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 O’Connell hit 4 of 4 passes for 70 yards, including an 8-yard touchdown, to help the Boilermakers pull back within 14 points with 13 seconds left in the quarter. Jeff Potrykus, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Wisconsin 45, Purdue 24: Pretty? No. Good enough to set up showdown with Minnesota? Absolutely.," 23 Nov. 2019 Their testimony came as Democrats sought to pull back the focus of the impeachment proceedings at the end of two weeks of hearings focused on White House meetings, suspended security assistance for Ukraine and diplomatic exchanges. Arkansas Online, "Expert: Ukraine meddling lie," 22 Nov. 2019 The book delves deep into the shadowy financial network that flows throughout the globe, ripping away the curtain that the Panama Papers pulled back. Tyler Aquilina, EW.com, "7 books to read this Oscar season before you see the movie," 21 Nov. 2019 Yet several of his top diplomats have gone to Congress to pull back the curtains on Mr. Trump’s efforts, infuriating the president. David E. Sanger, New York Times, "Pompeo Emerges as a Major Trump Enabler in Ukraine Affair," 20 Nov. 2019 It's metal, a little cold, takes some real force to pull back. Wired, "A Journey to Galaxy's Edge, the Nerdiest Place on Earth," 18 Nov. 2019 The impeachment inquiry has pulled back the curtain on a long and murky effort to engineer the ambassador's removal - one driven by an array of figures whose motives are still not fully understood. Anchorage Daily News, "Ex-ambassador likely to shed light on murky effort in Ukraine to oust her," 15 Nov. 2019 At the same time, investors have lost patience with the shale industry, known for overspending, and have pulled back financial support. Erin Douglas, Houston Chronicle, "U.S. rig count sees another big dip amid shale struggles," 15 Nov. 2019 This, says Mr Roberts of Comcast, will need to be pulled back somewhat over time. The Economist, "The future of entertainment," 14 Nov. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Dickson feels the gravitational pull of Austin more acutely than most San Antonians. Greg Jefferson, ExpressNews.com, "Jefferson: Is San Antonio learning to play nice with Austin?," 21 Nov. 2019 Back in the 1950s, House Beautiful wrote about the then-hot trend of pull-out dividers, which screened the kitchen from the dining room to hide all of the cooking mess. Ann Lien, House Beautiful, "A Canadian Company Has Created an Actual Invisibility Cloak," 8 Nov. 2019 The pull-out drawer holds a treasure of accessories. 12. Sonja Haller, USA TODAY, "Exclusive look at Disney's Top 15 Toys of 2019: Frozen 2, Star Wars, Marvel and Lion King," 17 Oct. 2019 Chelsea Clinton‘s daughter feels a pull toward the South — thanks to Princess Tiana! Jen Juneau, PEOPLE.com, "What Chelsea Clinton Told Daughter Charlotte, 5, About Meeting Princess Tiana in New Orleans," 16 Oct. 2019 Anything inside a spacecraft engine, then, feels a gravitational pull from nearby stuff as well as that billions of light-years distant. Sarah Scoles, Scientific American, "The Good Kind of Crazy: The Quest for Exotic Propulsion," 29 July 2019 In the past decade alone, Milan Mandaric, Thai businessman Dejphon Chansiri and members of the Saudi Arabian royal family have all felt the gravitational pull of the city's football potential. SI.com, "Sheffield United's Premier League Return Can Reinvigorate Football in the Steel City," 13 July 2019 Then, a little over a year ago, Carney, now 73, felt the pull of the great American novel. al.com, "Alabama author, veterans advocate releases first novel," 9 June 2019 Brooks does speak to a genuine experience that many who have grown up in a pluralistic society share, of feeling the pull of different traditions and communities. Jeet Heer, The New Republic, "David Brooks needs a name for his new religion.," 13 June 2018

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

27 Nov 2019

Cite this Entry

“Pull.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/pull%20strings. Accessed 11 December 2019.

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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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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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