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pluck

[pluhk] /plʌk/
verb (used with object)
1.
to pull off or out from the place of growth, as fruit, flowers, feathers, etc.:
to pluck feathers from a chicken.
2.
to give a pull at; grasp:
to pluck someone's sleeve.
3.
to pull with sudden force or with a jerk.
4.
to pull or move by force (often followed by away, off, or out).
5.
to remove the feathers, hair, etc., from by pulling:
to pluck a chicken.
6.
Slang. to rob, plunder, or fleece.
7.
to sound (the strings of a musical instrument) by pulling at them with the fingers or a plectrum.
verb (used without object)
8.
to pull or tug sharply (often followed by at).
9.
to snatch (often followed by at).
noun
10.
act of plucking; a tug.
11.
the heart, liver, and lungs, especially of an animal used for food.
12.
courage or resolution in the face of difficulties.
Verb phrases
13.
pluck up,
  1. to eradicate; uproot.
  2. to summon up one's courage; rouse one's spirits:
    He always plucked up at the approach of danger. She was a stranger in the town, but, plucking up her courage, she soon made friends.
Origin
1000
before 1000; Middle English plukken (v.), Old English pluccian, cognate with Middle Low German plucken; akin to Dutch plukken, German pflücken
Related forms
plucker, noun
half-plucked, adjective
unplucked, adjective
well-plucked, adjective
Synonyms
2. tug. 3. yank, tear, rip. 12. bravery, boldness, determination, mettle, nerve.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples for plucked
  • Once plucked, strings vibrate with decreasing energy until the sound dies away.
  • The page was plucked into the air before she could pretend to cover it.
  • In other cases, digital voices plucked out of the crowd to take part in the event had a good idea why that happened.
  • These artists, though, are not quite being plucked from obscurity.
  • Nobody plucked us at random from a bag containing every conscious being that ever lived or ever will live.
  • She plucked the ball out of the cup, smiled, and acknowledged the cheers.
  • E-mail is then scoured, with frequently used phrases plucked out and categorized by topic.
  • The more forcefully the string is plucked, the more sharply it snaps back.
  • These were used packaging, plucked chicken feathers, tattered cotton and spent toothpaste tubes.
  • Plastic bottles and cartons are plucked out by hand.
British Dictionary definitions for plucked

pluck

/plʌk/
verb
1.
(transitive) to pull off (feathers, fruit, etc) from (a fowl, tree, etc)
2.
when intr, foll by at. to pull or tug
3.
(transitive; foll by off, away, etc) (archaic) to pull (something) forcibly or violently (from something or someone)
4.
(transitive) to sound (the strings) of (a musical instrument) with the fingers, a plectrum, etc
5.
(transitive) another word for strip1 (sense 7)
6.
(transitive) (slang) to fleece or swindle
noun
7.
courage, usually in the face of difficulties or hardship
8.
a sudden pull or tug
9.
the heart, liver, and lungs, esp of an animal used for food
Derived Forms
plucker, noun
Word Origin
Old English pluccian, plyccan; related to German pflücken
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 plucked
pluck
late O.E. ploccian "pull off, cull," from W.Gmc. *plokken (cf. M.L.G. plucken, M.Du. plocken, Flem. plokken), perhaps from V.L. *piluccare (cf. O.Fr. peluchier, c.1180), a frequentative, ultimately from L. pilare "pull out hair," from pilus "hair." But despite the similarities, OED finds difficulties with this and cites gaps in historical evidence. Noun sense of "courage, boldness" (1785) is originally boxing slang, from meaning "heart, viscera" (1611) as that which is "plucked" from slaughtered livestock. Perhaps infl. by fig. use in pluck up (one's courage, etc.), attested from c.1300. Hence, plucky (1842).
"To pluck a rose, an expression said to be used by women for going to the necessary house, which in the country usually stands in the garden." [F. Grose, "Classical Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue," 1785]
This euphemistic use is attested from 1613.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for plucked

pluck 1

verb

To rob or cheat; fleece: These bimbos once helped pluck a bank

[1400+; fr the image of plucking a chicken]


pluck 2

verb

To do the sex act with or to; screw

[1950s+; a euphemism for fuck]


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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Difficulty index for pluck

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Word Value for plucked

16
20
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