\ 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

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. See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Verb With such ever-hungry megaherbivores around, however, the grazers pluck up many of the low-lying plants and young trees before the shoots and saplings have much of a chance to become established. Riley Black, Smithsonian Magazine, 26 Apr. 2022 TikTok's filter that makes eyebrows look pencil-thin is convincing some youths to pluck theirs down for real. Allure, 15 Apr. 2022 Guests can take tours of the different varieties that are available and pluck them—when available—to their hearts’ content. Liza B. Zimmerman, Forbes, 9 Apr. 2022 Captain Perry Gotell spent 30 years as a lobster fisherman but now takes guests out on the water to pluck oysters from the Brudenell River. Washington Post, 22 Oct. 2021 Mexico has one of the world's most eclectic cuisines with 32 different states that still cook indigenous recipes, eat the fruit from desert cactus and pluck a stunning variety of fish from thousands of miles of coastline. Andi Berlin, The Arizona Republic, 23 Feb. 2022 Instead, Corlett-Rivera was able to pluck a recording from a participating library in Spain. Washington Post, 15 Feb. 2022 Security guards were dropping off more people — some bleeding from their noses or mouths — and then returning to pluck more people from the crowd. Los Angeles Times, 9 Nov. 2021 Crews using rodent traps and other sticky devices attached to lines haul in envelopes, then pluck the checks and discard the rest. Jesse Leavenworth,, 21 Mar. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Thurston Moore and Lee Ranaldo pluck spikey, percussive riffs, Steve Shelley switches from open hi-hat thrashing to sparse grooves with maracas, and Kim Gordon perfects her Nico sprechstimme. Al Shipley, SPIN, 11 Mar. 2022 But now distant relatives of Darger — tracked down by a collector of vintage photography — are making a legal claim to that legacy, asserting the landlord did not have the right to pluck and profit from Darger’s art. New York Times, 7 Feb. 2022 My muscles, which had tensed the second before the pluck, relaxed. ELLE, 28 Apr. 2022 Child services pluck Loquareeous out of his house and place him in foster care. Darren Franich,, 23 Mar. 2022 Lives turn out through some admixture of genes, environment, luck and pluck. Michael Shermer, WSJ, 28 Mar. 2022 Expect an alluring stream of virtually unknown Olympians, athletes with back stories for the ages, no chance at winning and indomitable pluck. Kurt Streeter, New York Times, 3 Feb. 2022 And, as is often the case with stories about people surviving ecological turmoil, the hugeness of the problem feels diminished by the ability of the heroes to get through it via a combination of luck and pluck. Noel Murray, Los Angeles Times, 24 Feb. 2022 The current method used to produce the colorless gas, called the steam reforming process, harnesses high heat and pressure to pluck hydrogen from methane, leaving carbon dioxide as a byproduct, the New York Times explains. Jennifer Leman, Popular Mechanics, 7 Mar. 2022 See More

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.

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

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

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pluck at

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Statistics for pluck

Last Updated

21 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Pluck.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for pluck


\ 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 Fleishman, The Whipping Boy

More from Merriam-Webster on pluck

Nglish: Translation of pluck for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of pluck for Arabic Speakers


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