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[hawl] /hɔl/
verb (used with object)
to pull or draw with force; move by drawing; drag:
They hauled the boat up onto the beach.
to cart or transport; carry:
He hauled freight.
to cause to descend; lower (often followed by down):
to haul down the flag.
to arrest or bring before a magistrate or other authority (often followed by before, in, to, into, etc.):
He was hauled before the judge.
verb (used without object)
to pull or tug.
to go or come to a place, especially with effort:
After roistering about the streets, they finally hauled into the tavern.
to do carting or transport, or move freight commercially.
  1. to sail, as in a particular direction.
  2. to draw or pull a vessel up on land, as for repairs or storage.
  3. (of the wind) to shift to a direction closer to the heading of a vessel (opposed to veer).
  4. (of the wind) to change direction, shift, or veer (often followed by round or to).
an act or instance of hauling; a strong pull or tug.
something that is hauled.
the load hauled at one time; quantity carried or transported.
the distance or route over which anything is hauled.
  1. the quantity of fish taken at one draft of the net.
  2. the draft of a fishing net.
  3. the place where a seine is hauled.
the act of taking or acquiring something.
something that is taken or acquired:
The thieves' haul included several valuable paintings.
Verb phrases
haul off,
  1. Nautical. to change a ship's course so as to get farther off from an object.
  2. to withdraw; leave.
  3. Informal. to draw back the arm in order to strike; prepare to deal a blow:
    He hauled off and struck the insolent lieutenant a blow to the chin.
haul up,
  1. to bring before a superior for judgment or reprimand; call to account.
  2. to come to a halt; stop.
  3. Nautical. to change the course of (a sailing vessel) so as to sail closer to the wind.
  4. Nautical. (of a sailing vessel) to come closer to the wind.
  5. Nautical. (of a vessel) to come to a halt.
haul around, Nautical.
  1. to brace (certain yards of a sailing vessel).
  2. (of the wind) to change in a clockwise direction.
haul in with, Nautical. to approach.
haul / shag ass, Slang: Vulgar. to get a move on; hurry.
long haul,
  1. a relatively great period of time:
    In the long haul, he'll regret having been a school dropout.
  2. a relatively great distance:
    It's a long haul from Maine to Texas.
  3. Nautical. the drawing up on shore of a vessel for a relatively long period of time, as for winter storage or longer.
short haul,
  1. a relatively small period of time:
    For the short haul, he'll be able to get by on what he earns.
  2. a relatively little distance:
    The axle wouldn't break for just a short haul.
  3. Nautical. the drawing up on shore of a vessel for a relatively short period, as for repairs or painting.
Origin of haul
1550-60; earlier hall, variant of hale2
Related forms
rehaul, verb
unhauled, adjective
Can be confused
hall, haul.
1. See draw. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for haul up
Historical Examples
  • There was a pause, and in a minute or two came two jerks, the signal to haul up.

    Facing Death G. A. Henty
  • We will haul up a bit, and see if we can discover what has happened.

    The Log of a Privateersman Harry Collingwood
  • Toss out our provisions, Peterkin; and here, Ralph, lend a hand to haul up the boat.

    The Coral Island R. M. Ballantyne
  • If the lines or the hose breaks, why, haul up on whichever's left.

    The Pirate Shark Elliott Whitney
  • That night it was decided at the first opportunity to haul up the boat and house it for the winter.

    The Home of the Blizzard Douglas Mawson
  • The other watch plunged down on the main deck to haul up the sail.

  • Youve been drinking, and youre dirty and torn—no fit man, to-night, to haul up longside that craft!

    Cursed George Allan England
  • haul up the foresail, down with the helm, let fly the jib sheet!

  • It was hard, dangerous work, and often we found it safest to land and haul up the boat along the side.

  • And that was true, for Tom felt some one above beginning to haul up the pot.

    The Water-Babies Charles Kingsley
British Dictionary definitions for haul up

haul up

verb (adverb)
(transitive) (informal) to call to account or criticize
(nautical) to sail (a vessel) closer to the wind


to drag or draw (something) with effort
(transitive) to transport, as in a lorry
(nautical) to alter the course of (a vessel), esp so as to sail closer to the wind
(transitive) (nautical) to draw or hoist (a vessel) out of the water onto land or a dock for repair, storage, etc
(intransitive) (nautical) (of the wind) to blow from a direction nearer the bow Compare veer1 (sense 3b)
(intransitive) to change one's opinion or action
the act of dragging with effort
(esp of fish) the amount caught at a single time
something that is hauled
the goods obtained from a robbery
a distance of hauling: a three-mile haul
the amount of a contraband seizure: arms haul, drugs haul
in the long haul, over the long haul
  1. in a future time
  2. over a lengthy period of time
Word Origin
C16: from Old French haler, of Germanic origin; see hale²
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for haul up



1580s, hall, variant spelling of Middle English halen (see hale (v.)), representing a change in pronunciation after c.1200. Spelling with -au- or -aw- is from early 17c. Related: Hauled; hauling. To haul off "pull back a little" before striking or otherwise acting is American English, 1802.


1660s, "act of hauling," from haul (v.). Meaning "something gained" is from 1776, perhaps on notion of "drawing" a profit, or of the catch from hauling fishing nets. Meaning "distance over which something must be hauled" (usually with long or short) is attested from 1873.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for haul up



  1. Profits or return, esp illicit ones; loot: The show yielded a huge haul
  2. The proceeds from any activity: a haul for the canned goods collection

Related Terms

cold haul, for the long haul, get one's ashes hauled, long haul, over the long haul

[1776+; fr the contents of a fish net that is hauled]

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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Idioms and Phrases with haul up

haul up

Come to a halt, stop, as in We hauled up in front of the hotel.
Bring someone before a superior or other authority, call someone to account. For example, This was the third time he'd been hauled up before the judge. [ Mid-1800s ]
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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