\ 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.
2a : advantage
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 Two personal-foul penalties against the Golden Lions helped the Delta Devils pull within 17-10. I.c. Murrell, Arkansas Online, "Punt return for touchdown propels UAPB past Mississippi Valley State," 4 Apr. 2021 Samaniego came on and struck out Rigsby Mosley, but threw a wild pitch in the process, allowing Frederic to score and pull the Trojans within four. Creg Stephenson | Cstephenson@al.com, al, "South Alabama baseball doubles up Troy 6-3 to clinch series victory," 3 Apr. 2021 In the last game of the 2015 season, Butler scored a touchdown with 16 seconds to play to pull to within 28-27, went for a two-point conversion but had the pass picked off. Don Norcross, San Diego Union-Tribune, "National win record on the line for USD football team Saturday," 2 Apr. 2021 But the Wolves' 17-6 run after that helped pull them within 68-64 by halftime. Jerry Zgoda, Star Tribune, "Timberwolves' struggles at Memphis continue in 120-108 loss," 2 Apr. 2021 Yet, the Wildcats made a final comeback in the last 5:32 with some steals and three-pointer from Griffith and Barnes to pull within three. Pj Brown, The Arizona Republic, "Looking back at all 7 of Arizona's previous trips to the NCAA Tournament," 31 Mar. 2021 The Cardinals scored three times in the bottom of the eighth to pull within two runs, and then Sean Berry hit a 3-run homer in the top of the ninth to give Milwaukee a five-run cushion yet again. Jr Radcliffe, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Opening day: The 11 most memorable season openers in Milwaukee Brewers history," 30 Mar. 2021 The Razorbacks hit 10 of 11 shots during one stretch to pull within 44-38 and were down just eight at halftime despite struggling for a long stretch. John Marshall, Chron, "Baylor beats Arkansas to reach first Final Four in 71 years," 30 Mar. 2021 The Razorbacks hit 10 of 11 shots during one stretch to pull within 44-38 and were down just eight at halftime despite struggling for a long stretch. Kristen Davis, cleveland, "Baylor reaches Final Four 2021: Where to buy shirts, hats, more | NCAA Basketball Tournament," 30 Mar. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Features cocktail reception, formal dinner, live auction, silent auction, barrel of cheer and wine pull. Luann Gibbs, The Enquirer, "Things to do this week: April 5-11," 4 Apr. 2021 Also considered in the faux vs. real is the signature Tiffany light operations: a turn paddle knob on the base or a pull chain on the sockets to access the light. Brenda Yenke, cleveland, "Yesterday’s childhood revisited: Yenke Peddler antiques," 1 Apr. 2021 Wilmer Flores and Brandon Belt crushed dead-pull hits for another run in the fifth. Bruce Jenkins, San Francisco Chronicle, "Giants open with the promise of patience, and a display of power," 1 Apr. 2021 Hidden behind its doors are a pull-out laundry bin and a medicine cabinet. Hadley Keller, House Beautiful, "Marie Fuer Creates a Modern Family Apartment With Pops of Color and Tons of Hidden Storage," 1 Apr. 2021 From a tie at 19, Baptiste hit two free throws, McDonald scored on a pull-up 12-footer and drive and Reese put in a follow-up with 32 seconds left lifting the Wildcats to their four-point halftime lead. Jeff Metcalfe, The Arizona Republic, "Arizona women's basketball defeats Indiana to reach first NCAA Final Four," 30 Mar. 2021 The participants in Kimchipapi Kitchen’s recent cheese pull contest do. BostonGlobe.com, "Mastering the cheese pull at Kimchipapi Kitchen," 30 Mar. 2021 Out of the more than 31,000 entries, 100 winners were chosen, some of which were displayed online and on billboards or outdoor posters across the United Kingdom as a pull-together effort during lockdown. Hannah Yasharoff, USA TODAY, "Duchess Kate is turning her 'Hold Still' COVID-19 community photo project into a book," 29 Mar. 2021 Cat probiotics are marketed in a number of forms, from pull-apart capsules to tablets to chews. Michael Pollick, chicagotribune.com, "The best cat probiotic," 27 Mar. 2021

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

5 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Pull.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/pull. Accessed 13 Apr. 2021.

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More Definitions for pull



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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