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

  • transitive v. To pull at vigorously or repeatedly.
  • transitive v. To move by pulling with great effort or exertion; drag.
  • transitive v. To tow by tugboat.
  • intransitive v. To pull hard: tugged at her boots. See Synonyms at pull.
  • intransitive v. To toil or struggle; strain.
  • intransitive v. To vie; contend.
  • n. A strong pull or pulling force: the tug of the sea.
  • n. A contest; a struggle: a tug between loyalty and desire.
  • n. A tugboat.
  • n. A land, air, or space vehicle that moves or tows other vehicles: an airplane tug.
  • n. A rope, chain, or strap used in hauling, especially a harness trace.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. to pull or drag with great effort
  • v. to pull hard repeatedly
  • v. to tow by tugboat
  • n. a sudden powerful pull
  • n. a tugboat
  • n. An act of masturbation

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A pull with the utmost effort, as in the athletic contest called tug of war; a supreme effort.
  • n. A sort of vehicle, used for conveying timber and heavy articles.
  • n. A small, powerful steamboat used to tow vessels; -- called also steam tug, tugboat, and towboat.
  • n. A trace, or drawing strap, of a harness.
  • n. An iron hook of a hoisting tub, to which a tackle is affixed.
  • intransitive v. To pull with great effort; to strain in labor.
  • intransitive v. To labor; to strive; to struggle.
  • transitive v. To pull or draw with great effort; to draw along with continued exertion; to haul along; to tow
  • transitive v. To pull; to pluck.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To pull or draw with sturdy effort or violent strain; haul with force; pull.
  • To tow by means of a steam-tug: as, the vessel had to be tugged into port.
  • To pull with great effort; haul; drag.
  • To exert one's self; labor; strive; struggle; contend; wrestle.
  • n. The act of pulling, dragging, or hauling with effort, exertion, or difficulty.
  • n. A supreme effort; the severest strain or struggle; a contest; wrestle; tussle.
  • n. A vehicle used in some parts of England for conveying timber or fagots.
  • n. A small but powerful steam-vessel, whether screw or paddle, constructed for the purpose of towing other vessels.
  • n. A chain, strong rope, or leather strap used as a trace; a trace (of a harness).
  • n. In mining, an iron hoop to which a tackle is affixed.
  • n. An athletic contest in which a number of persons, generally four on each side and limited to a certain weight, tug at the ends of a rope, each side trying to pull the rope from the other, or to pull the other side over a line marked on the ground between the contestants. Also called ropepull.

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

  • v. strive and make an effort to reach a goal
  • v. pull or strain hard at
  • n. a powerful small boat designed to pull or push larger ships
  • v. carry with difficulty
  • v. struggle in opposition
  • v. pull hard
  • n. a sudden abrupt pull
  • v. move by pulling hard
  • v. tow (a vessel) with a tug


Middle English tuggen, from Old English tēon.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Middle English tuggen, toggen, from Old English togian ("to draw, drag"), from Proto-Germanic *tugōnan (“to draw, tear”), from Proto-Indo-European *dewk- (“to pull”). Cognate with Middle Low German togen ("to draw"), Middle High German zogen ("to pull, tear off"), Icelandic toga ("to pull, draw"). Related to tee, tow. (Wiktionary)


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