verb (used with object)
to draw or haul toward oneself or itself, in a particular direction, or into a particular position: to pull a sled up a hill.
to draw or tug at with force.
to rend or tear: to pull a cloth to pieces.
to draw or pluck away from a place of growth, attachment, etc.: to pull a tooth; to pull weeds.
to strip of feathers, hair, etc., as a bird or hide.
to draw out (as a knife or gun) for ready use (usually followed by on ): Do you know what to do when someone pulls a knife on you?
Informal. to perform successfully (often followed by off ): They pulled a spectacular coup.
Informal. to carry out (especially something deceitful or illegal): Police believe the men pulled all three robberies. What kind of trick did she pull this time?
to put on or affect: He pulled a long face when I reprimanded him.
to withdraw or remove: to pull an ineffective pitcher.
to attract or win: to pull many votes in the industrial areas.
to bring (a horse) to a stand by pulling on the reins.
Printing, Graphics. to take (an impression or proof) from type, a cut or plate, etc.: to pull a print.
to be provided with or rowed with (a certain number of oars): This boat pulls 12 oars.
to propel by rowing, as a boat.
to strain (a muscle, ligament, or tendon).
Military. to be assigned (a specific task or duty): I pulled guard duty our first night in port.
to hold in or check (a racehorse), especially so as to prevent from winning.
Sports. to hit (a ball) so that it travels in a direction opposite to the side from which it was struck, as when a right-handed batter hits into left field.
verb (used without object)
to exert a drawing, tugging, or hauling force (often followed by at ).
to inhale through a pipe, cigarette, etc.
to become or come as specified, by being pulled: This rope will pull.
to row.
to proceed by rowing.
to have effectiveness, as specified: The ad pulled badly.
to be effective: That spot announcement really pulled!
the act of pulling or drawing.
force used in pulling; pulling power.
a drawing in of smoke or a liquid through the mouth: He took a long, thoughtful pull on his pipe; I took a pull from the scout's canteen.
Informal. influence, as with persons able to grant favors.
a part or thing to be pulled; a handle or the like: to replace the pulls on a chest of drawers.
a spell, or turn, at rowing.
a stroke of an oar.
Informal. a pulled muscle: He missed a week's work with a groin pull.
a pulling of the ball, as in baseball or golf.
Informal. the ability to attract; drawing power.
Informal. an advantage over another or others.
Verb phrases
pull away,
to move or draw back or away; withdraw.
to free oneself with force: He tried to pull away from his opponent's powerful grip.
to move or start to move ahead: The car pulled away into traffic. The faster runners began to pull away from the others.
pull down,
to draw downward: to pull a shade down.
to demolish; wreck.
to lower; reduce.
Informal. to receive as a salary; earn: It wasn't long before he was pulling down more than fifty thousand a year.
pull for, to support actively; encourage: They were pulling for the Republican candidate.
pull in,
to reach a place; arrive: The train pulled in early.
to tighten; curb: to pull in the reins.
Informal. to arrest (someone): The police pulled her in for questioning.
pull off, Informal. to perform successfully, especially something requiring courage, daring, or shrewdness: We'll be rich if we can pull the deal off.
pull out,
to leave; depart: The ship pulled out of the harbor.
to abandon abruptly: to pull out of an agreement.
pull over, to direct one's automobile or other vehicle to the curb; move out of a line of traffic: The police officer told the driver to pull over.
pull through, to come safely through (a crisis, illness, etc.); survive: The patient eventually pulled through after having had a close brush with death.
pull up,
to bring or come to a halt.
to bring or draw closer.
to root up; pull out: She pulled up all the crab grass in the lawn.
pull apart, to analyze critically, especially to point out errors: The professor proceeded to pull the student's paper apart.
pull oneself together, to recover one's self-control; regain command of one's emotions: It was only a minor accident, but the driver couldn't seem to pull himself together.
pull someone's leg. leg ( def 23 ).
pull the plug. plug ( def 35 ).

before 1000; Middle English pullen (v.), Old English pullian to pluck, pluck the feathers of, pull, tug; compare Middle Low German pūlen to strip off husks, pick, Old Norse pūla to work hard

pullable, adjective
puller, noun

2. See draw.

2. push.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source Link To pull out
World English Dictionary
pull (pʊl)
1.  (also intr) to exert force on (an object) so as to draw it towards the source of the force
2.  to exert force on so as to remove; extract: to pull a tooth
3.  to strip of feathers, hair, etc; pluck
4.  to draw the entrails from (a fowl)
5.  to rend or tear
6.  to strain (a muscle, ligament, or tendon) injuriously
7.  informal (usually foll by off) to perform or bring about: to pull off a million-pound deal
8.  informal (often foll by on) to draw out (a weapon) for use: he pulled a knife on his attacker
9.  informal to attract: the pop group pulled a crowd
10.  slang (also intr) to attract (a sexual partner)
11.  (intr; usually foll by on or at) to drink or inhale deeply: to pull at one's pipe; pull on a bottle of beer
12.  to put on or make (a grimace): to pull a face
13.  (also intr; foll by away, out, over, etc) to move (a vehicle) or (of a vehicle) be moved in a specified manner: he pulled his car away from the roadside
14.  printing to take (a proof) from type
15.  to withdraw or remove: the board decided to pull their support
16.  sport to hit (a ball) so that it veers away from the direction in which the player intended to hit it (to the left for a right-handed player)
17.  cricket to hit (a ball pitched straight or on the off side) to the leg side
18.  hurling to strike (a fast-moving ball) in the same direction as it is already moving
19.  (also intr) to row (a boat) or take a stroke of (an oar) in rowing
20.  to be rowed by: a racing shell pulls one, two, four, or eight oars
21.  (of a rider) to restrain (a horse), esp to prevent it from winning a race
22.  (intr) (of a horse) to resist strongly the attempts of a rider to rein in or check it
23.  slang pull a fast one to play a sly trick
24.  pull apart, pull to pieces to criticize harshly
25.  informal (Austral) pull your head in be quiet!
26.  pull one's punches
 a.  informal to restrain the force of one's criticisms or actions
 b.  boxing to restrain the force of one's blows, esp when deliberately losing after being bribed, etc
27.  informal pull one's weight to do one's fair or proper share of a task
28.  informal pull strings to exercise personal influence, esp secretly or unofficially
29.  informal pull someone's leg to make fun of, fool, or tease someone
30.  an act or an instance of pulling or being pulled
31.  the force or effort used in pulling: the pull of the moon affects the tides on earth
32.  the act or an instance of taking in drink or smoke
33.  something used for pulling, such as a knob or handle
34.  informal special advantage or influence: his uncle is chairman of the company, so he has quite a lot of pull
35.  informal the power to attract attention or support
36.  a period of rowing
37.  a single stroke of an oar in rowing
38.  the act of pulling the ball in golf, cricket, etc
39.  the act of checking or reining in a horse
40.  the amount of resistance in a bowstring, trigger, etc
[Old English pullian; related to Icelandic pūla to beat]

pull out
1.  (tr) to extract
2.  (intr) to depart: the train pulled out of the station
3.  military to withdraw or escape or be withdrawn or rescued, as from a difficult situation
4.  (intr) of a motor vehicle, driver, etc
 a.  to draw away from the side of the road
 b.  to draw out from behind another vehicle to overtake
5.  (intr) to abandon a position or situation, esp a dangerous or embarrassing one
6.  (foll by of) to level out or cause to level out (from a dive)
7.  an extra leaf of a book that folds out
8.  a removable section of a magazine, etc
9.  a flight manoeuvre during which an aircraft levels out after a dive
10.  a withdrawal from a position or situation, esp a dangerous or embarrassing one

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

O.E. pullian "to pluck or draw out," of unknown origin, perhaps related to Low Ger. pulen "remove the shell or husk." Original sense preserved in pull teeth, pull weeds, etc., by late 16c. it had replaced draw as the main word for this activity. The noun meaning "personal or private influence" is 1889
in Amer.Eng. Common verb in slang usages 19c.-20c.; to pull (someone's) chain in figurative sense is from 1980, probably on the notion of a captive animal; to pull (someone's) leg is from 1886, on notion of "playfully tripping." To pull one's punches is from 1934; pull in "arrive" is 1905, from the railroad; to pull (something) on (someone) is from 1916; to pull (something) out of one's ass is Army slang from 1970s. Pullover first recorded 1907. To pull rank is from 1923; to pull the rug from under (someone) is from 1946.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Idioms & Phrases

pull out

  1. Leave, depart, as in The bus pulled out at noon. [Mid-1800s]

  2. Withdraw from an undertaking, as in After the crash many investors pulled out of the market. [Late 1800s]

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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Example sentences
Toss a few peaches on the grill and pull out the vanilla ice cream.
Check out these photos or this video to see how easy it is to pull out even the
  remains of a split cork.
They then open the presses and pull out the diamond crystals.
So clearly there are those moments when curators are ready to pull out their
  hair and say, please don't touch.
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