- to pull at with force, vigor, or effort.
- to move by pulling forcibly; drag; haul.
- to tow (a vessel) by means of a tugboat.
- to pull with force or effort: to tug at a stuck drawer.
- to strive hard; labor; toil.
Origin of tug
SynonymsSee more synonyms for tug on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for tugged
She tugged on the black rope that wrapped around his thighs and torso, her leather gloves creaking with each adjustment.Dungeons and Genital Clamps: Inside a Legendary BDSM Chateau
December 20, 2014
As I was coming out, my sister [Valerie] tugged on me and said, ‘That’s the boy who kicked me off my bicycle.Joe Biden: ‘I’ll Kill Your Son’
December 12, 2014
Ted tugged at the brass buttons of her red, wool-crepe dress.‘Tracing the Blue Light’: Read Chapter 1 of Eileen Cronin’s ‘Mermaid’
April 8, 2014
The handcuffs required her to reach with both hands as she tugged up the left leg of her stockings.‘Bomb Mom’ Morgan Gliedman Arraigned in Manhattan Court
January 9, 2013
Then the girl reached into her mountain trousers and tugged at her clothing.Ralph Nader, Novelist
Samuel P. Jacobs
September 12, 2009
He glowered at his fate, and tugged his tawny moustache for some time in silence.
Dick glowered sullenly at the wall and tugged his great moustache.
He tugged at his collar as if to breathe the easier, cleared his throat and began again.The Underdog
F. Hopkinson Smith
Though each guest tugged with all his might, he tugged in vain.Opera Stories from Wagner
Frantically he tugged and tore at the slimy rope, hauling with a will and a prayer.The Black Bag
Louis Joseph Vance
- (when intr, sometimes foll by at) to pull or drag with sharp or powerful movementsthe boy tugged at the door handle
- (tr) to tow (a vessel) by means of a tug
- (intr) to work; toil
- a strong pull or jerkhe gave the rope a tug
- Also called: tugboat, towboat a boat with a powerful engine, used for towing barges, ships, etc
- a hard struggle or fight
- a less common word for trace 2 (def. 1)
Word Origin and History for tugged
c.1500, from tug (v.). Meaning "small steamer used to tow other vessels" is recorded from 1817. Phrase tug of war (1670s) was originally figurative, "the decisive contest, the real struggle."