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.
2a : advantage
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

drag, draw, hale, haul, lug, tow, tug

Synonyms: Noun

draw, haul, jerk, pluck, tug, wrench, yank

Antonyms: Verb

drive, propel, push

Antonyms: Noun

push

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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

Video taken from the home shows a white vehicle, described by investigators as an older model white Chevy Suburban, pull onto Gardenia Court shortly before the fire. Howard Koplowitz | Hkoplowitz@al.com, al, "Suspects wanted in Prattville arson investigation," 17 Sep. 2019 Conclusion: The Dolphins would have been better off pulling Dan Marino out of the owners’ booth to take a few shots downfield. BostonGlobe.com, "Just thinking: Hapless Dolphins had no chance against Patriots," 16 Sep. 2019 Book argues the attack on Saudi Arabia is driving home the repercussions of the unraveling of the Iran nuclear deal after President Donald Trump pulled the U.S. out in 2018, imposing harsh sanctions on Iran, including its oil industry. Tali Arbel, chicagotribune.com, "Oil prices surge after Saudi plant attack — likely to raise airline fuel costs, Asian export prices and what you pay at the pump," 16 Sep. 2019 Oddly, the play was called a strike, as umpires ruled Culberson didn't pull back his bat. Eric Levenson, CNN, "Braves player Charlie Culberson was hit in the face with a 90 mph fastball," 15 Sep. 2019 The barbecue menu will feature smoked brisket and pulled pork. Chris Shelton, Houston Chronicle, "Roundups: Crave Hot Dogs & Barbecue arrives in Generation Park area," 14 Sep. 2019 The Idaho Press reports that the inmates say a deputy pulled the used razors from a biohazard waste box before handing them out to inmates to use and that all seven of the inmates tested positive for hepatitis C following the incident. USA TODAY, "Disney surprise, foreign feral hogs, porous pavement: News from around our 50 states," 13 Sep. 2019 Once they are forced to cut their head count and workers start to lose their paychecks, those consumers pull back sharply on spending — making it a surer bet that the economy will shrink in earnest. Jeanna Smialek, New York Times, "Recession or Slowdown? Why You Should Care About the Difference," 13 Sep. 2019 And as women with full chests know, finding a button-down that doesn't gape at the buttons is nearly impossible, so Chan added hidden buttons to make sure the shirt doesn't pull open at the bust. Lauren Alexis Fisher, Harper's BAZAAR, "This New Brand Is One of Fashion Week’s Most Important Launches," 13 Sep. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Like Get Out, too, the story ultimately turns on whether the main character can really trust his or her mate, or whether the pull of family loyalty will always out-tug mere romantic love. Ross Douthat, National Review, "Horror-Comedy Ready or Not Plays on Primal Human Fears," 12 Sep. 2019 Bay Area communities have recently stepped up efforts to combat the crisis, with the help of the $50 million in state tobacco tax money flooding into cities to fight the powerful pull of nicotine on youth. Jill Tucker, SFChronicle.com, "Bay Area parents, teachers mobilize against teen vaping: ‘We have quite a fight ahead of us’," 7 Sep. 2019 After working in the insurance industry, followed by a long tenure in a medical office, Jo Ann felt the pull of the ocean and relocated to her favorite place, New Smyrna Beach. orlandosentinel.com, "Deaths in Central Florida: 9/5," 5 Sep. 2019 For both songwriters and musicians in the mid-sixties, New York was still the traditional port of entry, and yet Los Angeles had the gravitational pull of the dustbowl narrative. Longreads, "The Story of Country Music’s Great Songwriting Duo," 3 Sep. 2019 With a combined 121-horsepower and the instant pull of torque, the acceleration is adequate. San Diego Union-Tribune, "2020 Toyota Corolla Hybrid LE: A versatile 52 mpg," 30 Aug. 2019 The Andes are the gravitational pull of the continent, the long shadow, the backbone. Stanley Stewart, Condé Nast Traveler, "From Buenos Aires to the Chilean Coast: A Road Trip Across South America," 22 Aug. 2019 Your high spirits and upbeat outlook can counteract the pull of pessimism and keep you in forward motion. Tribune Content Agency, oregonlive.com, "Horoscope for Aug. 22, 2019: Happy birthday Kristen Wiig; Leo, whip up something exciting," 22 Aug. 2019 The larger had more than five times the mass of the sun, and physics dictates that something this massive which is generating no starlight to counteract the pull of its gravity must be a black hole. The Economist, "Gravitational astronomy proves its maturity," 22 Aug. 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

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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Statistics for pull

Last Updated

2 Oct 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for pull

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

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More Definitions for pull

pull

verb

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

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with pull

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for 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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