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Idioms about draw

Origin of draw

before 900; Middle English drawen,Old English dragan; cognate with Old Norse draga to draw, 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.


Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2022


What is a basic definition of draw?

The verb draw means to sketch something using lines. Draw also means to pull something out of its resting place or to attract something. Draw is also a tied competition. Draw has many other senses as a verb and a noun.

In the artistic sense, drawing something usually means to create an image of it using paper and pencil, crayons, pen, or similar. If you were asked to draw a cat, for example, you would try your best to create a picture of something that resembles a cat. The work of art that a person creates from doing this is called a drawing.

  • Real-life examples: Artists draw many images as part of their art or job. Children like to draw pictures in art class. Police will sometimes draw a witness’s description of a suspect’s face to create wanted posters.
  • Used in a sentence: The girl drew butterflies on the sidewalk using chalk. 

Draw is also used as a verb to mean to pull or extract something from where it is contained.

  • Real-life examples: Police officers hope they don’t have to draw their guns from their holsters. Wells are used to draw water and oil from the ground. A nurse draws blood from a patient using a syringe.
  • Used in a sentence: The knight drew his sword and prepared to fight the dragon. 

Draw is also used to mean to attract something or bring something closer.

  • Real-life examples: Exciting shows draw large audiences. Bizarre spectacles often draw a crowd. Smelly, rotten food often draws flies and other pests.
  • Used in a sentence: The popular singer drew many fans to the concert. 

Draw is also a competition that has no winner or ends in a tie.

  • Real-life examples: Basketball games, chess matches, and rock-paper-scissors can all end in draws, in which neither team or player is declared the winner.
  • Used in a sentence: The two teams were evenly matched, so the soccer game ended in a draw.

Where does draw come from?

The first records of draw come from before the 900s. It ultimately comes from the Old English word dragan, which is related to the Old Norse draga, meaning “to draw,” and the German tragen, meaning “to carry.”

Did you know … ?

What are some other forms related to draw?

  • drawable (adjective)
  • misdraw (verb)
  • predraw (verb)
  • redraw (verb)
  • undrawable (adjective)

What are some synonyms for draw?

What are some words that share a root or word element with draw

What are some words that often get used in discussing draw?

How is draw used in real life?

Draw is an extremely common word with a large number of different meanings. The most common use of draw refers to recreating something as a picture or artistic image.

Try using draw!

Is draw used correctly in the following sentence?

The famous artist drew many beautiful portraits of celebrities and politicians.

How to use draw in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for draw

/ (drɔː) /

verb draws, drawing, drew or drawn

Derived forms of draw

drawable, adjective

Word Origin for draw

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


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