[ poo l-in ]
/ ˈpʊlˌɪn /

noun, adjective British.

Nearby words

  1. pull together,
  2. pull up,
  3. pull up stakes,
  4. pull wires,
  5. pull-down,
  6. pull-off,
  7. pull-on,
  8. pull-out,
  9. pull-quote,
  10. pull-top

Origin of pull-in

First recorded in 1935–40; noun, adj. use of verb phrase pull in

Origin of pull

before 1000; Middle English pullen (v.), Old English pullian to pluck, pluck the feathers of, pull, tug; compare Middle Low German pūlen to strip off husks, pick, Old Norse pūla to work hard

Related formspull·a·ble, adjectivepull·er, noun

Synonym study

2. See draw.

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

British Dictionary definitions for pull in

pull in

verb (adverb)

(intr often foll by to) to reach a destinationthe train pulled in at the station
Also: pull over (intr) (of a motor vehicle, driver, etc)
  1. to draw in to the side of the road in order to stop or to allow another vehicle to pass
  2. to stop (at a café, lay-by, etc)
(tr) to draw or attracthis appearance will pull in the crowds
(tr) slang to arrest
(tr) to earn or gain (money)

noun pull-in

British a roadside café, esp for lorry drivers


/ (pʊl) /

verb (mainly tr)


Derived Formspuller, noun

Word Origin for pull

Old English pullian; related to Icelandic pūla to beat

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 pull in
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with pull in

pull in


Arrive at a destination, as in The train pulled in right on time. [c. 1900]


Rein in, restrain, as in She pulled in her horse, or The executives did not want to pull in their most aggressive salesmen. [c. 1600]


Arrest a suspect, as in The police said they could pull him in on lesser charges. [Late 1800s]


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

also see:

  • 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.