Roget's 21st Century Thesaurus, Third Edition Copyright © 2013 by the Philip Lief Group.

EXAMPLES FROM THE WEB FOR PULL

She had begun to pull away in alarm when he seized her wrist.

In such a case he would have told the lady not to pull his leg.

I was forced to turn my face from them, and pull out my handkerchief.

If he exposed himself, would not the three of them pull their guns?

You pull down, you despoil; but they build up, they restore.

Either I'd pull through or I wouldn't, and the odds were—well, I didn't say much.

I pull it off and put it back and it galls my finger, as if it rubbed a wound.

Pull your chair up to the fire and I'll tell you all about it.

But again the voice came, a little stronger, "Pull out, Ned!"

The best of us are not above trying to pull the wool over our own eyes, at times.

WORD ORIGIN

c.1300, "to move forcibly by pulling, to drag," from Old English pullian "to pluck off (wool), to draw out," of unknown origin, perhaps related to Low German pulen "remove the shell or husk," Frisian pûlje "to shell, husk," Middle Dutch polen "to peel, strip," Icelandic pula "work hard."

Early 14c. as "to pick, pull off, gather" (fruit, flowers, berries, leaves, petals, etc.); mid-14c. as "to uproot, pull up" (of teeth, weeds, etc.). Sense of "to draw, attract" (to oneself) is from c.1400; sense of "to pluck at with the fingers" is from c.1400. Meaning "tear to pieces" is mid-15c. By late 16c. it had replaced draw in these senses. Related: Pulled; pulling.

Common in slang usages 19c.-20c.; Bartlett (1859) has to pull foot "walk fast; run;" pull it "to run." To pull up "check a course of action" is from 1808, figurative of the lifting of the reins in horse-riding. To pull (someone's) chain in figurative sense is from 1974, perhaps on the notion of a captive animal; the expression was also used for "to contact" (someone), on the notion of the chain that operates a signaling mechanism.

To pull (someone's) leg is from 1882, perhaps on notion of "playfully tripping" (cf. pull the long bow "exaggerate," 1830, and pulling someone's leg also sometimes was described as a way to awaken a sleeping person in a railway compartment, ship's berth, etc.). Thornton's "American Glossary" (1912) has pull (n.) "a jest" (to have a pull at (someone)), which it identifies as "local" and illustrates with an example from the Massachusetts "Spy" of May 21, 1817, which identifies it as "a Georgian phrase." To pull (one's) punches is from 1920 in pugilism, from 1921 figuratively. To pull in "arrive" (1892) and pull out "depart" (1868) are from the railroads.

To pull (something) off "accomplish, succeed at" is originally in sporting, "to win the prize money" (1870). To pull (something) on (someone) is from 1916; to pull (something) out of one's ass is Army slang from 1970s. To pull rank is from 1919; to pull the rug from under (someone) figuratively is from 1946.

MORE RELATED WORDS FOR PULL

Roget's 21st Century Thesaurus, Third Edition Copyright © 2013 by the Philip Lief Group.