pull

verb
\ ˈpu̇l How to pronounce pull (audio) also ˈpəl How to pronounce pull (audio) \
pulled; pulling; pulls

Definition of pull

 (Entry 1 of 2)

transitive verb

1a : to exert force upon so as to cause or tend to cause motion toward the force
b : to stretch (cooling candy) repeatedly pull taffy
c : to strain abnormally pull a tendon
d : to hold back (a racehorse) from winning
e : to work (an oar) by drawing back strongly
2a : to draw out from the skin pull feathers from a rooster's tail
b : to pluck from a plant or by the roots pull flowers pull turnips
c : extract pull a tooth
3 : to hit (a ball) toward the left from a right-handed swing or toward the right from a left-handed swing — compare push
4 : to draw apart : rend, tear
5 : to print (something, such as a proof) by impression
6a : to remove from a place or situation pull the engine pulled the pitcher in the third inning pulled the show
b : revoke If they're caught dumping, they'll get their license pulled.— Alexandra Alger
7 : to bring (a weapon) into the open pulled a knife
8a : perform, carry out pull an all-nighter pull guard duty
b : commit, perpetrate pull a robbery pull a prank
9a : put on, assume pull a grin
b : to act or behave in the manner of pulled a Horace Greely and went west— Steve Rushin
10a : to draw the support or attention of : attract pull votes often used with in
b : obtain, secure pulled a B in the course
11 : to demand or obtain an advantage over someone by the assertion of pull rank

intransitive verb

1a : to use force in drawing, dragging, or tugging
b : to move especially through the exercise of mechanical energy the car pulled clear of the rut
c(1) : to take a drink
(2) : to draw hard in smoking pulled at a pipe
d : to strain against the bit
2 : to draw a gun
3 : to admit of being pulled
4 : to feel or express strong sympathy : root pulling for my team to win
5 of an offensive lineman in football : to move back from the line of scrimmage and toward one flank to provide blocking for a ballcarrier
pull a face
: to make a face : grimace
pull a fast one
: to perpetrate a trick or fraud
pull oneself together
: to regain one's composure
pull one's leg
: to deceive someone playfully : hoax
pull one's weight
: to do one's full share of the work
pull punches or less commonly pull a punch
: to refrain from using all the force at one's disposal
pull stakes or pull up stakes
: to move out : leave
pull strings or less commonly pull wires
: to exert hidden influence or control
pull the plug
1 : to disconnect a medical life-support system
2 : to withdraw essential and especially financial support
pull the rug from under
: to weaken or unsettle especially by removing support or assistance from
pull the string
: to throw a changeup
pull the trigger
: to make a decisive move or action
pull the wool over one's eyes
: to blind to the true situation : hoodwink
pull together
: to work in harmony : cooperate

pull

noun, often attributive

Definition of pull (Entry 2 of 2)

1a : the act or an instance of pulling
b(1) : a draft of liquid
(2) : an inhalation of smoke
c : the effort expended in moving a long pull uphill
d : force required to overcome resistance to pulling a trigger with a four pound pull
e : a competition in which a heavily weighted sled is pulled by participants usually using draft animals or machines a tractor pull the county fair's annual ox pull The truck pull may be one one of the machine age's weirdest mutations. Modified pickup trucks and dragsters are hooked to trailers or "sleds" weighed down with 30,000 to 40,000 pounds … They rev up their engines and slog their way across a 200-foot mud track.
b : special influence
4 : a device for pulling something or for operating by pulling a drawer pull
5 : a force that attracts, compels, or influences : attraction
6 : an injury resulting from abnormal straining or stretching a muscle pull a groin pull

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Other Words from pull

Verb

puller noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for pull

Synonyms: Verb

Synonyms: Noun

Antonyms: Verb

Antonyms: Noun

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Examples of pull in a Sentence

Verb He pulled the door open and ran out. The cat will scratch you if you keep pulling its tail. Make a knot in the rope and pull it tight. Pull the baby's chair closer to the table. She pulled the blanket over her head. We tried pushing and pulling but couldn't get the couch to move. Grab the end of the rope and pull as hard as you can. We spent the morning in the garden pulling weeds. I accidentally pulled one of the buttons off my shirt. He pulled the plug out of the socket. Noun She gave the door a few hard pulls and it opened. Give the rope a pull. He has a lot of pull in local political circles.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Two sources told me that senior members of the delegation, Pompeo included, feared Trump might pull America out of the alliance entirely. Mattathias Schwartz, New York Times, "Want to Inherit the G.O.P.? Be Prepared to Dance Around the Truth," 24 Nov. 2020 Scientists have been studying such conductive bacteria for decades, hoping to develop living technology that can work safely inside the human body, resist corrosion or even literally pull electricity out of thin air. Sophie Bushwick, Scientific American, "Electricity-Carrying Bacteria Lead to New Applications—and New Questions," 23 Nov. 2020 East Carolina and Indiana State, scheduled to play a first-round match on Wednesday night, have chosen to pull their men’s basketball teams out of the tournament, as did Akron. USA TODAY, "College basketball COVID updates: Tennessee's Rick Barnes tests positive; Duke opener postponed," 23 Nov. 2020 Using the point of your knife, carefully separate the tenderloin from the spine on both ends, and gently pull it out of the animal. Will Brantley, Field & Stream, "How to Clean Big Game with the Gutless Method," 20 Nov. 2020 Even as his Pentagon was making moves to pull the U.S. troops out of Afghanistan and Iraq, Trump had to be dissuaded from a military strike on Iranian nuclear facilities, the New York Times reported. Adam Taylor, Washington Post, "Can Trump end ‘endless war’ before he leaves office?," 19 Nov. 2020 Club goers rushed to pull him out of the water and began performing CPR. Salma Reyes, The Arizona Republic, "Fire: Man in critical condition after going limp in pool at Phoenix health club," 12 Nov. 2020 When Joe Biden takes office in January, a main focus will be continuing to pull the country out of the economic hole caused by the pandemic. Jacob M. Schlesinger, WSJ, "Biden’s Penchant for Bold Stimulus to Test His Deal-Making Skills," 12 Nov. 2020 Trump repeatedly accused the WTO of unfair treatment of the U.S., started a trade war with China in defiance of the WTO system, and threatened to pull the United States out of the trade body altogether. Angela Charlton, Star Tribune, "AP Interview: France wants Biden to calm trade disputes," 10 Nov. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun That results in the gravitational pull of the sun being canceled out partially by the moon, resulting in high tides being a little lower and low tides being a little higher. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "Literally Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About the Moon," 19 Nov. 2020 But will shares in the latter experience the pull of gravity when consumers study the environmental costs? James Freeman, WSJ, "Elon Musk’s Next Frontier," 17 Nov. 2020 The gravitational pull makes sense: Pelipas, a mother of two, cuts a severe figure at 6’1 and exudes an overwhelming air of elegance. Liana Satenstein, Vogue, "Stylist Julie Pelipas Launches Bettter, the Answer to Chic Suiting," 12 Nov. 2020 While many chose to vote by mail, David Latham couldn’t resist the pull of voting in-person, and the electric atmosphere that accompanies election day. Nora Mishanec, SFChronicle.com, "Election Day is here. It’s bound to be a historic one for San Francisco," 3 Nov. 2020 The pull of what is being touted as a historic election drew voters from both sides of the political spectrum. Janet Moore, Star Tribune, "Minnesota voters stream to the polls despite the coronavirus threat," 3 Nov. 2020 No mystery in politics is more compelling than how the pull of Pennsylvania's cities and suburbs versus the push of the farming and industrial regions, so closely matched, will play out on November 3. Shawn Tully, Fortune, "How Trump could repeat his 2016 upset in Pennsylvania," 19 Oct. 2020 Due to the gravitational pull of Earth, satellites are always moving in either a circular or elliptical path, constantly in free-fall around the Earth. Eric Berger, Ars Technica, "This is what “war in space” probably would look like in the near future," 16 Oct. 2020 Beijing sees China’s growing economic and military might and the tremendous pull of its market as overriding protests by the U.S. and other democracies over its violations of human rights and international law and agreements. Ann Scott Tyson, The Christian Science Monitor, "Fueling US-China clash, years of disconnects," 2 Oct. 2020

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

Verb

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

Noun

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for pull

Verb

Middle English, from Old English pullian; akin to Middle Low German pulen to shell, cull

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Time Traveler for pull

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for pull

Last Updated

30 Nov 2020

Cite this Entry

“Pull.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/pull. Accessed 5 Dec. 2020.

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More Definitions for pull

pull

verb
How to pronounce pull (audio) How to pronounce pull (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of pull

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to hold onto and move (someone or something) in a particular direction and especially toward yourself
: to remove (something) by gripping it and using force
: to cause (something you are holding or something that is attached to you) to move with you as you go in a particular direction

pull

noun

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

: the act of moving or trying to move something by holding it and bringing it toward you : the act of pulling something
: special influence and power over other people
: an ability or power to attract someone or to make someone want to go somewhere, do something, etc.

pull

verb
\ ˈpu̇l How to pronounce pull (audio) \
pulled; pulling

Kids Definition of pull

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : to use force on so as to cause movement toward the force pulled the rope pulling a wagon
2 : to separate from a firm or a natural attachment pull a tooth pull weeds
3 : move entry 1 sense 1 A train pulled out of the station.
4 : to draw apart : tear, rend I pulled a flower to pieces.
5 : to move (something) up or down Pull down the shade.
6 : to operate by drawing toward Going against the current, he had to pull the oars harder.
7 : to stretch repeatedly pull taffy
pull through
: to survive a difficult or dangerous period She was seriously ill, but pulled through.

pull

noun

Kids Definition of pull (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : the act or an instance of grasping and causing to move two pulls on the cord
2 : a device for making something move
3 : a force that draws one body toward another the pull of gravity
\ ˈpu̇l How to pronounce pull (audio) \

Medical Definition of pull

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : extract sense 1 pull a tooth
2 : to strain or stretch abnormally pull a tendon pull a muscle

pull

noun

Medical Definition of pull (Entry 2 of 2)

: an injury resulting from abnormal straining or stretching especially of a muscle — see groin pull

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Comments on pull

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