

pull together
  1. :  to work in harmony :  cooperate

Examples of pull in a sentence

  1. He pulled the door open and ran out.

  2. The cat will scratch you if you keep pulling its tail.

  3. Make a knot in the rope and pull it tight.

  4. Pull the baby's chair closer to the table.

  5. She pulled the blanket over her head.

  6. We tried pushing and pulling but couldn't get the couch to move.

  7. Grab the end of the rope and pull as hard as you can.

  8. We spent the morning in the garden pulling weeds.

  9. I accidentally pulled one of the buttons off my shirt.

  10. He pulled the plug out of the socket.

Origin of pull

Middle English, from Old English pullian; akin to Middle Low German pulen to shell, cull

First Known Use: before 12th century



noun, often attributive

Simple Definition of pull

  • : the act of moving or trying to move something by holding it and bringing it toward you : the act of pulling something

  • : special influence and power over other people

  • : an ability or power to attract someone or to make someone want to go somewhere, do something, etc.

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of pull

  1. 1 a :  the act or an instance of pulling b (1) :  a draft of liquid (2) :  an inhalation of smoke c :  the effort expended in moving <a long pull uphill> d :  force required to overcome resistance to pulling <a trigger with a four pound pull>

  2. 2 a :  advantage b :  special influence

  3. 3 :  proof 6a

  4. 4 :  a device for pulling something or for operating by pulling <a drawer pull>

  5. 5 :  a force that attracts, compels, or influences :  attraction

  6. 6 :  an injury resulting from abnormal straining or stretching <a muscle pull> <a groin pull>

Examples of pull in a sentence

  1. She gave the door a few hard pulls and it opened.

  2. Give the rope a pull.

  3. He has a lot of pull in local political circles.

14th Century

First Known Use of pull

14th century

Rhymes with pull

PULL Defined for Kids



verb \ˈpu̇l\

Definition of pull for Students


  1. 1 :  to use force on so as to cause movement toward the force <pulled the rope> <pulling a wagon>

  2. 2 :  to separate from a firm or a natural attachment <pull a tooth> <pull weeds>

  3. 3 :  1move 1 <A train pulled out of the station.>

  4. 4 :  to draw apart :  tear, rend <I pulled a flower to pieces.>

  5. 5 :  to move (something) up or down <Pull down the shade.>

  6. 6 :  to operate by drawing toward <Going against the current, he had to pull the oars harder.>

  7. 7 :  to stretch repeatedly <pull taffy>

pull through
  1. :  to survive a difficult or dangerous period <She was seriously ill, but pulled through.>




Definition of pull for Students

  1. 1 :  the act or an instance of grasping and causing to move <two pulls on the cord>

  2. 2 :  a device for making something move

  3. 3 :  a force that draws one body toward another <the pull of gravity>

Medical Dictionary



play play
transitive verb \ˈpu̇l\

Medical Definition of pull

  1. 1:  extract 1 <pull a tooth>

  2. 2:  to strain or stretch abnormally <pull a tendon> <pull a muscle>




Medical Definition of pull

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

Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up pull? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


the range of perception or understanding

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