pluck

verb
\ 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

pluck

noun

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

Verb

plucker noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for pluck

Synonyms: Verb

beat, bilk, bleed, cheat, chisel, chouse, con, cozen, defraud, diddle, do, do in, euchre, fiddle, fleece, flimflam, gaff, gyp, hose [slang], hustle, mulct, nobble [British slang], ream, rip off, rook, screw, shake down, short, shortchange, skin, skunk, squeeze, stick, stiff, sting, sucker, swindle, thimblerig, victimize

Synonyms: Noun

draw, haul, jerk, pull, tug, wrench, yank

Antonyms: Noun

push

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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

Teen Spirit stars Elle Fanning as Violet, a young girl plucked from obscurity for a singing competition. Christopher Rosa, Glamour, "From Teen Spirit to A Star Is Born: What's With All the Movies About Pop Stars?," 19 Apr. 2019 Lien played live, bowing, plucking and looping her instrument to mesmerizing effect; her spoken exposition was less compelling than her musicianship. Claudia Bauer, SFChronicle.com, "SF choreographer Amy Seiwert’s risky Sketch lab pays off," 29 June 2018 The test involves plucking about 50 hairs from the head, typically at the back of the scalp, so your dermatologist can look at them under a microscope and determine how much of the hair is in the resting, growth, and fall-out phases. Jessica Chia, Allure, "The Best Hair Loss Treatments for Every Budget," 15 Oct. 2018 High-water rescue teams plucked the deputies from the top of the van. Amy Lieu, Fox News, "Body of boy swept away by floodwaters is recovered; 2 more drownings reported," 19 Sep. 2018 Children pluck imaginary coins from the air and drop them in a bucket. Kimberly Fornek, chicagotribune.com, "Lyons Township English teacher also works as Frankie Ace, a magician and comic," 9 July 2018 From the Southside of Indianapolis west to Terre Haute and south to Bloomington, rescue crews and volunteers plucked people from their homes by boat. Dawn Mitchell, Indianapolis Star, "Looking back at the 2008 floods in Indiana," 7 June 2018 None other than Ryan, plucked out of the Canadian Football League in 2006 to compete with the struggling Sander. Bob Condotta, The Seattle Times, "Seahawks punter Jon Ryan: Drafting of Michael Dickson ‘kind of lit a fire in my belly’," 31 July 2018 If left unchecked by browsers or operating systems, such attacks may allow hackers to pluck passwords or other sensitive data out of computer memory when targets visit malicious sites. Dan Goodin, Ars Technica, "The most ambitious browser mitigation yet for Spectre attacks comes to Chrome," 12 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Although she’s been married four times already, Debra launches herself on her benign manhunt with all the pluck of someone who’s never seen an online dating montage. John Anderson, WSJ, "‘Dirty John’ Review: It Sounded Better in the Original," 21 Nov. 2018 These women have always lived here, through the reincarnations of the barrio named for Manuela Malasaña, a 15-year-old girl who defended her honor to the death, with pluck and a pair of scissors, against occupying Napoleonic forces. Elizabeth Wellington, Vogue, "Where to Eat and Shop in Malasaña, the Williamsburg of Madrid," 22 July 2018 But the trend doesn’t pluck at the heartstrings of all. Meredith Goldstein, BostonGlobe.com, "Wedding bells are ringing, but justices of the peace aren’t getting the call," 18 June 2018 While national Democratic organizations admire O’Rourke’s pluck, most appear disinclined to divert resources to Texas, and O’Rourke made a show of spurning one of his party’s top PAC donors, Tom Steyer. Andrew Rice, Daily Intelligencer, "Can a Democrat Ever Win in Texas?," 10 July 2018 Despite the odds and the incoming ordnance, the citizens of Vicksburg retained their pluck and defiance to the bitter end. Russell S. Bonds, WSJ, "‘Vicksburg’ Review: The Falling Tide of Gray," 20 June 2018 If Friedenberg begins the play with refreshing pluck and sass for a part usually played for woebegone submission, her Ophelia goes jarringly musical theater in her own scene of madness. Lily Janiak, San Francisco Chronicle, "Youth gives some new energy to Marin Shakespeare’s ‘Hamlet,’ but not enough," 2 June 2018 And behind the scenes, some White House advisers applauded these lawmakers’ pluck. Philip Elliott, Time, "The House GOP Is in Chaos," 21 May 2018 Their helpers, village women in colorful head wraps, used the yard to scrub clothes and pluck chicken feathers. Hedia Anvar, Longreads, "How To Build An Intellectual," 23 June 2018

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

Verb

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

Noun

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for pluck

Verb

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

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Dictionary Entries near pluck

pltry

PLU

Pluchea

pluck

pluck at

pluck-buffet

pluckedness

Statistics for pluck

Last Updated

7 May 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for pluck

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

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More Definitions for pluck

pluck

verb

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

pluck

noun

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

pluck

verb
\ 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

pluck

noun

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

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with pluck

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for pluck

Spanish Central: Translation of pluck

Nglish: Translation of pluck for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of pluck for Arabic Speakers

Comments on pluck

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