1 /pUl/ verb
1 MOVE STH TOWARDS YOU (I, T) to use your hands to make something move towards you or in the direction that you are moving: Help me move the piano; you push and I'll pull. | pull sth: I pulled the handle and it just snapped off! | pull sth into/away from/over etc: Pull the chair nearer to the fire. | pull sth open/shut: Ally tried to pull the drawer open. | pull hard: They pulled hard on the rope.
2 PUT ON/TAKE OFF (transitive always + adv/prep) to put on or take off clothing, usually quickly: Ted pulled his socks on. | pulling off her hat and coat
3 MOVE YOUR BODY (transitive always + adv/prep)
a) to move your arm or your whole body away from someone or something that is holding it or touching it: pull sth away/off/out of etc: She pulled her arm out of his grasp.
b) to hold onto something and use force to move your body: pull yourself up/through etc: Harry pulled himself up onto the wall.
4 CARRIAGE/TRAIN (transitive usually passive) if horses or a railway engine pull a carriage etc, they make it move along behind them
5 USE A CONTROL (T) to move a control such as a switch 2 (1) or trigger towards you to make a piece of equipment work: She raised the gun, and pulled the trigger.
6 REMOVE (transitive always + adv/prep) to use force to take something out of the place where it is fixed or held: pull sth out/up/away: Gemma pulled the cork from the bottle.
7 SMOKE (transitive always + adv/prep) to take smoke from a cigarette, pipe etc into your lungs: pull on/at sth: Todd sat thinking, pulling on his pipe.
8 MUSCLE (T) to injure one of your muscles by stretching it too much during physical activity; strain 2 (4): Paul pulled a muscle trying to lift the freezer.
9 CROWD/VOTES ETC (T) if an event, performer etc pulls crowds or a politician pulls a lot of votes, a lot of people come to see them or vote for them: The big match pulled an enormous crowd. | She's unlikely to pull many votes. | pull the punters informal (=attract customers)
10 SEXUALLY ATTRACT (I, T) BrE spoken to attract someone in order to have sex with them: Ken's hoping to pull the girls with his flashy new car.
11 GUN/KNIFE (T) to take out a gun or knife ready to use it: pull sth on sb: He suddenly pulled a gun on me.
12 BEER (T) especially BrE to get beer out of a barrel by pulling a handle: to pull a pint
13 CAR (I) if a car pulls to the left or right as you are driving, it moves in that direction because of a mechanical problem: The car seems to be pulling to the left.
14 pull sb's leg to tell someone something that is not true, as a joke
15 pull the other one (it's got bells on) spoken used to tell someone that you think they are joking or not telling the truth: A racing driver? Pull the other one!
16 pull a fast one spoken to deceive someone: He was trying to pull a fast one when he told you he'd paid.
17 SUCCEED (T) slang, especially AmE to do something illegal or dishonest such as a crime or trick: The gang have pulled another bank robbery. | What are you trying to pull?
18 pull the curtains/the blind to open or close curtains or a blind: Could you just pull the blind, please?
19 HORSE (I) if a horse pulls it struggles and presses hard against the piece of metal in its mouth
20 pull sb's licence informal to take away someone's driving licence because they have done something wrong
21 pull a punch to deliberately hit someone with less force than you could do, so that it hurts less
—see also: not pull any punches punch 2 (7)
22 CRICKET/GOLF (I, T) technical to hit the ball in cricket or golf so that it does not go straight but moves to one side
23 ROW A BOAT (I, T) to make a boat move by using oars
—see also: push 1, —see also: pull/make a face face 1 (2), pull your finger out finger 1 (7), pull rank (on) rank 1 (5), pull the rug (out) from under sb's feet rug (3), pull your socks up sock 1 (3), pull strings string 1 (7), pull your weight weight 1 (13), pull the wool over sb's eyes wool (4) pull ahead phrasal verb (I) if one vehicle pulls ahead of another it gets in front of it by moving faster pull sb/sth apart phrasal verb (T)
1 to separate people or animals when they are fighting
2 to make someone feel very unhappy: The constant rows were pulling her apart.
pull at sth phrasal verb (T)
1 to take a hold of something and pull it several times: The child pulled at his mother's coat.
2 to take smoke from a pipe or cigarette into your lungs: He pulled at his pipe a couple of times.
3 old-fashioned to take a long drink from a bottle or glass
pull away phrasal verb (I) 1
a) to start to drive away from a place where you had stopped: Matt jumped onto the bus just as it was pulling away.
b) to drive or run more quickly than another vehicle or person and leave them behind you: pull away from sth/sb: Nkoku is pulling away from the other runners.
2 to move backwards quickly when someone is trying to touch you or hold you: I tried to kiss her but she pulled away.
pull down phrasal verb (T)
1 (pull something down) to destroy a building that is no longer used: The old chapel is dangerous and will have to be pulled down.
2 pull down a menu to make a computer program show you a list of the things it can do
3 (pull someone down) AmE to make someone less healthy or successful: Her problems over the last few months have really pulled her down.
pull in phrasal verb
1 (I) if a train pulls in, it arrives at a station
2 (I) if a car or a driver pulls in they move to the side of the road and stop: She pulled in to let the ambulance pass.
—compare pull over pull 1, —see also: pull­in
3 (transitive pull someone in) if a police officer pulls someone in, they take them to a police station because they think they may have done something wrong
4 (transitive pull something in) informal if you pull in a lot of money you earn it
5 (transitive pull someone/something in) if an event, a show etc pulls in a lot of people they go to see it: `Les Miserables' has been pulling in huge crowds in New York.
pull off phrasal verb (T) informal
1 to succeed in doing something difficult: pull sth off: They gave you the money! How did you pull that off?
2 if a car pulls off a road it turns into a smaller road or entrance: pull off sth: We pulled off the road to get some food.
pull out phrasal verb
1 (I) if a train pulls out it leaves a station
—compare pull away pull 1
2 (I)
a) to drive onto a road from another road, or after you have stopped at the side: Don't pull out! There's something coming.
b) to drive over to a different part of the road, especially where the traffic is moving faster, in order to overtake (1): That truck pulled straight out in front of me.
3 (intransitive, transitive pull someone/something out) to get out of a bad situation or dangerous place, or order someone else to do so: Jim saw that the firm was going to be ruined, so he pulled out. | Most of the troops have been pulled out.
—see also: pull out all the stops stop 2 (6) pull over phrasal verb (intransitive, transitive pull something/someone over) to stop the vehicle you are driving at the side of the road, or order someone else to do so: The policeman signalled to him to pull over. pull through also pull round phrasal verb (intransitive, transitive pull someone through)
1 to stay alive after you have been very ill or badly injured, or help someone do this: His injuries are severe but he's expected to pull through.
—compare bring through bring
2 to succeed even though you have had a lot of difficulties, or help someone do this: Margaret had real problems, but the teacher pulled her through.
pull together phrasal verb
1 (I) if a group of people pull together, they all work hard to achieve something: If we all pull together, we'll finish on time.
2 pull yourself together to force yourself to stop behaving in a nervous, frightened, or disorganized way: Stop behaving like a baby! Pull yourself together.
3 (transitive pull something together) to improve something by organizing it more effectively: We need an experienced manager to pull the department together.
pull up phrasal verb
1 (I) to stop the vehicle that you are driving: Don pulled up at the red light and we stopped behind him.
2 pull up a chair/stool etc to get a chair and sit down next to someone who is already sitting
3 (transitive pull someone up) to stop someone who is doing something wrong and tell them you do not approve
(+ on): I felt I had to pull her up on her lateness.
4 pull sb up short/pull sb up with a jerk if something pulls you up short it makes you stop and think about whether you are doing the right thing: Jan's unexpected criticism pulled me up short.
2 noun
1 ACT OF PULLING (C) an act of using force to move something towards you or in the same direction that you are moving: Give the rope a good pull.
—compare tug 1
2 FORCE (countable usually singular) a strong force such as gravity, that makes things move in a particular direction: gravitational pull of the moon
3 EMOTIONAL (countable usually singular) a strong feeling that you want to go to a particular place or person: The old sailor still felt the pull of the sea.
4 CLIMB (singular) BrE old-fashioned a difficult climb up a steep road: It was a long pull up that hill.
5 INFLUENCE (singular, uncountable) informal special influence that gives you an unfair advantage: His family's name gives him a lot of pull in this town.
6 SMOKE (C) an act of taking the smoke from a cigarette, pipe etc into your lungs: She took a long pull on her cigarette.
7 DRINK (C) an act of taking a long drink of something: Brett took a good pull at his beer.
8 HANDLE (C) a rope or handle that you use to pull something: a bell-pull
9 CRICKET/GOLF (C) a way of hitting the ball in cricket (2) or golf (2) so that it does not go straight, but moves to one side

Longman dictionary of contemporary English. 2004.

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