Pull – Synonyms and Idioms

I can’t tell you how many times I have tried to push a door that clearly said “PULL” on the sign. And I bet I’m not the only one (if I am, humor me and keep it to yourself.)

So today we are going to have a little lesson on some words that mean “to pull” and some idiomatic expressions that include the word “pull.”

Pull means to exert a force on an object toward you. Synonyms for “pull” include:
Draw – smoother, steadier motion than “pull,” with somewhat less force, as in drawing up a bucket of water from a well.
Drag – greater effort in pulling to overcome friction or resistance, as in dragging a huge bag of leaves to the curb for trash collection.
Haul – pulling large loads over a long distance, as in hauling sacks of cement to the wellsite.
Tug – using strenuous force or spasmodic bursts of force to pull, as I do when I walk my dog Pepper, who likes to stop and sniff.

Here are some definitions for idioms used in the English language involving the word “pull”:
To pull a fast one – to trick or deceive someone
Not pulling any punches – not holding back the full force at one’s disposal
Pull yourself together – Get control of yourself and regain your poise
Are you pulling my leg? – Are you kidding me?
Pull one’s weight – to do one’s proper share of the work
Pull out all the stops – not holding anything back, using all your resources without restraint
Pull some strings – to use one’s influence behind the scenes
Pull the rug out from under you – to remove support or assistance suddenly
Pull together – to work in harmony and cooperate.


2 Responses to “Pull – Synonyms and Idioms”

  1. petrocomputing Says:

    I got two comments from the Peanut Gallery on this post:

    1) Ted writes:
    The word “Draw” is also used in the manufacturing of hot steel and various other materials where the ingot or base material is forced through a die, thus forming the shape of a section as the materials emerges out of the die. A huge force is exerted in the case of metals.
    In slang when one manages to make a connection with one of the opposite sex we generally use the verb “To pull”
    Example: “Bob will not be coming home in the taxi tonight with us. He has managed to pull.”
    Or, “Bob has recently split up with his girlfriend so he is going out on the pull.”

    2) Steve shared one of his favorite cartoons about pushing a door that says PULL:

  2. August Says:

    Draw is the processing of retracting back a bow as well. There is considerable force in this motion.

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