We're working on a new site. Click here to get a sneak preview.


noun pul·ley \ˈp-lē\

: a wheel or set of wheels that is used with a rope, chain, etc., to lift or lower heavy objects

plural pulleys

Full Definition of PULLEY

:  a sheave or small wheel with a grooved rim and with or without the block in which it runs used singly with a rope or chain to change the direction and point of application of a pulling force and in various combinations to increase the applied force especially for lifting weights
:  a pulley or pulleys with ropes to form a tackle that constitutes one of the simple machines
:  a wheel used to transmit power by means of a band, belt, cord, rope, or chain passing over its rim

Illustration of PULLEY

Origin of PULLEY

Middle English poley, pully, from Anglo-French pulie, probably ultimately from Greek polos axis, pole — more at pole
First Known Use: 14th century

Rhymes with PULLEY

PULLEY Defined for Kids


noun pul·ley \ˈp-lē\
plural pulleys

Definition of PULLEY for Kids

:  a wheel over which a belt, rope, or chain is pulled to lift or lower a heavy object
Medical Dictionary


noun pul·ley \ˈpl-ē\

Medical Definition of PULLEY

How to use a word that (literally) drives some people nuts.
Test your vocab with our fun, fast game
Ailurophobia, and 9 other unusual fears