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Definition of “pull” - English Dictionary

"pull" in American English

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 us   /pʊl/
  • pull verb (MOVE TOWARD YOU)

[I/T] to move something toward yourself, sometimes with ​greatphysicaleffort: [I] Could you ​help me move this ​bookcase over there? You pull and I’ll ​push. [T] Alice ​lay down and pulled a ​blanket over her. [I] The little ​girl pulled at his ​sleeve (= moved it ​slightly and ​repeatedly toward her).
  • pull verb (REMOVE)

[T] to take something out of or away from a ​place, esp. using ​physicaleffort: [M] The ​dentist had to pull two of my ​teeth out. [M] I ​spent the ​morning pulling up ​weeds in the ​garden. She’s ​askingcompanies to pull ​theirads from the ​program.
pulls a weapon on
Someone who pulls a ​weapon on you ​takes it from a ​hiddenplace and ​points it at you.
  • pull verb (BRING BEHIND YOU)

[I/T] to ​hold or be ​attached to the ​front of something and ​cause it to move with you: [T] The ​car was pulling a ​trailer. [I] Elise ​sat on the ​sled while Carol pulled.
  • pull verb (MOVE IN A DIRECTION)

[I always + adv/prep] to move or move something in the ​stateddirection: Her ​car pulled out into ​traffic. The ​sun was so ​strong we had to pull down the ​blinds. He pulled off his ​wetclothes and ​laid them out to ​dry.
pull up a chair
If you pull up a ​chair, you move a ​chair so you can ​sit with other ​people: Pull up a ​chair and ​join us.
  • pull verb (MOVE YOUR BODY)

[I/T] to move ​yourbody or a ​part of ​yourbody: [I] He ​startedyelling at the ​referee and had to be pulled away by ​teammates. [T always + adv/prep] He pulled his ​arm out just as the ​doors were ​closing. [T always + adv/prep] She pulled herself up onto the ​rock.
  • pull verb (OPERATE A DEVICE)

[T] to ​operate a ​device that makes a ​piece of ​equipmentwork: She took out a ​quarter, ​dropped it into the ​slotmachine, and pulled the ​lever.
  • pull verb (ATTRACT)

[T] to ​attract a ​person or ​people: She was ​able to pull more ​votes than the other ​candidates. [M] The ​networks are ​grabbing for any ​edge that pulls in ​viewers.
  • pull verb (INJURE)

[T] to ​injure a ​muscle by ​stretching it too much: Marie pulled a ​hamstring and couldn’t ​play in the ​finals.
  • pull verb (BE DISHONEST)

[T] slang to ​perform an ​action that is ​dishonest or ​intended to ​deceive: Mikey was pulling his ​usualstunt of ​feeding most of his ​lunch to the ​cat. Why would you ​try to pull a ​trick/​prank like that on her?


 us   /pʊl/
  • pull noun (INFLUENCE)

[U] infml influence, esp. with ​importantpeople: The ​manufacturer used ​political pull to get the ​applicationapproved.
(Definition of pull from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

"pull" in British English

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uk   /pʊl/  us   /pʊl/
  • pull verb (MOVE TOWARDS YOU)

A2 [I or T] to ​move something towards yourself, sometimes with ​greatphysicaleffort: Could you ​help me ​move this ​bookcase over there? You pull and I'll ​push. He pulled the ​chair away from the ​desk. He pulled the ​heavyboxacross the ​floor to the ​door. [+ obj + adj ] He pulled the ​dooropen. The ​car was pulling a ​caravan. The ​sun was so ​strong we had to pull down the ​blinds. She pulled out the ​drawer.

expend iconexpend iconMore examples

  • pull verb (REMOVE)

B1 [T] to take something out of or away from a ​place, ​especially using ​physicaleffort: He pulled off his ​sweater. The ​dentist pulled both ​teeth out. I ​spent the ​morning pulling up the ​weeds in the flowerbeds.
[T] to ​remove or ​stop something that was going to be ​published or ​broadcast, ​especially because it is ​found to be ​offensive or not ​accurate: When ​officialsrealized the ​culturalgaffe, the ​company pulled the ad and ​apologized.

expend iconexpend iconMore examples

  • pull verb (MOVE)

B2 [I + adv/prep] to ​move in the ​stateddirection: During the last ​lap of the ​race one of the ​runnersbegan to pull ahead. We ​waved as the ​train pulled out of the ​station. Our ​armies are pulling back on all ​fronts.
pull yourself along, up, etc.
B2 [T] to take ​hold of something and use ​effort to ​moveyourbodyforwards or up: She pulled herself up the ​stairs, ​holding onto the ​rail. He put his ​hands on the ​side of the ​pool and pulled himself out of the ​water.

expend iconexpend iconMore examples

  • pull verb (DISHONEST)

[T] slang to ​perform a ​dishonestaction: The ​gang that pulled the ​bankrobbery were all ​arrested. No one's ​gonna pull that ​kind of ​trick on me!
  • pull verb (INTERNET)

[T] specialized internet & telecoms to get ​information from the internet, after ​asking or ​searching for it: Companies should ​encouragecustomers to pull ​information from ​theirwebsite, ​thus putting the ​customer in ​control.


uk   /pʊl/  us   /pʊl/
  • pull noun (MOVEMENT TOWARDS YOU)

[C usually singular] the ​act of pulling something towards yourself: Give the ​rope a hard pull.
[C] something that you pull to make something ​work or to ​open something: a ​curtain pull a ​drawer pull
  • pull noun (ATTRACTION)

[C] something that ​attractspeople: "How can we ​persuadepeople to come to the ​meeting?" "A ​glass of ​wine is ​quite a good pull."
[U] the ​physical or ​emotionalpower to ​attract something: The ​greater the ​mass of an ​object, the ​greateritsgravitational pull. The movie's ​all-starcast should give it a lot of pull.
(Definition of pull from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"pull" in Business English

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pullverb [T]

uk   us   /pʊl/
to ​stopproviding something or take something away from someone or something: A ​majorpartner has threatened to pull all ​sponsorship. The first ​step is to pull the ​advertising for the ​defectiveproduct.pull sth from/out of sth Candies with more than .2 ​partsper million of ​lead would be pulled from ​stores. Elderly ​savers began to pull their ​money out of the ​accounts.
to ​attractinterest from ​customers: If it doesn't pull ​bigaudiences, what's the ​point of the festival? A ​programme with a few ​starnames is sure to pull the crowds.
pull sth/a rabbit out of the hat informal
to do something unexpected that ​improves a difficult ​situation: If they want to ​survive the ​crisis, they'll need to pull something out of the hat pretty quickly. The company's in ​real trouble, and they don't seem to have any rabbits to pull out of the hat.
pull the plug on sth informal
to ​stop an ​activity from continuing: If ​costsrise any ​higher, we'll have to pull the ​plug on the whole ​project.
pull strings
to use your ​personalinfluence to make things ​happen: She may be ​retired, but she can still pull strings in the city. Don't you know anyone who can pull a few strings for us?
pull the strings
to be the ​person who is in ​control of things: He's decided to put in the ​money himself, rather than ​let the ​investors pull the strings Don't ​ask me. I'm not the one who's pulling the strings.
pull your weight
to ​work as hard as other ​people or as hard as expected and needed: Everyone is expected to pull their ​weight on this ​project.


uk   us   /pʊl/
[U] influence or ​power over other ​people: These ​people have a lot of pull in ​government circles. I'm afraid I don't have that much pull with the ​management.
[S] the ​ability to ​attractpeople: Money has a ​strong pull for ​institutions and ​individuals alike. He ​tried teaching, but the pull of scientific discovery was greater than that of the ​academicworld.
(Definition of pull from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
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“pull” in Business English

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