\ 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 Elegant, occasionally adorable and at times quite emotional, series creator Julian Fellowes still knows how to pluck the right strings -- upstairs and downstairs -- to play a symphony with his sprawling cast. Brian Lowry, CNN, 20 May 2022 On a recent morning, Matthys stooped down to pluck a leaf from the nearest stem. Sarah Bowman, The Indianapolis Star, 13 July 2022 The recruits, especially upper echelon prospects, might be harder to pluck from there now because the Pac-12's reputation is plummeting quickly whereas that of the Big Ten is on the rise. Michelle Gardner, The Arizona Republic, 1 July 2022 There is no need to risk sparring with a combative pro-Trump witness when the panel can pluck key statements from a recording. New York Times, 25 June 2022 Recruiters use social media as an integral part of the vetting process, as well as to pluck top talent from existing employers. Ashley Stahl, Forbes, 5 May 2022 The flight profile allowed about 10 minutes for the helicopter to match speeds with the booster and get its cable to pluck the drogue line. Rob Pegoraro, PCMAG, 3 May 2022 Grogan’s own startup is developing marine robots that would hover above the ocean floor to pluck individual metal nodules from the seabed, rather than vacuuming them up along with biodiversity-rich sediment as other mining companies do. Aryn Baker, Time, 13 Apr. 2022 In a lab, the cells are then placed into a concoction of enzymes to pluck out the DNA. Washington Post, 11 Apr. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Some are impressed by Ukrainian pluck and resolve, by surviving 11 weeks of the Russian onslaught, when analysts predicted they would be routed in three days. Scott Peterson, The Christian Science Monitor, 11 May 2022 Some of that pluck was lost when Torey Krug departed as a free agent two seasons ago for St. Louis. Globe Staff,, 21 July 2022 And then mainstream white artists looked upon disco as just a field from which to pluck inspiration and basically regurgitate it. Ken Makin, The Christian Science Monitor, 18 July 2022 As the punctuation in the title cleverly illustrates, successful pluck often contains a little luck. Paul Sisson, San Diego Union-Tribune, 4 July 2022 Emily DeForest plays ingenue Ellen Tree, the Desdemona to Aldridge’s Othello, with an appealing blend of pluck, humor and curiosity. Thomas Floyd, Washington Post, 24 June 2022 Petrakov is a perfect example of the pluck, spirit and determination of the Ukrainians, who have risen to the occasion in both war and soccer. Kevin Baxter, Los Angeles Times, 7 June 2022 The six pack hasn’t had the same pluck, especially at playoff time, since the loss of free agent Torey Krug to the Blues following the 2019-20 season. Kevin Paul Dupont,, 4 June 2022 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 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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Statistics for pluck

Last Updated

1 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Pluck.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 19 Aug. 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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