\ 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 To find true love, pluck a hair, seal it in a baggie, place the baggie inside a dedicated mailer and wait for your phone to chime with an update on your perfect match. New York Times, "True Love? On TV, There’s an App for That.," 21 Apr. 2021 Yes Unlike tweezers, which pull out individual strands, epilation devices pluck out multiple hairs at once — great for snagging errant hairs between waxes. Nicole Saporita, Good Housekeeping, "How to Remove Facial Hair for Super Smooth Skin," 13 Apr. 2021 Most of the participants have submitted an application form ahead of time, but the show will occasionally pluck a volunteer from the audience to pitch on the spot. Arielle Pardes, Wired, "Need an Angel Investor? Just Open Up Clubhouse," 21 Apr. 2021 While falling backward, the 305-pounder somehow spied Colorado quarterback Sam Noyer’s pass and stretched his hands toward the roof to pluck the ball out of mid-air. Nick Moyle,, "Young guns help Texas rout Colorado, defend Alamo Bowl title," 30 Dec. 2020 Volunteer moderators watched over Twitch’s fast-moving chat to pluck out harassment. Cecilia D'anastasio, Wired, "Twitch's First Transparency Report Is Here—and Long Overdue," 2 Mar. 2021 The group readied themselves to play, simultaneously lifting bows to violins, hands to a golden harp and fingers to pluck at guitarróns, their bass guitars. New York Times, "Mariachis Play On, Their Music Unsilenced by the Virus or the Deaths," 24 Mar. 2021 Netanyahu is reaching beyond them to pluck from both ends of Israel’s political spectrum. Washington Post, "In turnabout, Netanyahu courts Arab voters he once called a threat," 18 Mar. 2021 But run it too hard, and an overzealous MOXIE will pluck off both oxygens. Charlie Wood, Popular Science, "With MOXIE, Perseverance will try to make air on Mars," 1 Mar. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun A generation ago, fortunes went to those with the luck or pluck to secure funding; today, a good concept chooses which funding to accept. Randall Lane, Forbes, "Operation Wealth Speed: What A Record Number Of New, Self-Made Billionaires Says About Capitalism," 6 Apr. 2021 Hoffman’s harp lends the piece an entirely different aura — melodic pluck hovering in vaporous harmony. Washington Post, "Beyond Vivaldi, a classical playlist to bring on the spring," 2 Apr. 2021 Some of that came from humanity’s glorious sense of pluck — our need and amazing (or neurotic) ability to find the good in the bad. Los Angeles Times, "Column: We can finally see the end of the pandemic. We just need to not implode before we get there," 11 Mar. 2021 The first one to go: The rock-solid belief that women can sidestep the systemic issues listed above with some grit, some pluck, some good cheer, and the right career self-help book. Sallie Krawcheck, Fortune, "There’s no ‘I’ in ‘women’: Why teaming up will work to our financial advantage," 10 Mar. 2021 Susan Meissner’s latest novel is an absorbing, cleverly plotted historical tale of perfidy and pluck. Washington Post, "Best audiobooks to listen to now," 8 Mar. 2021 Those vivid particulars were the stuff of Mrs. Palatschinke’s fictive magic, the sheer pluck and verve that conjured up a complete world out of absences, an easier world to dwell on. Lauren Markham, Harper's Magazine, "From “Inside Stories,” an essay published in the Winter 2021 issue of," 16 Mar. 2021 But this year schools are expecting to turn to them as early as next month and pluck students well into late summer. Melissa Korn, WSJ, "Expect College Wait Lists to Be Obnoxiously Long This Year," 10 Mar. 2021 That hardy pluck has enabled some older entrepreneurs to weather the COVID-19 pandemic better than younger generations that haven’t encountered strong head winds before. Stephen Humphries, The Christian Science Monitor, "Third acts: Some older adults are rejecting lives of leisure – on purpose," 25 Feb. 2021

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

9 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Pluck.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 10 May. 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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