[ hawl ]
See synonyms for: haulhauledhauling on Thesaurus.com

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.

  1. to lower; cause to descend (often followed by down): As the school gathered round the flagpole, the school custodian hauled down the flag.

  2. to arrest or bring before a magistrate or other authority (often followed by before, in, to, into, etc.): He was hauled before the judge.

verb (used without object)
  1. to pull or tug.

  2. to go or come to a place, especially with effort: After roistering about the streets, they finally hauled into the tavern.

  1. to do carting or transport, or move freight commercially.

  2. Nautical.

    • to sail, as in a particular direction.

    • to draw or pull a vessel up on land, as for repairs or storage.

    • (of the wind) to shift to a direction closer to the heading of a vessel (opposed to veer).

    • (of the wind) to change direction, shift, or veer (often followed by round or to).

  1. an act or instance of hauling; a strong pull or tug.

  2. something that is hauled.

  1. the load hauled at one time; quantity carried or transported.

  2. the distance or route over which anything is hauled.

  3. Fishing.

    • the quantity of fish taken at one draft of the net.

    • the draft of a fishing net.

    • the place where a seine is hauled.

  4. the act of taking or acquiring something.

  5. something that is taken or acquired: The thieves' haul included several valuable paintings.

Verb Phrases
  1. haul off,

    • Nautical. to change a ship's course so as to get farther off from an object.

    • to withdraw; leave.

    • 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.

  2. haul up,

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

    • to come to a halt; stop.

    • Nautical. to change the course of (a sailing vessel) so as to sail closer to the wind.

    • Nautical. (of a sailing vessel) to come closer to the wind.

    • Nautical. (of a vessel) to come to a halt.

Idioms about haul

  1. haul around, Nautical.

    • to brace (certain yards of a sailing vessel).

    • (of the wind) to change in a clockwise direction.

  2. haul in with, Nautical. to approach.

  1. haul / shag ass, Slang: Vulgar. to get a move on; hurry.

Origin of haul

First recorded in 1550–60; earlier hall, variant of hale2

synonym study For haul

1. See draw.

Other words from haul

  • re·haul, verb
  • un·hauled, adjective

Words that may be confused with haul

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

How to use haul in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for haul


/ (hɔːl) /

  1. to drag or draw (something) with effort

  2. (tr) to transport, as in a lorry

  1. nautical to alter the course of (a vessel), esp so as to sail closer to the wind

  2. (tr) nautical to draw or hoist (a vessel) out of the water onto land or a dock for repair, storage, etc

  3. (intr) nautical (of the wind) to blow from a direction nearer the bow: Compare veer 1 (def. 3b)

  4. (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

  1. something that is hauled

  2. the goods obtained from a robbery

  3. a distance of hauling: a three-mile haul

  4. the amount of a contraband seizure: arms haul; drugs haul

  5. in the long haul or over the long haul

    • in a future time

    • over a lengthy period of time

Origin of haul

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

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 haul


In addition to the idioms beginning with haul

  • haul off
  • haul over the coals
  • haul up

also see:

  • long haul
  • rake (haul) over the coals

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