Meaning of “draw” in the English Dictionary

"draw" in British English

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uk /drɔː/ us /drɑː/ drew, drawn

draw verb (PICTURE)

A1 [ I or T ] to make a picture of something or someone with a pencil or pen:

Jonathan can draw very well.
Draw a line at the bottom of the page.

More examples

  • I'll draw you a quick map if you're worried about finding the hotel.
  • She drew the outline of the boat and then coloured it in.
  • Rosie drew an elephant and coloured it in.
  • Squared paper is better for drawing graphs on.
  • If you draw or write in pencil you can always rub out your mistakes with an eraser.

draw verb (ATTRACT)

B2 [ T ] to attract attention or interest:

He's an excellent speaker who always draws a crowd.
Could I draw your attention to item number three on the agenda?
UK Does he wear those ridiculous clothes to draw attention to himself?
draw sb's eye(s)

to attract someone's attention:

Her eyes were immediately drawn to the tall blond man standing at the bar.

More examples

  • They're organizing a campaign to draw people's attention to the environmentally harmful effects of using their cars.
  • He may be old hat among the trendy younger generation, but his shows draw more viewers than any other comedian.
  • Science museums have tried to shake off their somewhat starchy image by mounting exhibitions designed to draw in the crowds.
  • He drew attention to the absence of concrete evidence against the defendant.
  • He was drawn to the metropolitan glamour and excitement of Paris.

draw verb (MAKE)

C2 [ T ] formal to make or show a comparison between things:

You can't really draw a comparison between the two cases - they're completely different.
It's sometimes very difficult to draw a clear distinction between the meanings of different words.
draw a conclusion

B2 to consider the facts of a situation and make a decision about what is true, correct, likely to happen, etc.:

I'd seen them together so often, I drew the logical conclusion that they were husband and wife.

More examples

  • She drew a comparison between life in the army and life in prison.
  • He drew an analogy between the brain and a vast computer.
  • Did you draw any conclusions at the meeting this morning?
  • It would be easy to draw a parallel between the town's history and that of its football club.
  • The report focuses on the particular rather than the general and so doesn't draw any overall conclusions.

draw verb (MOVE)

B2 [ I + adv/prep ] to move in a particular direction, especially in a vehicle:

The train slowly drew into the station/drew in.
As we drew alongside (= reached) the black car, I suddenly recognized my ex-boyfriend at the wheel.
UK Montgomery drew level with Greene in the 100 metres final, but never passed him.
draw near, close, etc.

B2 to become nearer in space or time:

As she drew closer, I realized that I knew her.
draw to a close/an end

More examples

  • A limousine drew up outside the hotel.
  • As the date of his operation drew near, he became more and more anxious.
  • A car drew up outside and a few moments later the doorbell rang.
  • "Let's draw this meeting to a close, gentlemen, " said the chairman.
  • The shadows deepened as the evening drew on.


uk /drɔː/ us /drɑː/

(Definition of “draw” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"draw" in American English

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us /drɔ/ past tense drew /dru/ , past participle drawn /drɔn/

draw verb (PICTURE)

[ I/T ] to make a picture of something or someone with a pencil, pen, etc.:

[ T ] The child drew a picture of a dog.

draw verb (MOVE)

[ I always + adv/prep ] to move in a particular direction:

As we drew near, a dog started to bark.

draw verb (PULL/PULL IN)

[ I/T ] to pull or direct something or someone in a particular direction, or attract someone toward a particular place:

[ T ] The Grand Canyon draws millions of tourists each year.
[ T ] I would like to thank Professor Reynolds for drawing my attention to this article.

[ I/T ] To draw is also to pull together or close something covering a window, so that no one can see you:

[ T ] She drew the blinds and sat down to read.

[ I/T ] To draw is also to suck in:

[ I ] He sharply drew in his breath.

draw verb (TAKE OUT)

[ T ] to remove something:

It was my turn to draw a card.

draw verb (DECIDE ON)

[ T ] to decide on something as a result of thinking about it:

We can draw some conclusions about the causes of this disease.

draw verb (CAUSE)

[ T ] to cause a reaction from someone:

The criticism drew an angry response from the mayor.

drawnoun [ C ]

us /drɔ/

draw noun [ C ] (ATTRACTION)

infml someone or something that attracts a lot of interest, esp. of paying customers:

Every team needs a superstar who will be a big draw.

draw noun [ C ] (GAME RESULT)

(in sports and games) a situation in which each side or team has equal points or is in an equal position and neither side wins:

The hockey game ended in a draw, 2 to 2.

(Definition of “draw” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

"draw" in Business English

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drawverb [ T ]

uk /drɔː/ us drew, drawn

also withdraw BANKING to get money from a bank or an account so that you can use it:

draw money/cash from sth Customers will be charged each time they draw cash from the cash dispensers.
The company is now able to draw money from the £10m loan it has negotiated with Royal Bank of Scotland.

FINANCE to receive money regularly, especially as an employee or from the government:

The chief executive drew £1million last year in salary and bonuses.
draw a salary/pension

BANKING to write out a cheque and receive money for it:

draw a cheque on an account/a bank Consumers nowadays routinely pay for goods not with cash or cheques drawn on their bank accounts but with credit cards.
US Dollar cheques can be accepted if they are drawn on a bank with clearing facilities in the UK.

FINANCE, COMMERCE to write a bill of exchange (= document used in trade that orders payment for goods or services):

draw a bill of exchange on sb Bills of exchange are drawn on buyers and accepted when the seller hands over the bill of lading covering the goods.

drawnoun [ C ]

uk /drɔː/ us

someone or something that attracts a lot of people:

With an ice rink and indoor turf field, the complex has been popular and a draw for out-of-town visitors.
a big/huge draw As in China, the big draw is India's massive and lucrative domestic market potential.

[ usually singular ] an act of using some of the supply of something, especially oil or gas, or the amount that is used:

Oil prices continued to rise yesterday amid fears that figures from America will show another big draw on stocks.

something that uses up part of a supply of something:

The training program is a draw on all our resources.

(Definition of “draw” from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)