\ 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 With the cops bearing down and Armstrong seemingly pulling the strings, Nolan appeared to be in very hot water as the second season of the ABC crime drama came to a close. Maureen Lee Lenker, EW.com, "The Rookie creator breaks down the season 2 finale and Nolan's fate," 11 May 2020 Commercial vehicles, including heavy trucks, helped pull that figure into positive territory. Laura He, CNN, "China's auto market just snapped a 21-month sales slump. But car sales are still dire," 11 May 2020 For weeks, the car industry was expected to be the motor pulling the Chinese economy out of a deep downturn caused by the coronavirus pandemic. New York Times, "Stock Markets Show Broad Optimism: Live Business Updates," 11 May 2020 However, Teck pulling the application won’t be an unvarnished win for Trudeau. Kevin Orland, Bloomberg.com, "Teck Pulls Oil-Sands Mine Project in Relief for Trudeau," 10 May 2020 Doctors and nurses joined the frontlines, while schools pulled medical students from rotations in hospitals to protect their safety. Fox News, "Columbia University students pitch in with health care efforts during coronavirus pandemic," 10 May 2020 Phoenix police responded to a call of a woman being hit by a truck pulling a horse trailer at 32nd Street and Broadway Road at about 7 p.m. Sunday, Phoenix Police Department spokeswoman Sgt. James Carr, azcentral, "Woman on a bicycle hit and killed in Phoenix," 10 May 2020 To combat this issue, try pulling your mask up on your face and using the weight of your glasses to block air flow from under your mask. Eliza Huber, refinery29.com, "Face Mask Fogging Your Glasses? Here’s A Quick Fix," 7 May 2020 The book is being written in collaboration with novelist James Patterson, reports Pitchfork, and will apparently pull its narrative from the lyrics of the hit 1988 song. TheWeek, "Guns N' Roses and James Patterson have teamed up for a 'Sweet Child O' Mine' picture book," 7 May 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The idea that college football is integral to the mental health of the nation is the reason why fans take pictures of empty stadiums on blustery, unseasonably cold days in May. The game has the pull of religion. Shawn Windsor, Detroit Free Press, "College football may be a religion. But science should decide its future.," 10 May 2020 Vanguard’s move shows the pull of alternative investments to all kinds of investors. Dawn Lim, WSJ, "Vanguard Broadens Reach With Entry Into Private Equity," 5 Feb. 2020 SpinLaunch hopes its new system will replace rocket boosters, which currently augment a rocket's own thrust power to escape the gravitational pull of Earth, and happen to be one of the most expensive components of a rocket launch. Courtney Linder, Popular Mechanics, "This Company Built a Gigantic Centrifuge to Fling Rockets Into Space," 30 Jan. 2020 Shaffer said these types of businesses defy the pull of e-commerce, consistently drawing people to shopping. Madison Iszler, ExpressNews.com, "Drop in retail construction helps San Antonio shopping centers stay full," 3 Jan. 2020 Ariel resisted the pull of drugs until age 19, when a friend convinced her to try heroin. Sandy M. Fernandez, Woman's Day, "Hope on Haven Hill Gives New Moms Suffering From Substance Use Disorders a Second Chance," 5 Oct. 2019 Even with those admissions, Strafach urged people to resist the pull of the app. CBS News, "FaceApp sparks myths and privacy fears. Here's how it works," 18 July 2019 Beyond retaining its status as the nation’s largest private insurer, UnitedHealth continued to enjoy the pull of its Optum health services and analytics business, which raked in more than $101 billion, or 11.1% year-over-year growth. Fortune, "UnitedHealth Group," 1 July 2019 But Vance and Athie create characters worth our attention, and the script's realistic handling of their conflict pulls Uncorked through its lulls. John Defore, The Hollywood Reporter, "'Uncorked': Film Review," 27 Mar. 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

14 May 2020

Cite this Entry

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