(pulls plural & 3rd person present) (pulling present participle) (pulled past tense & past participle )

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1  verb When you pull something, you hold it firmly and use force in order to move it towards you or away from its previous position. They have pulled out patients" teeth unnecessarily...  V n with adv Erica was solemn, pulling at her blonde curls...  V prep I helped pull him out of the water...  V n prep Someone pulled her hair...  V n He knew he should pull the trigger, but he was suddenly paralysed by fear...  V n Pull as hard as you can...  V I let myself out into the street and pulled the door shut.  V n adj   Pull is also a noun., n-count usu sing The feather must be removed with a straight, firm pull.  
2  verb 
When you pull an object from a bag, pocket, or cupboard, you put your hand in and bring the object out. Jack pulled the slip of paper from his shirt pocket...  V n prep Wade walked quickly to the refrigerator and pulled out another beer.  V n with adv 
3  verb 
When a vehicle, animal, or person pulls a cart or piece of machinery, they are attached to it or hold it, so that it moves along behind them when they move forward. This is early-20th-century rural Sussex, when horses still pulled the plough...  V n 
4  verb 
If you pull yourself or pull a part of your body in a particular direction, you move your body or a part of your body with effort or force. Hughes pulled himself slowly to his feet...  V pron-refl prep/adv He pulled his arms out of the sleeves...  V n prep/adv She tried to pull her hand free...  V n adj Lillian brushed his cheek with her fingertips. He pulled away and said, `Don"t!"  V adv 
5  verb 
When a driver or vehicle pulls to a stop or a halt, the vehicle stops. He pulled to a stop behind a pickup truck...  V prep 
6  verb 
In a race or contest, if you pull ahead of or pull away from an opponent, you gradually increase the amount by which you are ahead of them. He pulled away, extending his lead to 15 seconds...  V adv 
7  verb 
If you pull something apart, you break or divide it into small pieces, often in order to put them back together again in a different way. If I wanted to improve the car significantly I would have to pull it apart and start again.  V n with adv 
8  verb 
If someone pulls a gun or a knife on someone else, they take out a gun or knife and threaten the other person with it. INFORMAL They had a fight. One of them pulled a gun on the other...  V n on n I pulled a knife and threatened her.  V n 
9  verb 
To pull crowds, viewers, or voters means to attract them. INFORMAL The organisers have to employ performers to pull a crowd.  V n   Pull in means the same as pull., phrasal verb They provided a far better news service and pulled in many more viewers...  V P n (not pron) She is still beautiful, and still pulling them in at sixty.  V n P 
10  n-count 
A pull is a strong physical force which causes things to move in a particular direction. ...the pull of gravity.  
11  verb 
If you pull a muscle, you injure it by straining it. Dave pulled a back muscle and could barely kick the ball...  V n He suffered a pulled calf muscle.  V-ed 
12  verb 
To pull a stunt or a trick on someone means to do something dramatic or silly in order to get their attention or trick them. INFORMAL Everyone saw the stunt you pulled on me.  V n on n, Also V n 
13  verb 
If someone pulls someone else, they succeed in attracting them sexually and in spending the rest of the evening or night with them.  (BRIT) INFORMAL V n, V 
14  → to pull oneself up by one"s bootstraps 
 → bootstraps  → to pull a face  → face  → to pull someone"s leg  → leg  → to pull your punches  → punch  → to pull rank  → rank  → to pull out all the stops  → stop  → to pull strings  → string  → to pull your weight  → weight  → to pull the wool over someone"s eyes  → wool pull away 
1  phrasal verb When a vehicle or driver pulls away, the vehicle starts moving forward. I stood in the driveway and watched him back out and pull away.  V P 
2  phrasal verb 
If you pull away from someone that you have had close links with, you deliberately become less close to them. Other daughters, faced with their mother"s emotional hunger, pull away...  V P He"d pulled away from her as if she had leprosy.  V P from n pull back 
1  phrasal verb If someone pulls back from an action, they decide not to do it or continue with it, because it could have bad consequences. They will plead with him to pull back from confrontation...  V P from n The British government threatened to make public its disquiet but then pulled back.  V P 
2  phrasal verb 
If troops pull back or if their leader pulls them back, they go some or all of the way back to their own territory. They were asked to pull back from their artillery positions around the city...  V P He pulled back forces from Mongolia, and he withdrew from Afghanistan.  V P n (not pron), Also V n P pull down  phrasal verb To pull down a building or statue means to deliberately destroy it. (=demolish) They"d pulled the registry office down which then left an open space...  V n P A small crowd attempted to pull down a statue.  V P n (not pron) pull in 
1  phrasal verb When a vehicle or driver pulls in somewhere, the vehicle stops there. He pulled in at the side of the road...  V P prep/adv The van pulled in and waited.  V P 
2  → pull 9 
pull into  phrasal verb When a vehicle or driver pulls into a place, the vehicle moves into the place and stops there. He pulled into the driveway in front of her garage...  V P n She pulled the car into a tight parking space on a side street.  V n P n pull off 
1  phrasal verb If you pull off something very difficult, you succeed in achieving it. The National League for Democracy pulled off a landslide victory...  V P n (not pron) It will be a very, very fine piece of mountaineering if they pull it off.  V n P 
2  phrasal verb 
If a vehicle or driver pulls off the road, the vehicle stops by the side of the road. I pulled off the road at a small village pub...  V P n One evening, crossing a small creek, he pulled the car off the road.  V n P n pull out 
1  phrasal verb When a vehicle or driver pulls out, the vehicle moves out into the road or nearer the centre of the road. She pulled out into the street...  V P prep He was about to pull out to overtake the guy in front of him.  V P 
2  phrasal verb 
If you pull out of an agreement, a contest, or an organization, you withdraw from it. The World Bank should pull out of the project...  V P of n A racing injury forced Stephen Roche to pull out.  V P 
3  phrasal verb 
If troops pull out of a place or if their leader pulls them out, they leave it. The militia in Lebanon has agreed to pull out of Beirut...  V P of n Economic sanctions will be lifted once two-thirds of their forces have pulled out...  V P His government decided to pull its troops out of Cuba.  V n P of n 
4  phrasal verb 
If a country pulls out of recession or if someone pulls it out, it begins to recover from it. Sterling has been hit by the economy"s failure to pull out of recession...  V P of n What we want to see today are policies to pull us out of this recession.  V n P of n 
1  phrasal verb When a vehicle or driver pulls over, the vehicle moves closer to the side of the road and stops there. He noticed a man behind him in a blue Ford gesticulating to pull over.  V P 
2  phrasal verb 
If the police pull over a driver or vehicle, they make the driver stop at the side of the road, usually because the driver has been driving dangerously. The officers pulled him over after a high-speed chase...  V n P Police pulled over his Mercedes near Dieppe.  V P n (not pron) 
3  → pullover 
pull through  phrasal verb If someone with a serious illness or someone in a very difficult situation pulls through, they recover. Everyone was very concerned whether he would pull through or not...  V P It is only our determination to fight that has pulled us through.  V n P ...ways of helping Russia pull through its upheavals.  V P n pull together 
1  phrasal verb If people pull together, they help each other or work together in order to deal with a difficult situation. The nation was urged to pull together to avoid a slide into complete chaos...  V P 
2  phrasal verb 
If you are upset or depressed and someone tells you to pullyourselftogether, they are telling you to control your feelings and behave calmly again. Pull yourself together, you stupid woman!...  V pron-refl P 
3  phrasal verb 
If you pull together different facts or ideas, you link them to form a single theory, argument, or story. (=draw together) Let me now pull together the threads of my argument...  V P n (not pron) Data exists but it needs pulling together.  V P, Also V n P pull up 
1  phrasal verb When a vehicle or driver pulls up, the vehicle slows down and stops. (=draw up) The cab pulled up and the driver jumped out.  V P 
2  phrasal verb 
If you pull up a chair, you move it closer to something or someone and sit on it. (=draw up) He pulled up a chair behind her and put his chin on her shoulder.  V P n (not pron), Also V n P 
1  n-count In a newspaper or magazine, a pull-out is a section which you can remove easily and keep. usu N n ...an eight-page pull-out supplement.  
2  n-sing 
When there is a pull-outof armed forces from a place, troops which have occupied an area of land withdraw from it. oft N from/of n ...a pull-out from the occupied territories...  
  (ring-pulls plural )A ring-pull is a metal strip that you pull off the top of a can of drink in order to open it.  (BRIT)  n-count in AM, use tab  

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