\ˈdrȯ \
drew\ ˈdrü \; drawn\ ˈdrȯn , ˈdrän \; drawing

Definition of draw 

(Entry 1 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to cause to move continuously toward or after a force applied in advance : pull draw your chair up by the fire : such as

a : to move (something, such as a covering) over or to one side draw the drapes

b : to pull up or out of a receptacle or place where seated or carried draw water from the well drew a gun also : to cause to come out of a container or source draw water for a bath the nurse drew a blood sample the wound drew blood

2 : to cause to go in a certain direction (as by leading) drew him aside

3a : to bring by inducement or allure : attract honey draws flies

b : to bring in or gather from a specified group or area a college that draws its students from many states

c : bring on, provoke drew enemy fire

d : to bring out by way of response : elicit drew cheers from the audience

e sports : to receive in the course of play The batter drew a walk. draw a foul

4 : inhale drew a deep breath

5a : to extract the essence from draw tea

b : eviscerate plucking and drawing a goose before cooking

c : to derive to one's benefit drew inspiration from the old masters

6 nautical : to require (a specified depth) to float in a ship that draws 12 feet of water

7a : accumulate, gain drawing interest

b : to take (money) from a place of deposit drew $100 from the bank

c : to use in making a cash demand drawing a check against his account

d : to receive regularly or in due course draw a salary

8a card games : to take (cards) from a stack or from the dealer draw four cards

b : to receive or take at random drew a winning number

9 archery : to bend (a bow) by pulling back the string drew the bow and aimed at the target

10 : to cause to shrink, contract, or tighten draw your knees into your chest Her face was drawn with pain.

11 sports

a : to strike (a ball) so as to impart a backward spin

b golf : to strike (a ball) so that a slight to moderate hook (see hook entry 1 sense 3) results

12 : to leave (a contest) undecided : tie drew the game 3–3

13a(1) : to produce a likeness or representation of by making lines on a surface draw a picture draw a bowl of fruit draw a graph with chalk

(2) : to give a portrayal of : delineate a writer who draws characters well

b : to write out in due form draw a will

c : to design or describe in detail : formulate draw comparisons

14 : to infer from evidence or premises draw a conclusion

15 : to spread or elongate (metal) by hammering or by pulling through dies also : to shape (a material, such as plastic) by stretching or by pulling through dies

intransitive verb

1 : to come or go steadily or gradually night draws near

2a : to move something by pulling drawing at the well

b : to exert an attractive force the play is drawing well

3a archery : to pull back a bowstring

b : to bring out a weapon drew, aimed, and fired

4a : to produce a draft the chimney draws well draw on a cigar

b nautical : to swell out in a wind all sails drawing

5a : to wrinkle or tighten up : shrink

b : to change shape by pulling or stretching

6 medical : to cause blood or pus to localize at one point

7 : to create a likeness or a picture in outlines : sketch loves to paint and draw not good at drawing

8 : to come out even in a contest they drew 3–3

9a : to make a written demand for payment of money on deposit

b : to obtain resources (as of information) drawing from a common fund of knowledge

draw a bead on

: to take aim at

draw a blank

: to fail to gain a desired object (such as information sought) also : to be unable to think of something

draw on or draw upon

: to use as a source of supply drawing on the whole community for support

draw straws

: to decide or assign something by lottery in which straws of unequal length are used

draw the line or draw a line

1 : to fix an arbitrary (see arbitrary sense 1b) boundary between things that tend to intermingle drawing a line between good and bad art

2 : to fix a boundary excluding what one will not tolerate or engage in helps clean the house but draws the line at washing windows



Definition of draw (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : the act or process of drawing (see draw entry 1) : such as

a : a sucking pull on something held with the lips took a long draw on her cigarette

b : a removal of a handgun from its holster quick on the draw

c : backward spin given to a ball by striking it below center — compare follow

2 : something that is drawn: such as

a : a card drawn to replace a discard in poker

b : a lot or chance drawn at random

c : the movable part of a drawbridge

3 : a contest left undecided or deadlocked : tie

4 : one that draws attention or patronage (see patronage sense 4) : attraction Their band is the main draw at the festival.

5 archery

a : the distance from the string to the back of a drawn bow (see bow entry 3 sense 2)

b : the force required to draw a bow fully

geology : a gully shallower than a ravine

7 : the deal in draw poker to improve the players' hands after discarding

8 football : a play that simulates a pass play so a runner can go straight up the middle past the pass rushers

9 golf : a slight to moderate and usually intentional hook (see hook entry 1 sense 3)

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Other Words from draw


drawable \ -​ə-​bəl \ adjective

Synonyms & Antonyms for draw

Synonyms: Verb

acquire, attain, bag, bring in, capture, carry, come by, earn, gain, garner, get, knock down, land, make, obtain, procure, pull down, realize, reap, secure, win

Synonyms: Noun

haul, jerk, pluck, pull, tug, wrench, yank

Antonyms: Verb

forfeit, lose

Antonyms: Noun


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Examples of draw in a Sentence


The computer can draw the graph for you. Students drew maps of the states and labeled them. She sat down and began to draw. The case has drawn attention to the fact that many athletes never graduate. I would like to draw your attention to the third line. The band always draws a large crowd. The college draws students from around the world. The animals were drawn to the campsite by the smell of food. We hope the display in the window will draw customers in from the street. The lure of city life has drawn away many of the town's young people.


Their band is the main draw at the festival. The festival is always a big draw.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

That was the kind of contrast visible Saturday morning to all those who attended the Crossroads of the West Gun Show, which was scheduled to draw thousands of firearm enthusiasts this weekend. Paul Sisson, sandiegouniontribune.com, "Crossroads gun show returns to Del Mar, so do protesters," 15 July 2018 Artist Erick Antonio Benitez collected the artifacts during trips to the 1,954-mile border and used them as part of his immersive art installation, which aims to draw attention to the plight migrants face on their journey to the United States. Talia Richman, baltimoresun.com, "Erick Antonio Benitez named winner of 2018 Sondheim Artscape Prize," 15 July 2018 One stretch of the embankment along the river likely to draw visitors, which had been surrounded by a blue fence for years, was finally refurbished. Ivan Nechepurenko, New York Times, "Peeking Around Corners in the World Cup’s Provincial Cities," 14 July 2018 Abigail Barriga and Naina Akbar were trying to draw blood. Alex Park, Houston Chronicle, "Youths explore medicine at Global Teen Medical Summit," 13 July 2018 Despite not being able to move his arms, with intensive therapy, Callahan could grip a pen hard enough to draw. refinery29.com, "How John Callahan Used His Disability To Fuel Fearlessly Funny Cartoons," 13 July 2018 When someone, famous or not, dies by suicide, there’s a tendency for that person’s final moments to draw focus from the rest of their lives. Ellen Gray, Philly.com, "HBO doc celebrates Robin Williams and his 'incredible talent,' says director," 13 July 2018 Sure, there are lots of parallels to be drawn between breaking up with your financial adviser and breaking up with a love interest. Peter Dunn, USA TODAY, "Pete the Planner: Has your financial adviser failed you? 3 ways to let them know it," 13 July 2018 Crocker spokeswoman Christine Calvin said the gallery would likely be large enough to draw visitors on its own and would likely house ceramics and other artwork that tends to not be environmentally sensitive. Ryan Lillis, sacbee, "Crocker Art Museum is expanding with this $40 million plan," 12 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

John Mulaney, usually so quick on the draw, seems more interested in shopping for a hallway rug than engaging in any sharp interplay with Seinfeld. Hank Stuever, chicagotribune.com, "'Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee' review: Series finally run out of gas — but is that Seinfeld's fault?," 9 July 2018 The sector’s strong performance in recent years is a major draw for money managers in China, who have been running out of places there to invest rapidly growing funds. Preetika Rana, WSJ, "China’s Investors Pour Into Western Biotech Startups," 14 June 2018 In addition to Tran, 5,200 other Powerball players won on the same draw. Nicole Blanchard, idahostatesman, "Boisean played the same Powerball numbers for 18 years. Now he has $2 million," 12 June 2018 Berlin, gritty and vibrant, has always been a draw for anarchists and artists—families fare well here, too. Vogue, "In Berlin, a New Rooftop Playground Turns Child’s Play into High Art," 5 June 2018 But running classic movies in 35mm remains a draw for local film lovers. Joe Pappalardo, Popular Mechanics, "There Are Secrets in the Texas Theatre," 25 May 2018 There's a charitable aspect to this project too, which Welch notes was a draw for some of the portrait participants: As part of this collaboration, Levi's will be making a donation to the Everytown for Gun Safety support fund. Ana Colon, Glamour, "Celebrity Stylist Karla Welch Reinterpreted Your Favorite Levi's," 15 May 2018 This critic, not very quick on the draw, failed to get a table, but a former colleague who has written about Noma did, and offered a seat at his table. Pete Wells, New York Times, "The New Noma: Frequently Asked Questions," 24 Apr. 2018 The fact that the dates for the Milwaukee tournament were the same as for the 1968 British Open — one of pro golf's four major tournaments, and a prime draw for the sport's biggest names — didn't seem to dim the organizers' hopes. Chris Foran, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "The first Greater Milwaukee Open PGA golf tournament, in 1968, also was nearly the last," 10 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'draw.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of draw


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1


1663, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for draw


Middle English drawen, dragen, from Old English dragan; akin to Old Norse draga to draw, drag


see draw entry 1

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Statistics for draw

Last Updated

10 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for draw

The first known use of draw was before the 12th century

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More Definitions for draw



English Language Learners Definition of draw

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to make (a picture, image, etc.) by making lines on a surface especially with a pencil, pen, marker, chalk, etc., but not usually with paint

: to cause (attention) to be given to someone or something

: to cause (someone or something) to come : to attract (someone or something)



English Language Learners Definition of draw (Entry 2 of 2)

: someone or something that causes a lot of people to come to a place

: the final result of a game, contest, etc., that does not have a winner

: an act of breathing in smoke from a cigarette, cigar, pipe, etc.


\ˈdrȯ \
drew\ ˈdrü \; drawn\ ˈdrȯn \; drawing

Kids Definition of draw

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : to cause to move by pulling Draw the curtains, please. She drew a chair up to the table.

2 : to create a picture of by making lines on a surface I drew a map on the chalkboard.

3 : to bring or pull out Draw your sword!

4 : to move in a particular direction He drew back in horror.

5 : to bend (a bow) by pulling back the string

6 : to move or go slowly or steadily Spring is drawing near.

7 : attract sense 2 The fair drew a crowd. He didn't want to draw attention to himself.

8 : to get as a response The speech drew cheers.

9 : to bring or get from a source draw blood

10 : inhale sense 1 Draw a deep breath.

11 : to let air flow through The fireplace is drawing well.

12 : withdraw sense 1 I drew money from the bank.

13 : to take or get at random We drew names from a hat.

14 : to think of after considering information draw a conclusion

15 : to write out in proper form The lawyer drew up her will.

draw on

1 : to make use of something The story draws on old legends.

2 : to come closer Night draws on.

draw out

1 : to make last longer Questions drew out the meeting.

2 : to cause to talk freely Her friendliness drew out the new student.

draw up

1 : to bring or come to a stop The car drew up to the door.

2 : to straighten up He drew himself up to his full height.



Kids Definition of draw (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : the act or the result of pulling out The outlaw was quick on the draw.

2 : a tie game or contest

3 : something or someone that attracts people The roller coaster is the park's main draw.


\ˈdrȯ \
drew\ ˈdrü \; drawn\ ˈdrȯn \; drawing

Medical Definition of draw 

transitive verb

1 : to cause to move toward or localize in a surface using a poultice to draw inflammation to a head especially : to cause (an unwanted element) to depart (as from the body or a lesion) this will help draw the poison

2 : inhale she drew a deep breath

3 : to remove the viscera of : eviscerate

intransitive verb

1 : to cause local congestion : induce blood or other body fluid to localize at a particular point : be effective as a blistering agent or counterirritant used of a poultice and comparable means of medication

2 of a lesion : to become localized used in the phrase draw to a head

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drew; drawn; drawing

Legal Definition of draw 

transitive verb

1 : to compose by random selection draw a jury

2 : to take (money) from a place of deposit

3 : to write and sign (a draft) in due form for use in making a demand draw a check

4 : to write out in due form hired an attorney to draw our wills

intransitive verb

: to make a written demand for payment of money on deposit

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More from Merriam-Webster on draw

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for draw

Spanish Central: Translation of draw

Nglish: Translation of draw for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of draw for Arabic Speakers

Comments on draw

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


to clear from alleged fault or guilt

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