from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- v. To manipulate a situation, especially by asking favours of others; to use one's influence with others to attain a desired goal.
- v. before “strings”) To control a person, organization, or situation by operating behind the scenes, as a puppeteer controls a marionette.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- v. influence or control shrewdly or deviously
Sorry, no etymologies found.
However, there were admittedly times when Simon Templar lost patience with the petty authoritarian behavior of some idiotic sergeant or inspector; and those were the occasions when he sometimes yielded to the temptation to pull strings in order to speed up his inevitable release.