- to pull off or out from the place of growth, as fruit, flowers, feathers, etc.: to pluck feathers from a chicken.
- to give a pull at; grasp: to pluck someone's sleeve.
- to pull with sudden force or with a jerk.
- to pull or move by force (often followed by away, off, or out).
- to remove the feathers, hair, etc., from by pulling: to pluck a chicken.
- Slang. to rob, plunder, or fleece.
- to sound (the strings of a musical instrument) by pulling at them with the fingers or a plectrum.
- to pull or tug sharply (often followed by at).
- to snatch (often followed by at).
- act of plucking; a tug.
- the heart, liver, and lungs, especially of an animal used for food.
- courage or resolution in the face of difficulties.
- pluck up,
- to eradicate; uproot.
- to summon up one's courage; rouse one's spirits: He always plucked up at the approach of danger. She was a stranger in the town, but, plucking up her courage, she soon made friends.
Origin of pluck
SynonymsSee more synonyms for pluck on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for plucked
He plucked them and flushed the feathers carefully, so as not to block up the toilets and draw attention.Tales of a Jailhouse Gourmet: How I learned to Cook in Prison
June 21, 2014
“Umm…they maintain themselves,” she responded when asked whether or not they were threaded, plucked, or waxed.Donald Sterling’s Former Mistress Makes the “Paparazzi Shield” Chic; Cara Delevingne Has Self-Grooming Eyebrows
The Fashion Beast Team
May 5, 2014
She was plucked from relative obscurity to star alongside Billy Bob Thornton and Martin Freeman in the TV adaptation.Meet ‘Fargo’ Breakout Star Allison Tolman
April 23, 2014
As he spoke he plucked a solitary gold-fish squirming and twisting out of its globe.Read ‘The King in Yellow,’ the ‘True Detective’ Reference That’s the Key to the Show
Robert W. Chambers
February 20, 2014
After showing promise, she was plucked out and sent to Bletchley to work in the research unit run by Dilly Knox.Week in Death: The Woman Who Cracked Hitler’s Codes
November 17, 2013
It is most like a plucked pullet which has died of the spotted fever.The White Company
Arthur Conan Doyle
He plucked the police whistle from his waistcoat-pocket, and raised it to his lips.Within the Law
You have also a right eye that I would have plucked out if I were in your place.The Imaginary Invalid
Fill your salad bowl with the crisp leaves, from which the flowerhead has been plucked.Her Father's Daughter
Half strangled, he plucked the cigar from his mouth and stamped on it.The Fortune Hunter
Louis Joseph Vance
- (tr) to pull off (feathers, fruit, etc) from (a fowl, tree, etc)
- (when intr, foll by at) to pull or tug
- (tr; foll by off, away, etc) archaic to pull (something) forcibly or violently (from something or someone)
- (tr) to sound (the strings) of (a musical instrument) with the fingers, a plectrum, etc
- (tr) another word for strip 1 (def. 7)
- (tr) slang to fleece or swindle
- courage, usually in the face of difficulties or hardship
- a sudden pull or tug
- the heart, liver, and lungs, esp of an animal used for food
Word Origin and History for plucked
late Old English ploccian, pluccian "pull off, cull," from West Germanic *plokken (cf. Middle Low German plucken, Middle Dutch plocken, Dutch plukken, Flemish plokken, German pflücken), perhaps from Vulgar Latin *piluccare (cf. Old French peluchier, late 12c.; Italian piluccare), a frequentative, ultimately from Latin pilare "pull out hair," from pilus "hair" (see pile (n.3)). But despite the similarities, OED finds difficulties with this and cites gaps in historical evidence. Related: Plucked; plucking.
To pluck a rose, an expression said to be used by women for going to the necessary house, which in the country usually stands in the garden. [F. Grose, "Classical Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue," 1785]
This euphemistic use is attested from 1610s. To pluck up "summon up" is from c.1300.
c.1400, "act of plucking," from pluck (v.). Meaning "courage, boldness" (1785), originally in pugilism slang, is a figurative use from earlier meaning "heart, viscera" (1610s) as that which is "plucked" from slaughtered livestock. Perhaps influenced by figurative use of the verb in pluck up (one's courage, etc.), attested from c.1300.