\ 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


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


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 Overall, Alabama is on the list of next four out on the site that pulls together a wide range of bracket projections. Michael Casagrande | Mcasagrande@al.com, al, "Where Alabama’s NCAA tournament projections stand after beating LSU," 17 Feb. 2020 After pulling the images together, the researchers generated a three-dimensional reconstruction of the shape of the asteroid, in addition to a crater map of its poles. Fox News, "Asteroid Pallas' violent history revealed in new images," 14 Feb. 2020 But pulling one together for Covid-19 is complicated by the realities of working in hospital systems overwhelmed by the sheer size of the outbreak. Megan Molteni, Wired, "China Launches a Crush of Clinical Trials Aimed at Covid-19," 13 Feb. 2020 But Sheikh Zayed was a very charismatic, very wise character who managed to pull them all together. CBS News, "Transcript: Robert Worth talks with Michael Morell on "Intelligence Matters"," 12 Feb. 2020 The look somehow fixes any bad hair day and makes every outfit a little more pulled together. Bella Cacciatore, Glamour, "I Can’t Stop Wearing Claw Clips," 12 Feb. 2020 The 82-year-old actress consciously pulled together her Academy Awards outfit to make a statement about climate change and fashion. Selena Barrientos, Good Housekeeping, "Jane Fonda Made a Powerful Statement With Her 2020 Oscars Dress and Coat," 10 Feb. 2020 The young Democrat seemed to be able to pull together an eclectic coalition: young voters, older rural voters, moderates and some progressives. Gerald F. Seib, WSJ, "Iowa Crystallizes Democrats’ Big Questions," 8 Feb. 2020 The New York Times reported that Shadow pulled together its app over just the past two months, and was not tested on a statewide scale. Amrita Khalid, Quartz, "Why apps don’t belong anywhere near elections," 5 Feb. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Oladipo had an open 3 and passed it up to get Turner the ball for a pull-up jumper, which led to him spotting up to knock down a 3 on the next possession. J. Michael, Indianapolis Star, "Thumping league-best Bucks sends Pacers into All-Star break on a much better note," 13 Feb. 2020 Sexton tried to answer, bricking a pull-up jumper from the foul line. Chris Fedor, cleveland, "John Beilein has private talk with rookie Kevin Porter Jr., offers encouragement after costly late-game mistakes," 31 Jan. 2020 The Golden Eagles took a 68-62 lead with 2:36 remaining on a tough pull-up jumper by Howard. Ben Steele, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Butler 89, Marquette 85 (OT): Mistakes at the end of regulation doom the Golden Eagles," 24 Jan. 2020 Curry then dribbled into pull-up jumpers as team consultant Zaza Pachulia defended him. Connor Letourneau, SFChronicle.com, "Warriors’ Stephen Curry puts on show in practice, on track to return in March," 9 Jan. 2020 The Orlando guard's pull-up jumper just above the foul line gave him a career-high 20 points in the Magic’s 127-120 victory against Washington last week. Jeff Zillgitt, USA TODAY, "Opinion: Magic's Markelle Fultz finds groove after shoulder injury nearly derailed career," 10 Dec. 2019 With Orlando down 18, Ross knocked down a 12-foot pull-up jumper to start a 16-5 run, then followed a dunk by Isaac with 3-pointers on consecutive possessions. Roy Parry, orlandosentinel.com, "Magic push Bucks but can’t overcome slow start during road loss," 9 Dec. 2019 Moore, a grad transfer from Western Michigan, hit a mid-range pull-up jumper in the first half. Adam Baum, Cincinnati.com, "What we learned: Paul Scruggs sparks Xavier's best performance this season in a win over Towson," 22 Nov. 2019 This year the two most prominent were the importance of sustainability and the pull of history. New York Times, "How We Picked the 2020 ‘Places to Go’ List," 9 Jan. 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


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


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

History and Etymology for pull


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

20 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Pull.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/pull. Accessed 27 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for pull


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



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.


\ 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.



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



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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More from Merriam-Webster on pull

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for pull

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with pull

Spanish Central: Translation of pull

Nglish: Translation of pull for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of pull for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about pull

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