Definition of tug noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary

  1. 1 (also tugboat
    BrE BrE//ˈtʌɡbəʊt//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈtʌɡboʊt//
    a small powerful boat for pulling ships, especially into a harbour or up a river See related entries: Types of boats and ships, Coastlines and the sea, Travelling by boat or ship
  2. 2a sudden hard pull I felt a tug at my sleeve. She gave her sister's hair a sharp tug.
  3. 3[usually singular] a sudden strong emotional feeling a tug of attraction
  4. Word OriginMiddle English: from the base of tow.Extra examples She felt a sharp tug at her sleeve. She gave a little tug on the rope. She started the engine with one tug of the starter rope. I felt a little tug on my arm.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: tug