\ 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 Fern Creek jumped to a 26-0 lead in the first quarter, but Montrell Page’s 11-yard touchdown run pulled Bullitt East (5-6) within 26-19 with 4:32 left in the second. Jason Frakes, The Courier-Journal, "Fern Creek rolls up big-time numbers in first-round playoff win over Bullitt East," 9 Nov. 2019 For a brief moment in time, California and Berlin looked not unalike: two nights pulling at the edges of an expanse of light stretched over the earth. Tessa Love, Longreads, "California Burning," 8 Nov. 2019 Pushing and pulling the neck, which is about the same weight as the tail, leans the body forward or backward. Jennifer Leman, Popular Mechanics, "This Dinosaur Contraption Is Proof Engineers Make the Best Costumes," 7 Nov. 2019 Two hours after that, Adkins was driving a stolen blue Hyundai Tucson and pulled a gun on a driver in a road-rage incident and fired shots at the other driver, Thomas said. Cory Shaffer, cleveland, "Cleveland man who likened himself to actor Paul Walker in The Fast and the Furious movies gets 20 years in prison for crime spree," 7 Nov. 2019 Blurry images from the scene show a black truck pulling a blue horse trailer. Christopher Harress | Charress@al.com, al, "Horse abandoned in downtown Mobile euthanized after being injured in bizarre road accident," 6 Nov. 2019 Howard pulled again Nick Bonino scored two minutes into the second period to tie the game. Helene St. James, Detroit Free Press, "Detroit Red Wings destroyed, Jimmy Howard pulled in soft 2nd period of 6-1 loss," 5 Nov. 2019 My kids seemed adorable, completely unlike the hellions who made me pull the car over on the Henry Hudson Parkway just hours earlier and threaten them with military school. Chris Morocco, Bon Appétit, "This Shop Makes Me Want to Move to Westchester and Subsist on Mushroom Coffee Alone," 4 Nov. 2019 Incumbent Democratic Hamilton County commissioner Denise Driehaus appears ready to make a run for re-election and has pulled petitions. Scott Wartman, Cincinnati.com, "Hamilton County Commissioner race: Alicia Reece first Democrat to announce in race to succeed Todd Portune," 1 Nov. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The Magic used their size, athleticism and aggressiveness to limit the easy 2s and banked on the Pacers not being able to offset it with 3s or mid-range pull-ups. J. Michael, Indianapolis Star, "Insider: Pacers come from behind to dominate Orlando Magic, win for 6th time in 7 games," 10 Nov. 2019 Then, in a three-minute span midway through the fourth, Russell rattled off 12 points on three pull-up jumpers and two 3-pointers. Connor Letourneau, SFChronicle.com, "Warriors waste 52-point night from D’Angelo Russell in loss to Timberwolves," 8 Nov. 2019 Paul sank a short baseline jumper, then followed with a pull-up 17-footer on the ensuing possession to give the Thunder a 97-89 lead with 1:32 remaining. Roy Parry, orlandosentinel.com, "Magic come up short against Thunder as losing streak hits three," 5 Nov. 2019 But after Harden’s free throw, Dillon Brooks hit the free throws from Harden’s flagrant and put in a pull-up jumper, reducing the lead to six. Jonathan Feigen, Houston Chronicle, "Rockets respond with bounceback win over Grizzlies," 4 Nov. 2019 But that pales in comparison to his pull-up jumper in the face of fellow one-and-done Dukie R.J. Barrett for the victory. BostonGlobe.com, "It was one of those nights for Jayson Tatum, the Celtics third-year forward who is soaring toward a maximum contract next summer. Boston’s hopes for reaching the Eastern Conference Finals, to surpass last year’s disappointing finish, is for Tatum to take that next major step to prominence.," 2 Nov. 2019 Paul Millsap cashed in a pull-up jumper from behind the arc. Kyle Fredrickson, The Denver Post, "Why Paul Millsap and Jerami Grant bring needed balance to Nuggets frontcourt," 20 Oct. 2019 But Robinson also recorded five assists during his first six minutes in the second quarter and later brought teammates to their feet by making a pull-up three-pointer in transition and racing to the rim for a second-half dunk with his right hand. Andrew Greif, Los Angeles Times, "Clippers’ Jerome Robinson looking for more consistency in second season," 7 Oct. 2019 Exercises like pull-ups, rows, farmer carries, kettlebell swings, deadlifts and bicep curls all involve a certain amount of forearm strength. Get-fit Guy Brock Armstrong, Scientific American, "The Importance of Forearm Strength and How to Build It," 1 Oct. 2019

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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Statistics for pull

Last Updated

13 Nov 2019

Time Traveler for pull

The first known use of pull was before the 12th century

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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

Comments on pull

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to speed up the process or progress of

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