\ ˈplək How to pronounce pluck (audio) \
plucked; plucking; plucks

Definition of pluck

 (Entry 1 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to pull or pick off or out
2a : to remove something (such as hairs) from by or as if by plucking pluck one's eyebrows
b : rob, fleece
3 : to move, remove, or separate forcibly or abruptly plucked the child from the middle of the street
4a : to pick, pull, or grasp at
b : to play by sounding the strings with the fingers or a pick

intransitive verb

: to make a sharp pull or twitch



Definition of pluck (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : an act or instance of plucking or pulling
2 : the heart, liver, lungs, and trachea of a slaughtered animal especially as an item of food
3 : courageous readiness to fight or continue against odds : dogged resolution

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Other Words from pluck


plucker noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for pluck

Synonyms: Verb

Synonyms: Noun

Antonyms: Noun

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Examples of pluck in a Sentence

Verb My sister plucked a white hair from my head. The hunter plucked the bird's feathers. plucking petals off a flower Firefighters plucked the child from the top floor of the burning building. He'd been plucked from obscurity and thrust into the national spotlight. a cat that was plucked off the city's streets last winter He plucked a stone out of the river. Noun It takes pluck to do what she did. She showed pluck in getting up on stage.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The next day the Happy Prince asks the bird to pluck out a ruby from his sword’s pummel and carry it to a starving widow. Washington Post, "A reading list just right for Christmas 2020: A little Dickens, a little Wilde, a little Donald Duck," 23 Dec. 2020 Others caution it’s hard to pluck out connections in chaotic weather systems with enough confidence to say this dust storm is linked to Arctic warming. Warren Cornwall, Science | AAAS, "‘Godzilla’ dust storm traced to shaky northern jet stream," 7 Dec. 2020 While falling backwards, the 305-pounder somehow spied Colorado quarterback Sam Noyer’s pass and stretched his hands toward the roof to pluck the ball mid-air. Nick Moyle,, "Could Alamo Bowl win build momentum for Tom Herman and Texas?," 30 Dec. 2020 Finally, pluck the wing feathers closest to the body, down to the first joint. Natalie Krebs, Outdoor Life, "How to Wax-Pluck a Wild Goose for Christmas Dinner," 23 Dec. 2020 Dion’s impromptu clothing parade seemed to have no point other than her own amusement, a playful impulse to pluck items straight from the Paris runways and show people how they were meant to be worn. Rachel Syme, The New Yorker, "A Year Without Clothes," 21 Dec. 2020 Painstaking analysis allowed the researchers to pluck the poisonous chemical from a lineup of pesticides, pathogens, heavy metals and other potential explanations like warming waters or low oxygen levels. Alex Fox, Smithsonian Magazine, "Researchers Reveal Why Seattle Salmon Bite the Dust After Rainstorms," 7 Dec. 2020 Silicon Valley long ago invaded Hollywood from the north, with outside companies such as Netflix, Amazon and Apple starting entertainment units, often using their deep pockets to pluck talent from legacy companies. Washington Post, "For the entertainment industry, HBO Max move is causing peak upset," 9 Dec. 2020 For the most part, though, the E.U. exemption is used to pluck Spanish, Dutch, Belgian and French teenagers from academies that have reared them from a young age, and to do it at a knockdown price. Rory Smith, New York Times, "Nothing Lasts Forever," 4 Dec. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Lasers can nudge proteins and beads, sort cells, and pluck molecules like tweezers, for instance. Max G. Levy, Wired, "Researchers Levitated a Small Tray Using Nothing but Light," 12 Feb. 2021 Ricky Powell oozed vintage New York City charm and pluck. Amanda Rosa, New York Times, "Inside 432 Park, a Pinnacle of the Luxury Condo Boom," 4 Feb. 2021 Through pluck and community, Sandra assembles a small, improvising crew of helpers, led by a reluctant but kindly contractor named Aido (Conleth Hill, also very fine). Jake Coyle, Star Tribune, "Review: 'Herself,' a spirited drama of abuse and resilience," 7 Jan. 2021 Like other cities made great by generations of pluck and hustle, a strain of industriousness pumps through Atlanta’s bloodstream. New York Times, "‘Year of the Reveal’: Runoffs Follow Pandemic, Protests and a Test of Atlanta’s Promise," 2 Jan. 2021 Beyond making sure the case itself is the proper size for your bow, look for a case with ample pluck foam. The Editors, Outdoor Life, "3 Features to Consider in Your Next Bow Case," 1 Dec. 2020 In this rousing tale of courage and pluck, a 14-year-old Nigerian girl is sold into servitude by her father when her mother—a proponent of education—passes away. Sydney Williams, NBC News, "Best books 2020: What to read, shared by Amazon Books editors," 19 Nov. 2020 Central and coach Donyell Marshall deserve a lot of credit, playing with pluck and trailing just 48-41 at the break. Mike Anthony,, "Mike Anthony: UConn wasn’t prepared for bizarre season opener, the fallout from a two-week COVID-19 shutdown," 26 Nov. 2020 But with typical entrepreneurial pluck, Machado had bigger goals. Beth D'addono,, "Tacos Del Cartel is now open in Metairie," 16 Nov. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'pluck.' 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 pluck


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


15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for pluck


Middle English, from Old English pluccian; akin to Middle High German pflücken to pluck

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Time Traveler for pluck

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for pluck

Last Updated

14 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Pluck.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 5 Mar. 2021.

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More Definitions for pluck



English Language Learners Definition of pluck

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to pull (something) quickly to remove it
: to remove some or all of the feathers or hairs from (something)
: to take (someone or something) away from a place or situation suddenly or by force



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

old-fashioned + informal : a quality that makes you continue trying to do or achieve something that is difficult : courage and determination


\ ˈplək How to pronounce pluck (audio) \
plucked; plucking

Kids Definition of pluck

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : to pull off : pick pluck grapes
2 : to remove something (as a hair or feather) with a quick pull
3 : to seize and remove quickly : snatch She … plucked the envelope from the mailbox …— Andrew Clements, Frindle
4 : to pull at (a string) and let go



Kids Definition of pluck (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : a sharp pull : tug
2 : courage, spirit There was a … streak of pluck in him.— Sid Fleischman, The Whipping Boy

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More from Merriam-Webster on pluck

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for pluck

Nglish: Translation of pluck for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of pluck for Arabic Speakers

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