[ pool-doun ]
/ ˈpʊlˌdaʊn /
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noun Movies.
a mechanism that intermittently advances the film through the film gate of a camera or projector.
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Origin of pulldown

First recorded in 1950–55; noun use of verb phrase pull down

Other definitions for pulldown (2 of 2)

[ pool-doun ]
/ ˈpʊlˌdaʊn /

designed to be pulled down for use: a pull-down bed; a desk with a pull-down front.

Origin of pull-down

First recorded in 1905–10; adj. use of verb phrase pull down
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023


What does pull-down mean?

Pull-down describes something that you tug from a higher to lower position, as in Pull-down menus on mobile phones can be so tiny that they’re hard to use.

The adjective pull-down comes from the verb phrase pull down, while pulldown is the mechanism that allows you to pull something down.

Example: This house has a pull-down bed to save space for furniture.

Where does pull-down come from?

The first records of the term pull-down come from the early 1900s. It combines the words pull, meaning “draw or tug with force,” and down, meaning “from higher to lower.”

Pull-down can describe many items that are pulled down to use. Pull-down beds, or Murphy beds, can be stored standing up in a closet or cabinet. By tugging on a mechanism, like a latch or one of the bed legs, you can pull the bed down to the floor to sleep on it.  Other objects that pulled down to use include window blinds, leaves (extensions) in tables or desks, and staircases that lead up to an attic.

Did you know … ?

What are some other forms related to pull-down?

  • pulldown (noun)
  • pull down (verb)

What are some words that share a root or word element with pull-down

What are some words that often get used in discussing pull-down?

What are some words pull-down may be commonly confused with?

  • pulldown
  • pull down

How is pull-down used in real life?

Pull-down is frequently used to describe a type of menu in computing software.



Try using pull-down!

Is pull-down used correctly in the following sentence?

Just pull-down the blinds if it’s too bright for you.

How to use pulldown in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for pulldown

pull down

(tr, adverb) to destroy or demolishthe old houses were pulled down
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 pulldown

pull down


Demolish, destroy, as in They pulled down several old office buildings downtown. [Early 1500s]


Lower, reduce; also, depress in health or spirits. For example, The bumper wheat crop is bound to pull down prices, or The flu really pulled him down. [Late 1500s]


Draw as wages, as in He pulled down a hefty salary. [Colloquial; early 1900s]

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