to draw or haul toward oneself or itself, in a particular direction, or into a particular position: We pulled the sled up a hill.She pulled the child out of the path of the swerving bicycle.
to draw or tug at with force: To ring the bell, just pull the rope.
to rend or tear: to pull a cloth to pieces.
to draw or pluck away from a place of growth, attachment, etc.: to pull a tooth;to pull weeds.
to strip of feathers, hair, etc., as a bird or hide.
to draw out (as a knife or gun) for ready use (usually followed by on): Do you know what to do when someone pulls a knife on you?
Informal. to perform successfully (often followed by off): They pulled a spectacular coup.
Informal. to carry out (especially something deceitful or illegal): Police believe the men pulled all three robberies. What kind of trick did she pull this time?
to put on or affect: He pulled a long face when I reprimanded him.
to withdraw or remove: to pull an ineffective pitcher.
to attract or win: to pull many votes in the industrial areas.
to bring (a horse) to a stand by pulling on the reins.
Printing, Graphics. to take (an impression or proof) from type, a cut or plate, etc.: to pull a print.
to be provided with or rowed with (a certain number of oars): This boat pulls 12 oars.
to propel by rowing, as a boat.
to strain (a muscle, ligament, or tendon).
to stretch (taffy or chewing gum).
Military. to be assigned (a specific task or duty): I pulled guard duty our first night in port.
to hold in or check (a racehorse), especially so as to prevent from winning.
Sports. to hit (a ball) so that it travels in a direction opposite to the side from which it was struck, as when a right-handed batter hits into left field.
to exert a drawing, tugging, or hauling force (often followed by at).
to inhale through a pipe, cigarette, etc.
to become or come as specified, by being pulled: This rope will pull.
to proceed by rowing.
(of an advertisement)
to have effectiveness, as specified: The ad pulled badly.
to be effective: That spot announcement really pulled!
the act of pulling or drawing.
force used in pulling; pulling power.
a drawing in of smoke or a liquid through the mouth: He took a long, thoughtful pull on his pipe. I took a pull from the scout's canteen.
Informal. influence, as with persons able to grant favors.
a part or thing to be pulled; a handle or the like: to replace the pulls on a chest of drawers.
a spell, or turn, at rowing.
a stroke of an oar.
Informal. a pulled muscle: He missed a week's work with a groin pull.
a pulling of the ball, as in baseball or golf.
Informal. the ability to attract; drawing power.
Informal. an advantage over another or others.
to move or draw back or away; withdraw.
to free oneself with force: He tried to pull away from his opponent's powerful grip.
to move or start to move ahead: The car pulled away into traffic. The faster runners began to pull away from the others.
to draw downward: to pull a shade down.
to demolish; wreck.
to lower; reduce.
Informal. to receive as a salary; earn: It wasn't long before he was pulling down more than two hundred thousand a year.
pull for, to support actively; encourage: They were pulling for the Republican candidate.
to reach a place; arrive: The train pulled in early.
to tighten; curb: to pull in the reins.
Informal. to arrest (someone): The police pulled her in for questioning.
pull off, Informal. to perform successfully, especially something requiring courage, daring, or shrewdness: We'll be rich if we can pull the deal off.
to leave; depart: The ship pulled out of the harbor.
to abandon abruptly: to pull out of an agreement.
pull over, to direct one's automobile or other vehicle to the curb; move out of a line of traffic: The police officer told the driver to pull over.
pull through, to come safely through (a crisis, illness, etc.); survive: The patient eventually pulled through after having had a close brush with death.
to bring or come to a halt.
to bring or draw closer.
to root up; pull out: She pulled up all the crab grass in the lawn.
Idioms about pull
pull apart, to analyze critically, especially to point out errors: The professor proceeded to pull the student's paper apart.
pull oneself together, to recover one's self-control; regain command of one's emotions: It was only a minor accident, but the driver couldn't seem to pull himself together.
- pull·a·ble, adjective
- pull·er, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023
How to use pull in a sentence
Finally, the gravitational pull of the whole Milky Way galaxy can lure away some stars.Milky Way’s tidal forces are shredding a nearby star cluster | Ken Croswell | August 18, 2020 | Science News For Students
Stellar gatherings such as the Hyades, known as open star clusters, are born with hundreds or thousands of stars that are held close to one another by their mutual gravitational pull.The star cluster closest to Earth is in its death throes | Ken Croswell | July 24, 2020 | Science News
As vehicle sales cooled over in recent years, EVs have resisted the pull of gravity, selling roughly a million new units every six months since 2018.Electric cars got crushed in 2020, but next year could be their best | Michael J. Coren | July 16, 2020 | Quartz
The rider lies on a bed, head pointing toward the center of the carousel, which spins to exert a horizontal centrifugal force out toward the feet that’s as strong as the downward pull of gravity.What will astronauts need to survive the dangerous journey to Mars? | Maria Temming | July 15, 2020 | Science News
Those waves, called tidal waves, are created by the gravitational pull of the sun or moon.
It is a spy series at its core, but you guys never really pull from the headlines.‘Archer’ Creator Adam Reed Spills Season 6 Secrets, From Surreal Plotlines to Life Post-ISIS | Marlow Stern | January 8, 2015 | THE DAILY BEAST
Just how many fake nodes would be needed in order to pull off a successful Sybil attack against Tor is not known.
Botala remembers that the rebels would pull into the island, loot what they could, and then take the haul back to Stanleyville.
All it took was a good idea, and OK Go had one—and the drive to pull it off.OK Go Is Helping Redefine the Music Video For the Internet Age | Lauren Schwartzberg | December 15, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
And we do mean drunken—in the keep your kids at home, pull the shades kind of drunken.Before the Bros, SantaCon Was as an Anti-Corporate Protest | David Freedlander | December 12, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
Strange to say, the silken cord yielded to the first pull, as if nothing had been wrong with it at all!The Giant of the North | R.M. Ballantyne
Never grasp a Fern plant from above and try to pull it away, as this will be almost sure to result in damage.How to Know the Ferns | S. Leonard Bastin
"I ordered you not to come," said Aspinall: "I can still pull a trigger, Sir," replied the man.Gallipoli Diary, Volume I | Ian Hamilton
This harmless image of a fierce beast Yung Pak would pull about the floor with a string by the hour.Our Little Korean Cousin | H. Lee M. Pike
To pull through such a siege, the old settlers usually did much better than the new.The Homesteader | Oscar Micheaux
British Dictionary definitions for pull
(also intr) to exert force on (an object) so as to draw it towards the source of the force
to exert force on so as to remove; extract: to pull a tooth
to strip of feathers, hair, etc; pluck
to draw the entrails from (a fowl)
to rend or tear
to strain (a muscle, ligament, or tendon) injuriously
(usually foll by off) informal to perform or bring about: to pull off a million-pound deal
(often foll by on) informal to draw out (a weapon) for use: he pulled a knife on his attacker
informal to attract: the pop group pulled a crowd
(also intr) slang to attract (a sexual partner)
(intr; usually foll by on or at) to drink or inhale deeply: to pull at one's pipe; pull on a bottle of beer
to put on or make (a grimace): to pull a face
(also intr; foll by away, out, over, etc) to move (a vehicle) or (of a vehicle) be moved in a specified manner: he pulled his car away from the roadside
printing to take (a proof) from type
to withdraw or remove: the board decided to pull their support
sport to hit (a ball) so that it veers away from the direction in which the player intended to hit it (to the left for a right-handed player)
cricket to hit (a ball pitched straight or on the off side) to the leg side
hurling to strike (a fast-moving ball) in the same direction as it is already moving
(also intr) to row (a boat) or take a stroke of (an oar) in rowing
to be rowed by: a racing shell pulls one, two, four, or eight oars
(of a rider) to restrain (a horse), esp to prevent it from winning a race
(intr) (of a horse) to resist strongly the attempts of a rider to rein in or check it
pull a fast one slang to play a sly trick
pull apart or pull to pieces to criticize harshly
pull your head in Australian informal be quiet!
pull one's punches
informal to restrain the force of one's criticisms or actions
boxing to restrain the force of one's blows, esp when deliberately losing after being bribed, etc
pull one's weight informal to do one's fair or proper share of a task
pull strings informal to exercise personal influence, esp secretly or unofficially
pull someone's leg informal to make fun of, fool, or tease someone
an act or an instance of pulling or being pulled
the force or effort used in pulling: the pull of the moon affects the tides on earth
the act or an instance of taking in drink or smoke
something used for pulling, such as a knob or handle
informal special advantage or influence: his uncle is chairman of the company, so he has quite a lot of pull
informal the power to attract attention or support
a period of rowing
a single stroke of an oar in rowing
the act of pulling the ball in golf, cricket, etc
the act of checking or reining in a horse
the amount of resistance in a bowstring, trigger, etc
- puller, noun
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 pull
In addition to the idioms beginning with pull
- pull a boner
- pull a fast one
- pull away
- pull back
- pull down
- pull in
- pulling teeth
- pull in one's horns
- pull no punches
- pull off
- pull oneself together
- pull oneself up by the bootstraps
- pull one's punches
- pull one's weight
- pull out
- pull out all the stops
- pull out of a hat
- pull over
- pull rank
- pull round
- pull someone's chain
- pull someone's leg
- pull something
- pull strings
- pull the plug on
- pull the rug out from under
- pull the wool over someone's eyes
- pull through
- pull together
- pull up
- pull up stakes
- pull wires
- fast one, pull a
- have pull with
- like pulling teeth
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.