- to pull at with force, vigor, or effort.
- to move by pulling forcibly; drag; haul.
- to tow (a vessel) by means of a tugboat.
- to pull with force or effort: to tug at a stuck drawer.
- to strive hard; labor; toil.
Origin of tug
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for tug
These men and women will no doubt cause a tug a war in time.Up To Speed: The Cuba Embargo
December 18, 2014
The White House has been mediating the tug of war between the CIA and the committee over the redaction process.You're About to See What Obama Calls 'Torture'
Josh Rogin, Eli Lake
August 1, 2014
But since then it has been subject to a tug of war with the CIA.Ex-CIA Top Lawyer: Release the ‘Black Site’ Report
March 14, 2014
After this Euro-Russian tug of war, the sparks ignited in Kiev and Moscow.Cut the Baloney on Ukraine
Leslie H. Gelb
March 9, 2014
We must win the tug of war for these men, even if the battle is with the United Nations.Italian Pirate-Fighting Marines On Trial
Barbie Latza Nadeau
February 14, 2014
She swayed forward bodily to his tug, and nearly went off the chair.The Secret Agent
And many a tug did this lordly fear cost us both, God knows!Clarissa, Volume 2 (of 9)
Duncan removed one hand from the pocket the better to tug at his moustache.The Fortune Hunter
Louis Joseph Vance
Purplish shadows had already begun to dim the tug and dock and ocean.
Do you mean you object to sailing this tug on account of some imaginary thing?
- (when intr, sometimes foll by at) to pull or drag with sharp or powerful movementsthe boy tugged at the door handle
- (tr) to tow (a vessel) by means of a tug
- (intr) to work; toil
- a strong pull or jerkhe gave the rope a tug
- Also called: tugboat, towboat a boat with a powerful engine, used for towing barges, ships, etc
- a hard struggle or fight
- a less common word for trace 2 (def. 1)
Word Origin and History for tug
c.1500, from tug (v.). Meaning "small steamer used to tow other vessels" is recorded from 1817. Phrase tug of war (1670s) was originally figurative, "the decisive contest, the real struggle."