[ poo l-awf, -of ]
/ ˈpʊlˌɔf, -ˌɒf /


an act of pulling off: The inn is well worth a pull-off from the Interstate.
a rest area at the side of a road where vehicles may park.

Nearby words

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

Origin of pull-off

First recorded in 1855–60; noun use of verb phrase pull off

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 off

pull off

verb (tr)

to remove (clothing) forcefully
(adverb) to succeed in performing (a difficult feat)
(intr) (of a motor vehicle, driver, etc) to move to the side of the road and stop
(intr) (of a motor vehicle, driver, etc) to start to move


/ (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 off
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with pull off

pull off

Accomplish, bring off, especially in the face of difficulties or at the last minute. For example, I never thought we'd ever stage this play, but somehow we pulled it off. [Colloquial; second half of 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.