[ draw ]
See synonyms for: drawdrawingdrawndrew on Thesaurus.com

verb (used with object),drew [droo], /dru/, drawn [drawn], /drɔn/, draw·ing [draw-ing]. /ˈdrɔ ɪŋ/.
  1. to cause to move in a particular direction by or as if by a pulling force; pull; drag (often followed by along, away, in, out, or off).

  2. to bring, take, or pull out, as from a receptacle or source: to draw water from a well.

  1. to bring toward oneself or itself, as by inherent force or influence; attract: The concert drew a large audience.

  2. to sketch (someone or something) in lines or words; delineate; depict: to draw a vase with charcoal; to draw the comedy's characters with skill.

  3. to compose or create (a picture) in lines.

  4. to mark or lay out; trace: to draw perpendicular lines.

  5. to frame or formulate: to draw a distinction.

  6. to write out in legal form (sometimes followed by up): Draw up the contract.

  7. to inhale or suck in: to draw liquid through a straw.

  8. to derive or use, as from a source: to draw inspiration from Shakespeare.

  9. to deduce; infer: to draw a conclusion.

  10. to get, take, or receive, as from a source: to draw interest on a savings account; to draw a salary of $600 a week.

  11. to withdraw funds from a drawing account, especially against future commissions on sales.

  12. to produce; bring in: The deposits draw interest.

  13. to disembowel: to draw a turkey.

  14. to drain: to draw a pond.

  15. to pull out to full or greater length; make by attenuating; stretch: to draw filaments of molten glass.

  16. to bend (a bow) by pulling back its string in preparation for shooting an arrow.

  17. to choose or to have assigned to one at random, by or as by picking an unseen number, item, etc.: Let's draw straws to see who has to wash the car.

  18. Metalworking. to form or reduce the sectional area of (a wire, tube, etc.) by pulling through a die.

  19. to wrinkle or shrink by contraction.

  20. Medicine/Medical. to cause to discharge: to draw an abscess by a poultice.

  21. to obtain (rations, clothing, equipment, weapons, or ammunition) from an issuing agency, as an army quartermaster.

  22. Nautical. (of a vessel) to need (a specific depth of water) to float: She draws six feet.

  23. to leave (a contest) undecided; finish with neither side winning, as in a tie.

  24. Cards.

    • to take or be dealt (a card or cards) from the pack.

    • Bridge. to remove the outstanding cards in (a given suit) by leading that suit: He had to draw spades first in order to make the contract.

  25. Billiards. to cause (a cue ball) to recoil after impact by giving it a backward spin on the stroke.

  26. Northeastern U.S. (chiefly New England). to haul; cart.

  27. Hunting. to search (a covert) for game.

  28. Cricket. to play (a ball) with a bat held at an angle in order to deflect the ball between the wicket and the legs.

  29. Curling. to slide (the stone) gently.

  30. to steep (tea) in boiling water.

  31. to form or shape (glass) as it comes from the furnace by stretching.

verb (used without object),drew [droo], /dru/, drawn [drawn], /drɔn/, draw·ing [draw-ing]. /ˈdrɔ ɪŋ/.
  1. to exert a pulling, moving, or attracting force: A sail draws by being properly trimmed and filled with wind.

  2. to move or pass, especially slowly or continuously, as under a pulling force (often followed by on, off, out, etc.): The day draws near.

  1. to take out a sword, pistol, etc., for action.

  2. to hold a drawing, lottery, or the like: to draw for prizes.

  3. to sketch or to trace figures; create a picture or depict by sketching.

  4. to be skilled in or practice the art of sketching: I can't paint, but I can draw.

  5. to shrink or contract (often followed by up).

  6. to make a demand (usually followed by on or upon): to draw on one's imagination.

  7. Medicine/Medical.

    • to act as an irritant; cause blisters.

    • to cause blood, pus, or the like to gather at a specific point.

  8. to produce or permit a draft, as a pipe or flue.

  9. to leave a contest undecided; tie.

  10. Hunting. (of a hound)

    • to search a covert for game.

    • to follow a game animal by its scent.

  11. to attract customers, an audience, etc.: Our newspaper advertisement drew very well.

  12. to pull back the string of a bow in preparation for shooting an arrow.

  1. an act of drawing.

  2. something that attracts customers, an audience, etc.

  1. something that is moved by being drawn, as the movable part of a drawbridge.

  2. something that is chosen or drawn at random, as a lot or chance.

  3. a contest that ends in a tie; an undecided contest.

  4. Also called draw play. Football. a play in which the quarterback fades as if to pass and then hands the ball to a back, usually the fullback, who is running toward the line of scrimmage.

  5. Poker.

    • a card or cards taken or dealt from the pack.

  6. Physical Geography.

    • a small, natural drainageway with a shallow bed; gully.

    • the dry bed of a stream.

    • Chiefly Western U.S. a coulee; ravine.

  7. the pull necessary to draw a bow to its full extent.

  8. an amount regularly drawn, as from a drawing account.

  9. a fund, as an expense account or credit line, from which money may be withdrawn when needed.

  10. Horology. the tendency of a tooth of an escape wheel to force toward the center of the wheel a pallet engaging with it.

Verb Phrases
  1. draw ahead,

    • to gradually pass something moving in the same direction.

    • Nautical. (of the wind) to blow from a direction closer to that in which a vessel is moving; haul forward.: Compare veer1 (def. 2b).

  2. draw away,

    • to move or begin to move away: He drew his hand away from the hot stove.

    • to move farther ahead: The lead runner gradually drew away from his competitor.

  1. draw down, to deplete or be depleted through use or consumption: to draw down crude-oil supplies.

  2. draw in,

    • to cause to take part or enter, especially unwittingly: I heard them debating the point, but I avoided being drawn in.

    • to make a rough sketch of: to draw in a person's figure against the landscape background.

  3. draw off, to move back or away.

  4. draw on,

    • to come nearer; approach: He sensed winter drawing on.

    • to clothe oneself in: She drew on her cape and gloves.

    • Nautical. (of a vessel) to gain on (another vessel).

    • to utilize or make use of, especially as a source: The biography has drawn heavily on personal interviews.

  5. draw out,

    • to pull out; remove.

    • to prolong; lengthen.

    • to persuade to speak: You'll find she's quite interesting if you take the trouble to draw her out.

    • Nautical. (of a vessel) to move away from (sometimes followed by from): The boat drew out from the wharf.

    • to take (money) from a place of deposit: She drew her money out of the bank and invested it in bonds.

  6. draw up,

    • to devise or formulate; draft, especially in legal form or as a formal proposal: to draw up a will.

    • to put into position; arrange in order or formation: The officer drew up his men.

    • to bring or come to a stop; halt: Their car drew up at the curb.

Idioms about draw

  1. beat to the draw, to react quicker than an opponent.

  2. draw oneself up, to assume an erect posture.

  1. luck of the draw. luck (def. 10).

Origin of draw

First recorded before 900; Middle English drawen, Old English dragan; cognate with Old Norse draga, German tragen “to carry”; cf. drag

synonym study For draw

1. Draw, drag, haul, pull imply causing movement of an object toward one by exerting force upon it. To draw is to move by a force, in the direction from which the force is exerted: A magnet draws iron to it. To drag is to draw with the force necessary to overcome friction between the object drawn and the surface on which it rests: to drag a sled to the top of a hill. To haul is to transport a heavy object slowly by mechanical force or with sustained effort: to haul a large boat across a portage. To pull is to draw or tug, exerting varying amounts of force according to the effort needed: to pull out an eyelash; to pull fighting dogs apart.

Other words for draw

Other words from draw

  • draw·a·ble, adjective
  • mis·draw, verb, mis·drew, mis·drawn, mis·draw·ing.
  • pre·draw, verb, pre·drew, pre·drawn, pre·draw·ing; noun
  • re·draw, verb re·drew, re·drawn, re·draw·ing, noun
  • un·draw·a·ble, adjective

Words Nearby draw

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use draw in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for draw


/ (drɔː) /

verbdraws, drawing, drew or drawn
  1. to cause (a person or thing) to move towards or away by pulling

  2. to bring, take, or pull (something) out, as from a drawer, holster, etc

  1. (tr) to extract or pull or take out: to draw teeth; to draw a card from a pack

  2. (tr often foll by off) to take (liquid) out of a cask, keg, tank, etc, by means of a tap

  3. (intr) to move, go, or proceed, esp in a specified direction: to draw alongside

  4. (tr) to attract or elicit: to draw a crowd; draw attention

  5. (tr) to cause to flow: to draw blood

  6. to depict or sketch (a form, figure, picture, etc) in lines, as with a pencil or pen, esp without the use of colour; delineate

  7. (tr) to make, formulate, or derive: to draw conclusions, comparisons, parallels

  8. (tr) to write (a legal document) in proper form

  9. (tr sometimes foll by in) to suck or take in (air, liquid, etc): to draw a breath

  10. (intr) to induce or allow a draught to carry off air, smoke, etc: the flue draws well

  11. (tr) to take or receive from a source: to draw money from the bank

  12. (tr) to earn: draw interest

  13. (tr) finance to write out (a bill of exchange or promissory note): to draw a cheque

  14. (tr) to choose at random: to draw lots

  15. (tr) to reduce the diameter of (a wire or metal rod) by pulling it through a die

  16. (tr) to shape (a sheet of metal or glass) by rolling, by pulling it through a die or by stretching

  17. archery to bend (a bow) by pulling the string

  18. to steep (tea) or (of tea) to steep in boiling water

  19. (tr) to disembowel: draw a chicken

  20. (tr) to cause (pus, blood, etc) to discharge from an abscess or wound

  21. (intr) (of two teams, contestants, etc) to finish a game with an equal number of points, goals, etc; tie

  22. (tr) bridge whist to keep leading a suit in order to force out (all outstanding cards)

  23. draw trumps bridge whist to play the trump suit until the opponents have none left

  24. (tr) billiards to cause (the cue ball) to spin back after a direct impact with another ball by applying backspin when making the stroke

  25. (tr) to search (a place) in order to find wild animals, game, etc, for hunting

  26. golf to cause (a golf ball) to move with a controlled right-to-left trajectory or (of a golf ball) to veer gradually from right to left

  27. (tr) curling to deliver (the stone) gently

  28. (tr) nautical (of a vessel) to require (a certain depth) in which to float

  29. draw a blank to get no results from something

  30. draw and quarter to disembowel and dismember (a person) after hanging

  31. draw stumps cricket to close play, as by pulling out the stumps

  32. draw the line See line 1 (def. 51)

  33. draw the short straw See short straw

  34. draw the shot bowls to deliver the bowl in such a way that it approaches the jack

  1. the act of drawing

  2. US a sum of money advanced to finance anticipated expenses

  1. an event, occasion, act, etc, that attracts a large audience

  2. a raffle or lottery

  3. something taken or chosen at random, as a ticket in a raffle or lottery

  4. a contest or game ending in a tie

  5. US and Canadian a small natural drainage way or gully

  6. a defect found in metal castings due to the contraction of the metal on solidification

Origin of draw

Old English dragan; related to Old Norse draga; Old Frisian draga, Old Saxon dragan, Old High German tragan to carry

Derived forms of draw

  • drawable, adjective

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Other Idioms and Phrases with draw


In addition to the idioms beginning with draw

  • draw a bead on
  • draw a blank
  • draw a line between
  • draw and quarter
  • draw an inference
  • draw a veil over
  • draw away
  • draw back
  • draw blood
  • draw down
  • draw fire
  • draw in
  • drawing board
  • drawing card
  • draw in one's horns
  • draw in the reins
  • draw on
  • draw out
  • draw straws
  • draw the curtain
  • draw the line at
  • draw up

also see:

  • back to the drawing board
  • beat to it (the draw)
  • daggers drawn
  • luck of the draw
  • quick on the draw

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.