pull Meaning, Definition & Usage

  1. noun the act of pulling; applying force to move something toward or with you
    • the pull up the hill had him breathing harder
    • his strenuous pulling strained his back
  2. noun the force used in pulling
    • the pull of the moon
    • the pull of the current
  3. noun special advantage or influence
    • the chairman's nephew has a lot of pull
  4. noun a device used for pulling something
    • he grabbed the pull and opened the drawer
  5. noun a sharp strain on muscles or ligaments
    twist; wrench.
    • the wrench to his knee occurred as he fell
    • he was sidelined with a hamstring pull
  6. noun a slow inhalation (as of tobacco smoke)
    puff; drag.
    • he took a puff on his pipe
    • he took a drag on his cigarette and expelled the smoke slowly
  7. noun a sustained effort
    • it was a long pull but we made it
  8. verb cause to move by pulling
    draw; force.
    • draw a wagon
    • pull a sled
  9. verb direct toward itself or oneself by means of some psychological power or physical attributes
    pull in; draw in; attract; draw.
    • Her good looks attract the stares of many men
    • The ad pulled in many potential customers
    • This pianist pulls huge crowds
    • The store owner was happy that the ad drew in many new customers
  10. verb move into a certain direction
    • the car pulls to the right
  11. verb apply force so as to cause motion towards the source of the motion
    • Pull the rope
    • Pull the handle towards you
    • pull the string gently
    • pull the trigger of the gun
    • pull your knees towards your chin
  12. verb perform an act, usually with a negative connotation
    perpetrate; commit.
    • perpetrate a crime
    • pull a bank robbery
  13. verb bring, take, or pull out of a container or from under a cover
    take out; draw; pull out; get out.
    • draw a weapon
    • pull out a gun
    • The mugger pulled a knife on his victim
  14. verb steer into a certain direction
    • pull one's horse to a stand
    • Pull the car over
  15. verb strain abnormally
    • I pulled a muscle in my leg when I jumped up
    • The athlete pulled a tendon in the competition
  16. verb cause to move in a certain direction by exerting a force upon, either physically or in an abstract sense
    • A declining dollar pulled down the export figures for the last quarter
  17. verb operate when rowing a boat
    • pull the oars
  18. verb rein in to keep from winning a race
    • pull a horse
  19. verb tear or be torn violently
    rive; rend; rip.
    • The curtain ripped from top to bottom
    • pull the cooked chicken into strips
  20. verb hit in the direction that the player is facing when carrying through the swing
    • pull the ball
  21. verb strip of feathers
    deplumate; tear; pluck; deplume; displume.
    • pull a chicken
    • pluck the capon
  22. verb remove, usually with some force or effort; also used in an abstract sense
    take out; pull out; pull up; draw out; extract.
    • pull weeds
    • extract a bad tooth
    • take out a splinter
    • extract information from the telegram
  23. verb take sides with; align oneself with; show strong sympathy for
    root for.
    • We all rooted for the home team
    • I'm pulling for the underdog
    • Are you siding with the defender of the title?
  24. verb take away
    • pull the old soup cans from the supermarket shelf


Pull transitive verb
AS. pullian; cf. LG. pulen, and Gael. peall, piol, spiol.
imperfect & past participle Pulled ; present participle & verbal noun Pulling
  1. To draw, or attempt to draw, toward one; to draw forcibly.
    Ne'er pull your hat upon your brows. Shak.
    He put forth his hand . . . and pulled her in. Gen. viii. 9.
  2. To draw apart; to tear; to rend.
    He hath turned aside my ways, and pulled me in pieces; he hath made me desolate. Lam. iii. 11.
  3. To gather with the hand, or by drawing toward one; to pluck; as, to pull fruit; to pull flax; to pull a finch.
  4. To move or operate by the motion of drawing towards one; as, to pull a bell; to pull an oar.
  5. (Horse Racing) To hold back, and so prevent from winning; as, the favorite was pulled.
  6. (Print.) To take or make, as a proof or impression; -- hand presses being worked by pulling a lever.
  7. (Cricket) To strike the ball in a particular manner. See Pull, n., 8.
    Never pull a straight fast ball to leg. R. H. Lyttelton.
Pull intransitive verb
  1. To exert one's self in an act or motion of drawing or hauling; to tug; as, to pull at a rope.
Pull noun
  1. The act of pulling or drawing with force; an effort to move something by drawing toward one.
    I awakened with a violent pull upon the ring which was fastened at the top of my box. Swift.
  2. A contest; a struggle; as, a wrestling pull. Carew.
  3. A pluck; loss or violence suffered. Poetic
    Two pulls at once; His lady banished, and a limb lopped off. Shak.
  4. A knob, handle, or lever, etc., by which anything is pulled; as, a drawer pull; a bell pull.
  5. The act of rowing; as, a pull on the river. Colloq.
  6. The act of drinking; as, to take a pull at the beer, or the mug. Slang Dickens.
  7. Something in one's favor in a comparison or a contest; an advantage; means of influencing; as, in weights the favorite had the pull. Slang
  8. (Cricket) A kind of stroke by which a leg ball is sent to the off side, or an off ball to the side.
    The pull is not a legitimate stroke, but bad cricket. R. A. Proctor.

Webster 1913