General English


  • verb to remove data from a stack


  • A handle used for opening a door, drawer, etc.
  • To loosen rock at the bottom of a hole by blasting.


  • noun an attacking batting stroke in which the ball is ‘pulled’ round towards the leg-side with a cross bat. The pull can be played to a ball pitching on any line, and is especially effective when a shortish ball is hit, at the top of its bounce, at around waist height. The stroke is played off the back foot, and is executed by moving the front foot slightly across towards the leg-side so that the batsman is almost chest on to the bowler, and hitting the ball across its line of flight and into the area between mid-on and square leg. The pull differs from the hook in that the ball is typically hit at a lower height and is sent into the area in front of square. In common with other strokes played across the ball’s line of flight, the pull was regarded with great suspicion in the 19th century. To the author of the Badminton book (1888) it is simply ‘a bad stroke’. Ranjitsinhji is slightly less censorious, at least so long as the stroke is reserved for balls pitching outside off stump. He contends, however, that ‘it is never used by a good player to deal with the ball pitching on the wicket; at least if it is, the player is for the nonce a bad one’ (Ranjitsinhji 1897). Modern coaches are likely to take a more indulgent line, but it remains true that considerable care is needed in selecting the right ball to pull.
    Compare hook
  • verb to hit the ball across to the leg-side when playing a pull
    Citation ‘Then, with Australia’s total still 107, Harvey committed his fatal error, pulling against Trueman with less than a great batsman’s power of selection’ (Cardus 1978)
    Citation ‘In his second spell, he tried one short ball too many and saw most of them sit up, begging to be pulled’ (Siddhartha Vaidyanathan, Cricinfo Magazine July 2006)


Media Studies

  • noun a printing proof made for correction
  • verb to make a printing proof
  • verb to remove something from circulation, or prevent it from ever getting into circulation


  • verb to make a muscle move in a wrong direction


  • verb to decide not to publish a story in the newspaper, after it has been written or typeset


  • verb to ‘pick up’ a member of the opposite sex. A common term applied to males searching for sexual partners since the late 1960s, when it was usually part of a phrase such as ‘pull a bird’ or ‘pull a chick’. In current working-class usage predatory males are said to be on the pull. (Pull is now part of the homosexual as well as heterosexual lexicon and women also use the expression.).
  • verb to arrest or take into custody. A police jargon usage.


  • verb to hit a ball farther left for a right-handed player or farther right for a left-handed player than intended

Origin & History of “pull”

The main Old and middle English word for ‘pull’ was draw, and pull did not really begin to come into its own until the late 16th century. It is not known for certain where it came from. Its original meaning was ‘pluck’ (‘draw, drag’ is a secondary development), and so it may well be related to Low German pūlen ‘remove the shell or husk from, pluck’ and Dutch peul ‘shell, husk’.