Nearby words

  1. drave,
  2. dravida,
  3. dravidian,
  4. dravidians,
  5. dravite,
  6. draw a bead on,
  7. draw a blank,
  8. draw a line between,
  9. draw a veil over,
  10. draw an inference


Origin of draw

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

Related forms

Synonym study

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. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for draw off

draw off

verb (adverb)

(tr) to cause (a liquid) to flow from something
to withdraw (troops)


verb draws, drawing, drew or drawn

to cause (a person or thing) to move towards or away by pulling
to bring, take, or pull (something) out, as from a drawer, holster, etc
(tr) to extract or pull or take outto draw teeth; to draw a card from a pack
(tr often foll by off) to take (liquid) out of a cask, keg, tank, etc, by means of a tap
(intr) to move, go, or proceed, esp in a specified directionto draw alongside
(tr) to attract or elicitto draw a crowd; draw attention
(tr) to cause to flowto draw blood
to depict or sketch (a form, figure, picture, etc) in lines, as with a pencil or pen, esp without the use of colour; delineate
(tr) to make, formulate, or deriveto draw conclusions, comparisons, parallels
(tr) to write (a legal document) in proper form
(tr sometimes foll by in) to suck or take in (air, liquid, etc)to draw a breath
(intr) to induce or allow a draught to carry off air, smoke, etcthe flue draws well
(tr) to take or receive from a sourceto draw money from the bank
(tr) to earndraw interest
(tr) finance to write out (a bill of exchange or promissory note)to draw a cheque
(tr) to choose at randomto draw lots
(tr) to reduce the diameter of (a wire or metal rod) by pulling it through a die
(tr) to shape (a sheet of metal or glass) by rolling, by pulling it through a die or by stretching
archery to bend (a bow) by pulling the string
to steep (tea) or (of tea) to steep in boiling water
(tr) to disemboweldraw a chicken
(tr) to cause (pus, blood, etc) to discharge from an abscess or wound
(intr) (of two teams, contestants, etc) to finish a game with an equal number of points, goals, etc; tie
(tr) bridge whist to keep leading a suit in order to force out (all outstanding cards)
draw trumps bridge whist to play the trump suit until the opponents have none left
(tr) billiards to cause (the cue ball) to spin back after a direct impact with another ball by applying backspin when making the stroke
(tr) to search (a place) in order to find wild animals, game, etc, for hunting
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
(tr) curling to deliver (the stone) gently
(tr) nautical (of a vessel) to require (a certain depth) in which to float
draw a blank to get no results from something
draw and quarter to disembowel and dismember (a person) after hanging
draw stumps cricket to close play, as by pulling out the stumps
draw the line See line 1 (def. 51)
draw the short straw See short straw
draw the shot bowls to deliver the bowl in such a way that it approaches the jack


the act of drawing
US a sum of money advanced to finance anticipated expenses
an event, occasion, act, etc, that attracts a large audience
a raffle or lottery
something taken or chosen at random, as a ticket in a raffle or lottery
a contest or game ending in a tie
US and Canadian a small natural drainage way or gully
a defect found in metal castings due to the contraction of the metal on solidification

Derived Formsdrawable, 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

Word Origin and History for draw off
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with draw off


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.