American English

Definition of tug verb from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



    Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they tug
    he / she / it tugs
    past simple tugged
    -ing form tugging
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  1. 1[intransitive, transitive] to pull something hard, often several times tug (at/on something) She tugged at his sleeve to get his attention. (figurative) a sad story that tugs at your heartstrings (= makes you feel sad) tug something The baby was tugging her hair. tug something + adj. He tugged the door open.
  2. 2[transitive] tug something + adv./prep. to pull something hard in a particular direction He tugged the hat down over his head. Thesauruspulldrag draw haul tow tugThese words all mean to move something in a particular direction, especially toward or behind you.pull to hold something and move it in a particular direction; to hold or be attached to a vehicle and move it along behind you:Pull the chair closer to the table. They use horses to pull their carts.drag to pull someone or something in a particular direction or behind you, usually along the ground, and especially with effort:The sack is too heavy to lift—you'll have to drag it.draw (formal) to move someone or something by pulling them/it gently; to pull a vehicle such as a carriage:I drew my chair closer to the fire. a horse-drawn carriagehaul to pull someone or something to a particular place with a lot of effort:Liz hauled her suitcase up the stairs.drag or haul?You usually drag something behind you along the ground; you usually haul something toward you, often upward toward you. Dragging something often needs effort, but hauling something always does.tow to pull a car, boat, or light plane behind another vehicle, using a rope or chain:Our car was towed away by the police.tug to pull someone or something hard in a particular direction:The boy tugged at his father's sleeve.Patterns to pull/drag/draw/haul/tow somebody/something along/down/toward something to pull/drag/draw/haul/tow somebody/something behind you to pull/drag/draw/haul a cart/sled to pull/draw a coach/carriage to pull/haul/tow a trailer horses pull/draw/haul something dogs pull/drag/haul something
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: tug

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