from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • intransitive verb To remove or detach by grasping and pulling abruptly with the fingers; pick.
  • intransitive verb To pull out the hair or feathers of.
  • intransitive verb To remove abruptly or forcibly.
  • intransitive verb To give an abrupt pull to; tug at.
  • intransitive verb Music To sound (the strings of an instrument) by pulling and releasing them with the fingers or a plectrum.
  • intransitive verb To give an abrupt pull; tug.
  • noun The act or an instance of plucking.
  • noun Resourceful courage and daring in the face of difficulties; spirit.
  • noun The heart, liver, windpipe, and lungs of a slaughtered animal.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • In geology, to pry off or tear away, as blocks of rock from the lee side of cliffs or projections, or more moderate slopes: said of the action of moving ice, as in glaciers. See plucking.
  • To pull sharply, as if at the folds of a skirt: used with at.
  • In geology, to break off easily in large pieces, as granite. See plucking.
  • noun A pull; a tug; a twitch; a snatch: as, he gave the sword a pluck.
  • noun A blow; a stroke.
  • noun A bout; around.
  • noun The heart, liver, and lungs or lights of a sheep, ox, or other animal used as butchers' meat: also used figuratively or humorously of the like parts of a human being.
  • noun Hence Heart; courage; spirit; determined energy; resolution in the face of difficulties.
  • noun The pogge, Agonus cataphractus.
  • To pull off, as feathers from a fowl, or fruit or flowers from a plant; pick off; gather; pick or cull, as berries or flowers.
  • To pull; draw; drag: used either literally or figuratively.
  • Especially To pull sharply; pull with sudden force or jerk; give a tugor twitch to; twitch; snatch; twang, as the strings of a harp or guitar.
  • To strip, as a fowl, by pulling off its feathers; strip the feathers from: as, to pluck a fowl.
  • To reject, after a university or other examination, as not coming up to the required standard.
  • To summon or muster up: as, to pluck up courage, spirit, etc.
  • Intrans., to collect one's self; gather spirit or courage.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • intransitive verb To make a motion of pulling or twitching; -- usually with at.
  • transitive verb To pull; to draw.
  • transitive verb Especially, to pull with sudden force or effort, or to pull off or out from something, with a twitch; to twitch; also, to gather, to pick
  • transitive verb To strip of, or as of, feathers.
  • transitive verb (Eng. Universities) To reject at an examination for degrees.
  • transitive verb to pull away, or to separate by pulling; to tear away.
  • transitive verb to pull down; to demolish; to reduce to a lower state.
  • transitive verb to pull or tear off.
  • transitive verb To gather up; to summon.
  • noun The act of plucking; a pull; a twitch.
  • noun The heart, liver, and lights of an animal.
  • noun Spirit; courage; indomitable resolution; fortitude.
  • noun The act of plucking, or the state of being plucked, at college. See Pluck, v. t., 4.
  • noun (Zoöl.), Prov. Eng. The lyrie.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • verb transitive To pull something sharply; to pull something out
  • verb transitive, music To gently play a single string, e.g. on a guitar, violin etc.
  • verb transitive To remove feathers from a bird.
  • verb transitive To rob, fleece, steal forcibly
  • verb transitive To play a string instrument pizzicato
  • verb intransitive To pull or twitch sharply
  • noun An instance of plucking
  • noun The lungs, heart with trachea and often oesophagus removed from slaughtered animals.
  • noun Guts, nerve, fortitude or persistence.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • verb sell something to or obtain something from by energetic and especially underhanded activity
  • verb look for and gather


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Middle English plukken, from Old English pluccian, probably from Vulgar Latin *piluccāre, ultimately from Latin pilāre, from pilus, hair.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English plucken, plukken, plockien, from Old English pluccian, ploccian ("to pluck, pull away, tear"), also Old English plyċċan ("to pluck, pull, snatch; pluck with desire"; > Modern English plitch), from Proto-Germanic *plukkōnan, *plukkijanan (“to pluck”), of uncertain and disputed origin. Perhaps related to Old English pullian ("to pull, draw; pluck off; snatch"). Cognate with Dutch plukken ("to pluck"), Limburgish plógte ("to pluck"), Low German plukken ("to pluck"), German pflücken ("to pluck, pick"), Danish plukke ("to pick"), Swedish plocka ("to pick, pluck, cull"), Icelandic plokka, plukka ("to pluck, pull"). More at pull.


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