follow Dictionary.com

What is the X in X-mas?

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.
Cite This Source
Examples from the web for plucking
  • plucking a bright pink flower, he carried it with him into the house.
  • Being a stem-cell researcher frequently involves plucking miniature human tissues from the cadavers of mice.
  • There is no easy fix, no return to the days of plucking credit cards and mortgages off trees.
  • Live-action fairy tales are ripe for plucking by adult filmgoers.
  • He is into virtuoso plucking at one moment or projecting a rich cello sound with his bow at another.
  • Somehow plucking strays under a mirror not your own feels less awkward when your tweezer is as stylish as your outfit.
  • plucking the bird is better if you plan to smoke or roast it whole.
  • The principal striated surface is a joint face from which a block has been removed by plucking.
  • North facing slopes that contain plucking perches are a critical requirement for the sharp- shinned hawk.
  • Some people prefer plucking the feathers off game birds rather than skinning.
British Dictionary definitions for plucking

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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for plucking

pluck

v.

late Old English ploccian, pluccian "pull off, cull," from West Germanic *plokken (cf. Middle Low German plucken, Middle Dutch plocken, Dutch plukken, Flemish plokken, German pflücken), perhaps from Vulgar Latin *piluccare (cf. Old French peluchier, late 12c.; Italian piluccare), a frequentative, ultimately from Latin pilare "pull out hair," from pilus "hair" (see pile (n.3)). But despite the similarities, OED finds difficulties with this and cites gaps in historical evidence. Related: Plucked; plucking.

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 1610s. To pluck up "summon up" is from c.1300.

n.

c.1400, "act of plucking," from pluck (v.). Meaning "courage, boldness" (1785), originally in pugilism slang, is a figurative use from earlier meaning "heart, viscera" (1610s) as that which is "plucked" from slaughtered livestock. Perhaps influenced by figurative use of the verb in pluck up (one's courage, etc.), attested from c.1300.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
Slang definitions & phrases for plucking

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.
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for pluck

Many English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for plucking

17
23
Scrabble Words With Friends

Quotes with plucking

Nearby words for plucking