Etymology: Middle English, from Old English pullian; akin to Middle Low German pulen to shell, cull
Date: before 12th century
a. to exert force upon so as to cause or tend to cause motion toward the force
b. to stretch (cooling candy) repeatedly <pull taffy> c. to strain abnormally <pull a tendon> d. to hold back (a racehorse) from winning e. to work (an oar) by drawing back strongly 2. a. to draw out from the skin <pull feathers from a rooster's tail> b. to pluck from a plant or by the roots <pull flowers> <pull turnips> c. extract <pull a tooth> 3. to hit (a ball) toward the left from a right-handed swing or toward the right from a left-handed swing — compare push 4. to draw apart ; rend, tear 5. to print (as a proof) by impression 6. to remove from a place or situation <pull the engine> <pulled the pitcher in the third inning> <pulled the show> 7. to bring (a weapon) into the open <pulled a knife> 8. a. perform, carry out <pull an all-nighter> <pull guard duty> b. commit, perpetrate <pull a robbery> <pull a prank> 9. a. put on, assume <pull a grin> b. to act or behave in the manner of <pulled a Horace Greely and went west — Steve Rushin> 10. a. to draw the support or attention of ; attract <pull votes> — often used with in b. obtain, secure <pulled a B in the course> 11. to demand or obtain an advantage over someone by the assertion of <pull rank> intransitive verb 1. a. to use force in drawing, dragging, or tugging b. to move especially through the exercise of mechanical energy <the car pulled clear of the rut> c. (1) to take a drink (2) to draw hard in smoking <pulled at a pipe> d. to strain against the bit 2. to draw a gun 3. to admit of being pulled 4. to feel or express strong sympathy ; root <pulling for my team to win> 5. of an offensive lineman in football to move back from the line of scrimmage and toward one flank to provide blocking for a ballcarrier • puller noun II. noun Usage: often attributive Date: 14th century 1. a. the act or an instance of pulling b. (1) a draft of liquid (2) an inhalation of smoke c. the effort expended in moving <a long pull uphill> d. force required to overcome resistance to pulling <a trigger with a four pound pull> 2. a. advantage b. special influence 3. proof 6a 4. a device for pulling something or for operating by pulling <a drawer pull> 5. a force that attracts, compels, or influences ; attraction 6. an injury resulting from abnormal straining or stretching <a muscle pull> <a groin pull>
New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.