• enPR: po͝ol, IPA: /pʊl/
  • (America) IPA: [pʰʊːɫ]

pull (pulls, present participle pulling; past and past participle pulled)

  1. (transitive, intransitive) To apply a force to (an object) so that it comes toward the person or thing applying the force.
    When I give the signal, pull the rope.
    You're going to have to pull harder to get that cork out of the bottle.
    • Bible, Genesis viii. 9
      He put forth his hand […] and pulled her in.
    • c. 1606, William Shakespeare, “The Tragedie of Macbeth”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies: Published According to the True Originall Copies (First Folio), London: Printed by Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358 ↗, [Act IV, scene iii]:
      Ne'er pull your hat upon your brows.
  2. To gather with the hand, or by drawing toward oneself; to pluck.
    to pull fruit from a tree; to pull flax; to pull a finch
  3. To attract or net; to pull in.
    • , Marcella Ridlen Ray, Changing and Unchanging Face of United States Civil Society
      Television, a favored source of news and information, pulls the largest share of advertising monies.
  4. (ambitransitive, UK, Ireland, slang) To persuade (someone) to have sex with one.
    I pulled at the club last night.
    He's pulled that bird over there.
  5. (transitive) To remove (something), especially from public circulation or availability.
    Each day, they pulled the old bread and set out fresh loaves.
    The book was due to be released today, but it was pulled at the last minute over legal concerns.
  6. (transitive) To retrieve or generate for use.
    I'll have to pull a part number for that.
    • 2006, Michael Bellomo, Joel Elad, How to Sell Anything on Amazon...and Make a Fortune!
      They'll go through their computer system and pull a report of all your order fulfillment records for the time period you specify.
  7. (transitive, informal) To do or perform.
    He regularly pulls 12-hour days, sometimes 14.
    You'll be sent home if you pull another stunt like that.
  8. (with 'a' and the name of a person, place, event, etc.) To copy or emulate the actions or behaviour that is associated with the person or thing mentioned.
    He pulled an Elvis and got really fat.
    They're trying to pull a Watergate scandal on us.
  9. To toss a frisbee with the intention of launching the disc across the length of a field.
  10. (intransitive) To row.
    • 1874, Marcus Clarke, For the Term of His Natural Life Chapter VI
  11. (transitive, rowing) To achieve by rowing on a rowing machine.
    I pulled a personal best on the erg yesterday.
    It had been a sort of race hitherto, and the rowers, with set teeth and compressed lips, had pulled stroke for stroke.
  12. To draw apart; to tear; to rend.
    • Bible, Lam. iii. 11
      He hath turned aside my ways, and pulled me in pieces; he hath made me desolate.
  13. (transitive) To strain (a muscle, tendon, ligament, etc.).
  14. (video games, ambitransitive) To draw (a hostile non-player character) into combat, or toward or away from some location or target.
    • 2003 April 9, "Richard Lawson" (username), "Monual's Willful Ignorance ↗", in alt.games.everquest, Usenet:
      …we had to clear a long hallway, run up half way, pull the boss mob to us, and engage.
    • 2004 October 18, "Stush" (username), "Re: focus pull ↗", in alt.games.dark-age-of-camelot, Usenet:
      Basically buff pet, have it pull lots of mobs, shield pet, chain heal pet, have your aoe casters finish off hurt mobs once pet gets good aggro.
    • 2005 August 2, "Brian" (username), "Re: How to tank Stratholme undead pulls? ↗", in alt.games.warcraft, Usenet:
      This is the only thing that should get you to break off from your position, is to pull something off the healer.
    • 2007 April 10, "John Salerno" (username), "Re: Managing the Command Buttons ↗", in alt.games.warcraft, Usenet:
      You could also set a fire trap, pull the mob toward it, then send in your pet….
    • 2008 August 18, "Mark (newsgroups)" (username), "Re: I'm a priest now! ↗", in alt.games.warcraft, Usenet:
      Shield yourself, pull with Mind Blast if you want, or merely pull with SW:P to save mana, then wand, fear if you need to, but use the lowest rank fear.
  15. (UK) To score a certain number of points in a sport.
    How many points did you pull today, Albert?
  16. (horse-racing) To hold back, and so prevent from winning.
    The favourite was pulled.
  17. (printing, dated) To take or make (a proof or impression); so called because hand presses were worked by pulling a lever.
  18. (cricket, golf) To strike the ball in a particular manner. (See noun sense.)
    • Never pull a straight fast ball to leg.
  19. (UK) To draw beer from a pump, keg, or other source.
    Let's stop at Finnigan's. The barman pulls a good pint.
  20. (rail transportation, US, of a railroad car) To pull out from a yard or station; to leave.
Synonyms Antonyms
  • (apply force to (something) so it comes towards one) push, repel, shove
Related terms

See also pulling

Translations Translations Translations Translations
  • Portuguese: dar
Translations Translations Interjection
  1. (sports) Command used by a target shooter to request that the target be released/launched.


  1. An act of pulling (applying force)
    He gave the hair a sharp pull and it came out.
    • 1726 October 27, [Jonathan Swift], chapter 1, in Travels into Several Remote Nations of the World. In Four Parts. […] [Gulliver’s Travels], volume I, London: Printed for Benj[amin] Motte, […], OCLC 995220039 ↗, part I (A Voyage to Lilliput):
      I found myself suddenly awaked with a violent pull upon the ring, which was fastened at the top of my box.
  2. An attractive force which causes motion towards the source
    The spaceship came under the pull of the gas giant.
    iron fillings drawn by the pull of a magnet
    She took a pull on her cigarette.
  3. Any device meant to be pulled, as a lever, knob, handle, or rope
    a zipper pull
  4. (slang, dated) Something in one's favour in a comparison or a contest; an advantage; means of influencing.
    In weights the favourite had the pull.
  5. Appeal or attraction (as of a movie star)
  6. (Internet, uncountable) The situation where a client sends out a request for data from a server, as in server pull, pull technology
  7. A journey made by rowing
    • 1874, Marcus Clarke, For the Term of His Natural Life Chapter V
      As Blunt had said, the burning ship lay a good twelve miles from the Malabar, and the pull was a long and a weary one. Once fairly away from the protecting sides of the vessel that had borne them thus far on their dismal journey, the adventurers seemed to have come into a new atmosphere.
  8. (dated) A contest; a struggle.
    a wrestling pull
  9. (obsolete, poetic) Loss or violence suffered.
    • 1591, William Shakespeare, “The Second Part of Henry the Sixt, […]”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies: Published According to the True Originall Copies (First Folio), London: Printed by Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358 ↗, [Act II, scene iii]:
      Two pulls at once; / His lady banished, and a limb lopped off.
  10. (colloquial) The act of drinking; a mouthful or swig of a drink.
    to take a pull at a mug of beer
  11. (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.
  12. (golf) A mishit shot which travels in a straight line and (for a right-handed player) left of the intended path.
  13. (printing, historical) A single impression from a handpress.
Synonyms Antonyms Related terms Translations
  • Portuguese: puxada
  • Russian: тя́га
  • Spanish: tirón
  • Portuguese: atração
  • Russian: притяже́ние
Translations Translations
  • Russian: притяга́тельность

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