Definitions

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

  • intransitive verb To pull or drag forcibly: synonym: pull.
  • intransitive verb To transport, as with a truck or cart.
  • intransitive verb To cause (oneself) to move, especially slowly or laboriously.
  • intransitive verb To compel to go, especially for trial.
  • intransitive verb Nautical To change the course of (a ship), especially in order to sail closer into the wind.
  • intransitive verb To pull or drag something forcibly.
  • intransitive verb To provide transportation; cart.
  • intransitive verb To shift direction.
  • intransitive verb Nautical To change the course of a ship.
  • noun The act of pulling or dragging.
  • noun The act of transporting or carting.
  • noun A distance, especially the distance over which something is pulled or transported.
  • noun Something that is pulled or transported; a load.
  • noun Everything collected or acquired at a single time; the take.
  • idiom (haul ass) To move quickly.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun A pulling with force; a pull; a tug.
  • noun In fishing: The draft of a net: as, to catch so many fish at a haul.
  • noun The place where a seine is hauled.
  • noun That which is taken or obtained by hauling; specifically, the number or quantity of fish taken in one haul of a seine; a catch.
  • noun Hence Any valuable acquisition; a “find.”
  • noun The distance and route over which something is hauled.
  • To pull or draw with force; move or transport by drawing; drag: as, to haul down the sails; to haul in the boom; to haul a load of wood.
  • Synonyms Drag, Draw, etc. See draw.
  • To pull or tug; endeavor to drag something: as, to haul at a heavy load.
  • Nautical, to alter a ship's course; change the direction of sailing; move on a new course; hence, to sail, in general.
  • To shift, veer, or change, as the wind.
  • To draw off or away; withdraw, as from a movement or scheme.

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

  • noun A pulling with force; a violent pull.
  • noun A single draught of a net.
  • noun That which is caught, taken, or gained at once, as by hauling a net.
  • noun Transportation by hauling; the distance through which anything is hauled, as freight in a railroad car.
  • noun (Rope Making) A bundle of about four hundred threads, to be tarred.
  • intransitive verb (Naut.) To change the direction of a ship by hauling the wind. See under haul, v. t.
  • intransitive verb To pull apart, as oxen sometimes do when yoked.
  • intransitive verb (Naut.) to shift to any point of the compass; -- said of the wind.
  • intransitive verb (Naut.) to sail closer to the wind, in order to get farther away from anything; hence, to withdraw; to draw back.
  • transitive verb To pull or draw with force; to drag.
  • transitive verb To transport by drawing, as with horses or oxen.
  • transitive verb See under Coal.
  • transitive verb (Naut.) to turn the head of the ship nearer to the point from which the wind blows.

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

  • verb To carry something; to transport something, with a connotation that the item is heavy or otherwise difficult to move.
  • verb To pull or draw something heavy.
  • verb nautical To steer a vessel closer to the wind.
  • verb nautical, of the wind To shift fore (more towards the bow).

Etymologies

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

[Middle English haulen, from Old French haler, of Germanic origin; see kelə- in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English haulen, halen, halien ("to drag, fetch, compel, summon"), partly from Old English *halian, holian ("to haul, drag"); partly from Old French haler ("to pull, haul"), from Frankish *halōn (“to haul, drag, fetch”) or Old Dutch halen ("to haul, drag, fetch"); all from Proto-Germanic *halōnan, *hulōnan, *halēnan (“to call, fetch, summon”), from Proto-Indo-European *kel(a)-, *kala- (“to call, shout, sound”). Cognate with Eastern Frisian halia ("to get, fetch"), Dutch halen ("to fetch, bring, haul"), Low German halen ("to draw, pull"), German holen ("to get, fetch"), Danish hale ("to haul"), Swedish hala ("to haul, pull, tug, hale"). Related also to Old English ġeholian ("to get, obtain").

Examples

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