pull - definition and synonyms


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present tense
present participlepulling
past tensepulled
past participlepulled
  1. 1
    [intransitive/transitive, transitive]
    pull something away from/out of/into etc something:

    Help me pull the sofa away from the wall.

    I climbed into bed and pulled the blankets over my head.

    pull at/on:

    The little girl pulled gently at my sleeve.

    pull something open/shut:

    Jane pulled the door open.

    pull something tight:

    Don’t pull the string too tight.

    to remove something or someone from inside or under something by moving them towards you
    pull someone out of something:

    A lifeguard had to pull her out of the water.

    pull something from something:

    He pulled a suitcase from beneath the bed.

     Synonyms and related words
    1. a.
      [transitive] to move something along behind you

      Two horses were pulling the plough.

    2. b.
      [transitive] to move a handle that controls a machine so that the machine works

      You pull hard on this lever to start the motor.

      She raised the gun and pulled the trigger.

  2. 2
    [transitive] to use force to remove something that is fixed into or onto something else

    I’m going to the dentist to get a tooth pulled.

    pull something up:

    She was pulling up the weeds.

    pull off:

    Wash the mushrooms and pull off the stalks.

     Synonyms and related words
  3. 3
    [transitive] to move your body or part of your body using effort or force
    pull something up/out/back etc:

    She nearly lost a shoe pulling her foot out of the hole.

  4. 5
    [transitive] to take a gun or knife out of a pocket and be ready to use it
    pull something on someone:

    His attacker suddenly pulled a knife on him.

     Synonyms and related words
  5. 6
    [transitive] to open or close something that covers a window

    Alice pulled the curtains shut.

    The shopkeeper pulled down the blinds.

  6. 7
    [intransitive/transitive] if something pulls a person or organization in a particular direction, it makes them want to do something by strongly attracting or influencing them

    Her heart pulled one way, her head another.

  7. 8



    pull in

    [transitive] if a performer or a performance pulls an audience, a large number of people come to watch them
    1. a.
      [transitive] mainly American if a politician pulls votes, a lot of people vote for them
  8. 9
    [transitive] to suck smoke from a cigarette, pipe etc into your mouth or lungs
    pull on/at:

    Mrs Harris stood at the door pulling on a cigarette.

  9. 10
    [intransitive/transitive] British informal if you pull someone, that person is attracted to you in a sexual or romantic way