View synonyms for haul


[ hawl ]

verb (used with object)

  1. to pull or draw with force; move by drawing; drag:

    They hauled the boat up onto the beach.

  2. to cart or transport; carry:

    The locomotive hauled freight over the Wasatch Mountains between Ogden, Utah, and Green River, Wyoming.

  3. to lower; cause to descend (often followed by down ):

    As the students gathered around the flagpole, the school custodian hauled down the flag.

  4. to bring before an authority (often followed by before, in, to, into, etc.):

    He was hauled before the judge.

    She hauled me into the principal’s office.

verb (used without object)

  1. to pull or tug with force or effort:

    The sailors hauled on the oars as hard as they could.

  2. to go or come to a place, especially with effort:

    After much carousing in the streets, they finally hauled into the tavern.

  3. to cart or transport, or to move freight commercially:

    Ours is one of many Canadian trucking companies hauling south of the border.

  4. Nautical.
    1. to sail, as in a particular direction:

      They sailed to the west of Corsica, and then hauled south again.

    2. to draw or pull a vessel up on land, as for repairs or storage.
    3. (of the wind) to shift to a direction closer to the heading of a vessel ( veer ).
    4. (of the wind) to change direction, shift, or veer (often followed by round or to ):

      During the early morning hours the wind hauled northward and increased in intensity, with accompanying heavy seas.


  1. a strong pull or tug:

    He felt a sudden haul on the other end of the rope.

  2. an act or instance of transporting something, or the load or quantity transported:

    You have so little stuff to move, I can probably do it in two hauls with my pickup.

  3. the distance or route over which anything is transported or carried:

    I’ve been using this truck for a year now on a weekly 30-mile haul.

  4. Fishing.
    1. the quantity of fish taken at one draft of the net:

      We got such a huge haul of fish that we could hardly carry them home.

    2. the draft of a fishing net.
    3. the place where a seine is hauled.
  5. the act of taking or acquiring something, or something taken or acquired:

    The thieves' haul included several valuable paintings.

  6. Digital Technology. a video, photo, or report of something taken or acquired:

    He shops the flea markets over the weekend and then posts his haul on Monday afternoon.

verb phrase

    1. to bring before a superior for judgment or reprimand; call to account:

      They were hauled up on a drug trafficking charge.

    2. to come to a halt; stop:

      As night was falling we finally hauled up at an old farmhouse owned by a friendly couple.

    3. Nautical. to change the course of (a sailing vessel) so as to sail closer to the wind.
    4. Nautical. (of a sailing vessel) to come closer to the wind.
    5. Nautical. (of a vessel) to come to a halt.
    1. Nautical. to change a ship's course so as to get farther off from an object.
    2. to withdraw; leave.
    3. Informal. to draw back the arm in order to strike; prepare to deal a blow:

      He hauled off and struck the insolent lieutenant a blow to the chin.


/ hɔːl /


  1. to drag or draw (something) with effort
  2. tr to transport, as in a lorry
  3. nautical to alter the course of (a vessel), esp so as to sail closer to the wind
  4. tr nautical to draw or hoist (a vessel) out of the water onto land or a dock for repair, storage, etc
  5. intr nautical (of the wind) to blow from a direction nearer the bow Compare veer 1
  6. intr to change one's opinion or action


  1. the act of dragging with effort
  2. (esp of fish) the amount caught at a single time
  3. something that is hauled
  4. the goods obtained from a robbery
  5. a distance of hauling

    a three-mile haul

  6. the amount of a contraband seizure

    arms haul

    drugs haul

  7. in the long haul or over the long haul
    1. in a future time
    2. over a lengthy period of time

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Other Words From

  • re·haul verb
  • un·hauled adjective

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Word History and Origins

Origin of haul1

First recorded in 1550–60; earlier hall, variant of hale 2

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Word History and Origins

Origin of haul1

C16: from Old French haler, of Germanic origin; see hale ²

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Idioms and Phrases

  1. haul around, Nautical.
    1. to brace (certain yards of a sailing vessel).
    2. (of the wind) to change in a clockwise direction.
  2. haul in with, Nautical. to approach.
  3. haul / shag ass, Slang: Vulgar. to get a move on; hurry.

More idioms and phrases containing haul

  • long haul
  • rake (haul) over the coals

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Synonym Study

See draw.

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Example Sentences

Lower tax hauls from sales and personal income alone, according to recent projections, could cost state governments anywhere from $106 billion to $125 billion in fiscal year 2021, which began on July 1 in 46 states.

From Fortune

Meanwhile, Kyle Abbott, the Hampshire fast bowler who’s second on the county bowling charts in the same period, made history last September with a match haul of 17 wickets for 86 runs — the best figures returned by any bowler in more than 60 years.

From Ozy

However, working from home when there are no other options and everyone is doing it is vastly different from working remotely for the long haul.

From Quartz

Long haul trucks spend the vast majority of their time on highways, and highways are simpler to navigate than city streets.

While this may mark the end of many long haul driver jobs, TuSimple and others argue there’s already a shortage of drivers that will only grow in the future.

Amazing how people can still haul this one out with a straight face.

Botala remembers that the rebels would pull into the island, loot what they could, and then take the haul back to Stanleyville.

For her part, Justice Ginsburg appears to be in for the long docket haul, no matter what they say.

But on an A380 or 787 Dreamliner flying long haul, you can be trapped, rigid, in that seat for half a day.

Probably for the best—Disney is known for getting into legal battles for the long haul.

No doubt he is,” replied Sam; “but how will you manage to haul him up and prove that he has been swindling the old woman?

But the artillerymen believed that it was impossible to construct a road to haul guns up to this height.

The guns often sank almost to the trunnions; many a time the infantry had to help elephants and bullocks to haul them out.

A dead man came past their vessel; they lowered the boat, and proceeded to haul the clothes off the corpse.

There was another road into the valley—a public road—but it was a fifteen-mile haul.


Definitions and idiom definitions from Unabridged, based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

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