tug

verb
\ ˈtəg How to pronounce tug (audio) \
tugged; tugging

Definition of tug

 (Entry 1 of 3)

intransitive verb

1 : to pull hard
2 : to struggle in opposition : contend
3 : to exert oneself laboriously : labor

transitive verb

1 : to pull or strain hard at
2a : to move by pulling hard : haul
b : to carry with difficulty : lug
3 : to tow with a tugboat

tug

noun

Definition of tug (Entry 2 of 3)

1a : an act or instance of tugging : pull
b : a strong pulling force
2a : a straining effort
b : a struggle between two people or opposite forces
3 : tugboat
b : a short leather strap or loop
c : a rope or chain used for pulling

Definition of Tug (Entry 3 of 3)

tugrik, tugriks

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Other Words from tug

Verb

tugger noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for tug

Synonyms: Verb

drag, draw, hale, haul, lug, pull, tow

Synonyms: Noun

draw, haul, jerk, pluck, pull, wrench, yank

Antonyms: Verb

drive, propel, push

Antonyms: Noun

push

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Examples of tug in a Sentence

Verb

I felt someone tugging on my sleeve. She tugged the cord until the plug came out of the wall socket.

Noun

He felt a gentle tug on his sleeve. gave the man in front a tug on his shirtsleeve as a sign that he was supposed to step aside
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Neymar orchestrated Brazil’s opener six minutes into the second half, cutting menacingly from left to right across the 18-yard line, tugging three defenders along with him, before smacking a blind, back heel pass to Willian, reversing the play. Andrew Keh, New York Times, "Brazil’s Joy Is Mexico’s Heartbreak in World Cup Knockout," 4 July 2018 Try gently—key word, gently—tugging on his lower lip with your teeth during a kiss. The Editors, Marie Claire, "13 Ways to Be a Better Kisser," 25 Oct. 2017 Those big beautiful eyes resembling mine, staring back, helpless, full of wonderment and love really tugged at me. Zoe Wilder, Good Housekeeping, "Why I Couldn't Care Less About Having Kids," 15 June 2015 Even though her grandmother passed away while the show was still on air, Burnett continued the ear-tugging tradition. Amanda Garrity, Good Housekeeping, "The Real Reason Why Carol Burnett Pulls Her Ear," 4 Jan. 2019 His 1994 Best Picture-winning Forrest Gump, for example, has heartstring-tugging moments. Jesse Hassenger, The Verge, "Welcome to Marwen is Robert Zemeckis’ most revealing movie — and his worst," 20 Dec. 2018 Be careful not to tug or pull at them while washing your face. Roxanne Adamiyatt, Town & Country, "Every Question You've Ever Had About Lash Extensions Answered," 4 Feb. 2019 Strazzere explains that tugging on your eyelid will actually cause your makeup to look worse. Tiffany Dodson, SELF, "5 Mistakes You’re Making When Applying Liquid Eyeliner," 26 Sep. 2018 Occasionally Grace veers left or right, tugging on a door handle to check the lock. Lara Sorokanich, Popular Mechanics, "What Littleton Learned," 1 Aug. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Shifting all the missing extra propellant to the lunar lander is not a good idea either, so a special space tug would be needed to ferry the lander from the Orion’s high orbit to as close to the lunar surface as possible. Anatoly Zak, Popular Mechanics, "NASA: Lunar 'Gateway' Is Still Our Best Bet for Putting Boots on the Moon," 1 Apr. 2019 Anxiety is physiological, influenced by a delicate balance of hormones and the tug of war between the amygdala and the prefrontal cortex. Caroline Foran, Glamour, "No, You Don’t Have to ‘Justify’ Your Anxiety," 27 Mar. 2019 On a more humanistic level, Ackley’s presence in Seattle’s camp is a poignant example of the vagaries of baseball and how the tug of the game is not easily relinquished. Larry Stone, The Seattle Times, "‘I’m in a way better spot’: Back with Mariners on minor-league deal, Dustin Ackley is hopeful, and realistic," 20 Feb. 2019 During its 11-year run, comedic legend Carol Burnett ended her show, The Carol Burnett Show, with a lyrical farewell and a tug of her left ear. Amanda Garrity, Good Housekeeping, "The Real Reason Why Carol Burnett Pulls Her Ear," 4 Jan. 2019 By design, the study concluded, farmers get short shrift compared with India’s burgeoning urban populations in the tug of war over food prices. Krishna Pokharel, WSJ, "Indian Farmers Despair, Planting Seeds of Doubt About Modi’s Re-Election," 14 Jan. 2019 The battle over Sky is just one front in a larger tug-of-war to determine which U.S. media company — Comcast or the Walt Disney Co. — wins the bulk of Fox’s entertainment assets. Meg James, latimes.com, "Comcast offers $34 billion for Sky TV, topping a bid from Fox," 11 July 2018 Russia has veto power in the council and it's been in a tug-of-war with Ukraine since Moscow's annexation of the Crimean Peninsula in early 2014 followed by its support for separatist rebels in eastern Ukraine. Fox News, "UN encourages all parties in Ukraine to recommit to peace," 6 June 2018 The most likely culprit, the researchers concluded, was the tug of gravity from a large, undiscovered planet. Jason Daley, Smithsonian, "Is the Mysterious Planet Nine Just a Swarm of Asteroids?," 6 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'tug.' 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 tug

Verb

14th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1

Noun

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 4a

History and Etymology for tug

Verb

Middle English tuggen; akin to Old English togian to pull — more at tow

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Dictionary Entries near tug

tuftily

tuftlet

Tu Fu

tug

Tug

tugboat

tug chain

Statistics for tug

Last Updated

19 May 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for tug

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

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More Definitions for tug

tug

verb

English Language Learners Definition of tug

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to pull something with a quick, forceful movement

tug

noun

English Language Learners Definition of tug (Entry 2 of 2)

: an act of pulling on something : a quick pull
: a strong pulling force

tug

verb
\ ˈtəg How to pronounce tug (audio) \
tugged; tugging

Kids Definition of tug

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : to pull hard I tugged at the rope.
2 : to move by pulling hard : drag
3 : to tow with a tugboat

tug

noun

Kids Definition of tug (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : an act of pulling hard : a hard pull She gave him a tug.
2 : tugboat
3 : a strong pulling force the tug of gravity
4 : a struggle between two people or forces

tug

Medical Definition of tug

— see tracheal tug

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More from Merriam-Webster on tug

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with tug

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for tug

Spanish Central: Translation of tug

Nglish: Translation of tug for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of tug for Arabic Speakers

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