pulley

noun
pul·​ley | \ ˈpu̇-lē How to pronounce pulley (audio) \
plural pulleys

Definition of pulley

1 : a sheave or small wheel with a grooved rim and with or without the block in which it runs used singly with a rope or chain to change the direction and point of application of a pulling force and in various combinations to increase the applied force especially for lifting weights
2 : a pulley or pulleys with ropes to form a tackle that constitutes one of the simple machines
3 : a wheel used to transmit power by means of a band, belt, cord, rope, or chain passing over its rim

Illustration of pulley

Illustration of pulley

pulley 2

Examples of pulley in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Every crankshaft has a pulley, which is held on by a bolt on the front of the engine. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Seize this opportunity to learn about your engine," 15 Sep. 2019 Every crankshaft has a pulley, which is held on by a bolt on the front of the engine. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Seize this opportunity to learn about your engine," 15 Sep. 2019 The iron ballast used to counter-balance human weight aboard the ship, remnants of shackles and a wooden pulley humanize the lives onboard. Chris Searles, National Geographic, "Most slave shipwrecks have been overlooked—until now," 23 Aug. 2019 Every crankshaft has a pulley, which is held on by a bolt on the front of the engine. Ray Magliozzi, courant.com, "Car Talk: Seize this opportunity to learn about your engine," 28 July 2019 Rescuers used ropes and pulleys to safely extract McLeroy from the riverside. Kieran Nicholson, The Denver Post, "Missing Western Slope man, 82, found along San Miguel River by grandson in kayak," 5 Sep. 2019 People should be on the look-out for someone trying to scrap or sell equipment such as carabiners, pulleys and ascent control devices, Mokosso said. Mara H. Gottfried, Twin Cities, "As St. Paul firefighters train in bluff rescue, someone steals their equipment," 19 Aug. 2019 Directly across from the restaurant, several workers stood in the street recently attaching a pulley to a crane to carry supplies up to a 25-story tower. Sarah Ravani, SFChronicle.com, "Downtown Oakland businesses strain under weight of apartment building boom," 19 Aug. 2019 By age 11, Young was using ropes, pulleys and his horse to extract large rocks from the earth and from Lake Michigan, which several of his homes overlook. Jay Jones, chicagotribune.com, "Michigan town famous for ‘gnome houses’ — which occasionally go up for sale — will honor the architect with the renovated Hotel Earl," 13 Aug. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'pulley.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of pulley

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for pulley

Middle English poley, pully, from Anglo-French pulie, probably ultimately from Greek polos axis, pole — more at pole

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about pulley

Statistics for pulley

Last Updated

7 Oct 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for pulley

The first known use of pulley was in the 14th century

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for pulley

pulley

noun

English Language Learners Definition of pulley

: a wheel or set of wheels that is used with a rope, chain, etc., to lift or lower heavy objects

pulley

noun
pul·​ley | \ ˈpu̇-lē How to pronounce pulley (audio) \
plural pulleys

Kids Definition of pulley

: a wheel over which a belt, rope, or chain is pulled to lift or lower a heavy object

pulley

noun
pul·​ley | \ ˈpu̇l-ē How to pronounce pulley (audio) \

Medical Definition of pulley

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on pulley

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with pulley

Spanish Central: Translation of pulley

Nglish: Translation of pulley for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of pulley for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about pulley

Comments on pulley

What made you want to look up pulley? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

to wander slowly or to speak indistinctly

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Where in the World? A Quiz

  • peter bruegel tower of babel painting
  • What language does pajama come from?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Add Diction

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!