1

pull

verb \ ˈpu̇l also ˈpəl \
Updated on: 24 Nov 2017

Definition of pull

transitive verb
1 a : 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
2 a : 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
6 : to remove from a place or situation
  • pull the engine
  • pulled the pitcher in the third inning
  • pulled the show
7 : to bring (a weapon) into the open
  • pulled a knife
8 a : perform, carry out
  • pull an all-nighter
  • pull guard duty
b : commit, perpetrate
  • pull a robbery
  • pull a prank
9 a : put on, assume
  • pull a grin
b : to act or behave in the manner of
  • pulled a Horace Greely and went west
  • —Steve Rushin
10 a : 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
1 a : 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

puller

noun
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

Examples of pull in a Sentence

  1. He pulled the door open and ran out.

  2. The cat will scratch you if you keep pulling its tail.

  3. Make a knot in the rope and pull it tight.

  4. Pull the baby's chair closer to the table.

  5. She pulled the blanket over her head.

  6. We tried pushing and pulling but couldn't get the couch to move.

  7. Grab the end of the rope and pull as hard as you can.

  8. We spent the morning in the garden pulling weeds.

  9. I accidentally pulled one of the buttons off my shirt.

  10. He pulled the plug out of the socket.

Recent Examples of pull from the Web

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.

Origin and Etymology of pull

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

pull Synonyms

Synonyms
drag, draw, hale, haul, lug, tow, tug
Antonyms
drive, propel, push
Related Words
attract; heave, jerk, yank; carry, convey, ferry, move, transport
Near Antonyms
shove, thrust

2

pull

noun, often attributive

Definition of pull

1 a : 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
2 a : advantage
b : special influence
3 : proof 6a
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

Examples of pull in a Sentence

  1. She gave the door a few hard pulls and it opened.

  2. Give the rope a pull.

  3. He has a lot of pull in local political circles.

Recent Examples of pull from the Web

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.

pull Synonyms

Synonyms
draw, haul, jerk, pluck, tug, wrench, yank
Antonyms
push
Related Words
drag, tow; hitch, twitch; grab, snatch
Near Antonyms
heave, shove, thrust

PULL Defined for English Language Learners

pull

verb

Definition of pull for English Language Learners

  • : 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

Definition of pull for English Language Learners

  • : 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 Defined for Kids

1

pull

verb \ ˈpu̇l \

Definition of pull for Students

pulled; pulling
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 : 1move 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.

2

pull

noun

Definition of pull for Students

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

Medical Dictionary

1

pull

transitive verb \ ˈpu̇l \

medical Definition of pull

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

2

pull

noun

medical Definition of pull

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


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