- 1Take hold of (something) and quickly remove it from its place: she plucked a blade of grass he plucked a tape from the shelfMore example sentences
- And boy, Steve reached down today and plucked it just like picking a flower.
- She reached over and plucked a small grass blade from his hair.
- She stammered, quickly plucking her favorite perfume off of her dresser and spraying some on.
- 1.1Catch hold of and pull quickly: she plucked his sleeve [no object]: brambles plucked at her jeansMore example sentences
- Riga grinned proudly and plucked at the sleeve of his shirt aimlessly.
- I plucked at the sleeve of the jacket Roop had given me, trying to think of a change in conversation.
- Morgan plucked at his sleeve and they both sat down silently on the other bed.
- 1.2Pull the feathers from (a bird’s carcass) to prepare it for cooking: the turkeys are plucked and cleaned by machineMore example sentences
- He was already plucking the last few feathers and rubbing spices into the carcasses in preparation for cooking.
- The owner of the turkey and the ‘Keeper of the Fowl’ were going to have the bird cleaned and plucked and we were going to have a Turkey Fry.
- He at once began work on the bird, plucking the feathers carefully from its wings and tail and setting them in a pile on the sand, then skinning it with his dagger.
- 1.3Pull some of the hairs from (one’s eyebrows) to make them look neater: whether you pluck your eyebrows depends on your type of looksMore example sentences
- Undergoing a total transformation by cutting her hair, plucking her eyebrows, and having her teeth capped, Céline was willing to do whatever it took to make her dreams a reality.
- Teen magazines are full of articles on how to lose weight, get the right hair highlights, pluck eyebrows effectively, and so on.
- My eyes are small like my dad's, and my eyebrows have been plucked much thinner than natural.
- 1.4 Geology (Of glacier ice) break off (pieces of rock) by mechanical force.More example sentences
- They contain kilometre-scale blocks of igneous basement rocks, plucked by the rising diapir from the footwall of the fault.
- 2Quickly or suddenly remove someone from a dangerous or unpleasant situation: the baby was plucked from a grim orphanageMore example sentences
- Two of the people rescued were plucked from near-death situations.
- Rescuers managed to pluck the Dutch man from the stricken boat.
- Dozens of cats and dogs, even snakes and exotic birds have been plucked to safety and taken to temporary shelters.
- 3Sound (a musical instrument or its strings) with one’s finger or a plectrum: she picked up her guitar and plucked it idlyMore example sentences
- I sat with the lute in my lap, trying to reach for forgotten notes as my fingers plucked the strings.
- I watched her fingers pluck the strings gracefully, feeling her courage getting greater with the song.
- She started strumming, and plucking the strings, and finally singing.
noun[mass noun] Back to top
- 1Spirited and determined courage: it must have taken a lot of pluck to walk along a path marked ‘Danger’More example sentences
courage, bravery, nerve, pluckiness, boldness, courageousness, braveness, backbone, spine, daring, spirit, intrepidness, intrepidity, fearlessness, mettle, determination, fortitude, resolve, resolution, stout-heartedness, hardihood, dauntlessness, valour, doughtiness, heroism, audacity• vulgar slang balls
- And when I was here a few weeks ago, I met with a number of those families, and I was impressed by their pluck, their spirit.
- At 73 June sings those lyrics with the same determined pluck as she did at 9, revealing an artist whose hopefulness proved as solid and indefatigable as her voice.
- Admiring her pluck and determination Clint reluctantly takes her on and a fascinating relationship of substitute father and daughter emerges.
- 2The heart, liver, and lungs of an animal as food.More example sentences
- Put the pluck into cold salted water, boil, then skim and simmer for 1 hour.
- Wash the pluck and put in a pan of boiling water and boil for 1 hour.
pluck up courage
- see courage.
- [usually in combination]: a goose-pluckerMore example sentences
- Hailing from a musical family, he started out as a guitar plucker.
- Rubber workers would be required to tap 50 extra trees per day, for example, while tea-leaf pluckers would have to increase their harvest from 14 to 16 kilograms per day.
- They have also rejected employers' demands for productivity-linked wage rises and financial penalties against tea pluckers who fail to meet their daily quota.
late Old English ploccian, pluccian, of Germanic origin; related to Flemish plokken; probably from the base of Old French (es)peluchier 'to pluck'. Sense 1 of the noun is originally boxers' slang.