Definition of draw in English:

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Pronunciation: /drô/

verb (past drew /dro͞o/; past participle drawn /drôn/)

[with object]
1Produce (a picture or diagram) by making lines and marks, especially with a pen or pencil, on paper: he drew a map
More example sentences
  • Each picture was carefully drawn with pencil and then color was added, much as his mature artwork was done.
  • This is part of the Swindon Music Festival and children taking part have been asked to design and draw a picture that represents the festival.
  • Pictures must be drawn in pencil, black ink or charcoal so that they can be copied onto the front page.
1.1Produce an image of (someone or something) by making lines and marks: I asked her to draw me [no object]: she draws really well
More example sentences
  • Dodger took another piece of paper and drew a cone with a wide base and a line near the bottom to show the ground; then near the top he put in a small circle connected to the cone by a line.
  • In one of his last cartoons for the paper, Sherffius drew a Republican elephant riding a pig representing pork-barrel projects.
  • When police gave him a sheet of paper, he drew a grand piano.
sketch, make a drawing (of), delineate, outline, draft, rough out, illustrate, render, represent, trace;
1.2Trace or produce (a line or mark) on a surface: she drew a wavering line down the board figurative where will we draw the outer boundaries of this Europe?
More example sentences
  • He was an intelligent man and drew a line delineating that region of South Australia that experienced, by and large, reliable rainfall, from that which did not.
  • But to understand and analyze the overall debate, it is useful to draw the boundary lines with broad brushstrokes.
  • To help rectify this, Council will begin by redefining the city boundary - drawing a line beyond which transport and bulk services will not be offered.
2Pull or drag (something such as a vehicle) so as to make it follow behind: a cart drawn by two horses
More example sentences
  • He introduced ambulances volantes, light, two-wheeled, sprung vehicles, drawn by two horses, for the rapid evacuation of the wounded.
  • Behind him, drawn by two milky oxen, was a cart laid with cloth of purple.
  • The peasant I had seen on my way to Evora that morning, trudging a field behind a hand-plough drawn by a pair of bullocks, might have been his father.
2.1Pull or move (something) in a specified direction: I drew back the blanket and uncovered the body
More example sentences
  • As she moves back, she draws her hands around my neck and then toward her.
  • She moved closer, drawing her hand along his cheek.
  • For a moment I was blinded by pain and I pulled back, drawing my arm against my chest.
pull, haul, drag, tug, heave, lug, trail, tow
informal yank
2.2Gently pull or guide (someone) in a specified direction: “David,” she whispered, drawing him aside
More example sentences
  • She pulled his shirt, drawing him closer to her and whispered in his ear.
  • He drew her to him gently, holding her against him, and she didn't resist but let herself turn fluid in his arms, let the touch of his lips on her face wash over her like a tide.
  • Completely undone, she drew him gently into her arms and held him.
2.3 [no object] Move in a slow steady way: the driver slowed as he drew even with me the train drew into the station
More example sentences
  • There had been about 90 of them, and I only managed to collect about half before the train drew into the station.
  • He slowed as he drew near, like he sensed there was something there.
  • At that moment I heard footsteps which slowed as they drew closer to my door.
move, go, come, proceed, progress, travel, advance, pass, drive;
inch, roll, glide, cruise;
forge, sweep;
2.4 [no object] Come to or arrive at a point in time or a specified point in a process: the campaign drew to a close the time for the parade itself is drawing near
More example sentences
  • With Spring Festival having arrived and Valentine's Day drawing near, the number of flowers that will be sold is expected to reach a record high.
  • As each one drew to a close, thousands had gathered in the square to watch as the light faded in the evening sky and brightened simultaneously in the room where the Pope lay.
  • It drew to a close with ‘Hosanna’, composed by Caleb Simper.
2.5Pull (curtains, blinds, or other such coverings) shut or open: do you want me to draw the drapes? she drew back the curtains and looked out
More example sentences
  • She pulled the heavy window shut, drew the curtains, and fell sleepily onto the bed.
  • I switched off my bedside lamp and drew open the curtains.
  • She drew open the shower curtain and closed the shower.
close, shut, lower;
open, part, pull back, pull open, fling open, raise
2.6Make (wire) by pulling a piece of metal through successively smaller holes.
Example sentences
  • The structure of heavily drawn wire or rolled sheet consists of very long interlocking grains.
  • Aluminum wire, drawn from rolled rod, may be stranded into cable of any desired size and type.
3Extract (an object or liquid) from a container or receptacle: he drew his gun and peered into the gloomy apartment the children went down to the pond to draw water the syringe drew off most of the fluid (as adjective drawn) he met them with a drawn sword
More example sentences
  • A violent row broke out between the four men at which stage the two attackers drew Samurai swords and attempted to slash their victims.
  • Cecil quickly drew his other sword, and took a defensive stance.
  • And he drew off the contents of the cyst with a needle.
pull out, take out, produce, fish out, extract, withdraw;
3.1Run (a bath): she drew him a hot bath
More example sentences
  • When Coleman returned to his home after his days on the street, Mac Donald reports, he drew himself a hot bath, got into it and started to cry.
  • To complete the effect, feel free to draw yourself a hot bath, and crawl in the tub with a nice cup of tea and a spreadsheet.
  • She made her way out of bed and drew herself a hot bath.
3.2 (draw something from) Obtain something from (a particular source): an independent panel of judges drawn from members of the public he draws inspiration from ordinary scenes and simple places
More example sentences
  • These four talented musicians draw their inspiration from widely varied sources of music.
  • Historians now drew their inspiration from indigenous language sources and local colonial archives.
  • In contrast, civilization's three previous historic forms of government drew their power from different sources.
3.3 (draw on) Use (one’s experience, talents, or skills) as a resource: Sue has a lot of past experience to draw on
More example sentences
  • ‘They developed the product and we can still draw on their talent and experience,’ said Braun.
  • They have incredible resources, and can draw on talent from all over the world, and the standard of competition there really has no peer.
  • Fremantle drew on his past experience in presenting yet another option.
call on, have recourse to, avail oneself of, turn to, look to, fall back on, rely on, exploit, use, employ, utilize, bring into play
3.4Obtain or withdraw (money) from a bank or other source: this check draws against my personal account
More example sentences
  • My mother has never paid a bill, written a cheque or drawn money from the bank in her life.
  • When so much importance and security is given to draw one's own money from a bank, why not show similar care for one's health?
  • What is interesting is that all private sector industries are being run with money drawn from publicly owned banks.
withdraw, take out
3.5 Hunting Search (cover) for game.
3.6 Bridge (Of player) force the opponents to play (cards in a particular suit) by leading cards in that suit: before establishing his diamonds, declarer must draw trumps
More example sentences
  • The player who drew the trump card keeps it and begins phase two.
  • The declarer then draws an equal number of cards from the top of the heap, including the face-up trump card if the contract is vuelta.
  • Any player who draws a card of the trump rank during the deal may place it face up on the table, and its suit then becomes trumps for the hand.
3.7 (draw on) Suck smoke from (a cigarette or pipe).
Example sentences
  • She lit a cigarette, her fingers brown from nicotine, and wheezed as she drew on the unfiltered smoke.
  • ‘I loathe him,’ he said as he drew on a cigarette outside his office.
  • He drew on his cigarette dramatically, exhaling with an equally dramatic sigh.
3.8 [no object] (Of a chimney, flue, or fire) allow air to flow in and upward freely, so that a fire can burn: failure of a fire to draw properly can have a number of causes
More example sentences
  • The chimney was drawing well and the smoke was quickly sucked out of the room.
3.9Take in (a breath): Mrs. Feather drew a long breath and let it out
More example sentences
  • So back we go to Brewer, Pennsylvannia, as the century draws its last wheezy breaths where everything's changed and nothing's very different.
  • Joe drew a few deep breaths and turned angrily on his heel.
  • I drew a few ragged breaths and fought to regain my composure.
breathe in, inhale, inspire, respire
3.10 [no object] (Of tea) be left standing so that the flavor is extracted from the leaves: a pot of tea is allowed to draw
3.11Disembowel: after a mockery of a trial he was hanged, drawn, and quartered
4Be the cause of (a specified response): he drew criticism for his lavish spending
More example sentences
  • I write to address criticisms drawn in response to my call for a secret ballot.
  • The exhibition drew such a strong response from visitors that Cartwright Hall decided to have a permanent collection of calligraphy from the Muslim world.
  • While the paragraph on the Holocaust draws the most emotional responses, other points have also sparked criticism.
4.1Attract (someone) to come to a place or an event: you really drew the crowds with your playing customers drawn in by the reductions
More example sentences
  • The monsters and other sci-fi characters are the attractions that draw people to our events, and help us raise money.
  • This eagerly anticipated annual event once again drew the crowds and this time there was the added attraction of an extra race on the town centre circuit.
  • Not only does he brew the tsipouro, he's also a talented singer, and was ‘in concert’ for guests one night, an event which also drew a large audience of locals.
attract, interest, win, capture, catch, engage, lure, entice;
absorb, occupy, rivet, engross, fascinate, mesmerize, spellbind, captivate, enthrall, grip
4.2 (usually be drawn) Induce (someone) to reveal or do something: I would rather not be drawn into your argument
More example sentences
  • But he was drawn into experimenting with drugs as he grew older.
  • By the way, if ever you're drawn into betting on the mee-pok man, here's a tip.
  • United manager Alex Smith was also drawn on the topic afterwards.
4.3Direct or attract (someone’s attention) to something: it was an outrage and we had to draw people’s attention to it
More example sentences
  • Not since the Getty Center has a new Los Angeles building attracted the attention drawn by the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels.
  • Angelos caught her hand, which muted her thoughts and drew her attention instantly in alarm.
  • It glittered with the intensity of the sun, then brighter, drawing everyone's attention to her instead.
4.4Reach (a conclusion) by deduction or inference from a set of circumstances: the moral to be drawn is that spending wins votes
More example sentences
  • It depends upon inferences to be drawn from various circumstances.
  • So Rushton's use of this data to draw the conclusions he reaches about hereditability is sound in my opinion.
  • I can see that there could be circumstances where one would draw that conclusion.
deduce, infer, conclude, derive, gather, glean
4.5Formulate or perceive (a comparison or distinction): the law drew a clear distinction between innocent and fraudulent misrepresentation
More example sentences
  • In my view, the law draws a clear distinction between fiduciary duties and other duties that may be owed by a person in a fiduciary position.
  • Third, if a distinction is to be drawn between the law as it applies to packaging and to advertisements, precisely where does one end and the other begin?
  • To make it clear, South Australia draws no such distinction.
5 Golf Hit (the ball) so that it travels slightly to the left (for a left-handed player, the right), usually as a result of spin given to the ball: he had to learn to draw the ball—not least for the tee shots at Augusta Compare with fade (sense 3 of the verb).
More example sentences
  • If you're doing the drill correctly, the ball should even draw slightly.
  • If the lie angle is slightly upright, it might draw the ball a little, but the effect on ball flight is minimal.
  • We went down to see him a couple of days later, and he basically taught me about drawing and cutting the ball.
5.1 Billiards Impart backspin to (the cue ball), making it move backwards after hitting an object ball.
6(Of a ship) require (a specified depth of water) to float in; have (a certain draft): boats that draw only a few inches of water
More example sentences
  • A Viking ship typically drew only about three feet of water and they were experts at sailing on rivers.
  • Vessels drawing 22.5 feet of water have also come direct to the quay.
7 [no object] (Of a sail) be filled with wind.
8British Finish (a contest or game) with an even score; tie: [with object and complement]: Brazil had drawn a stormy match 1-1
More example sentences
  • He lost twice and drew three games to finish a distant 31st with 7.5 points.
  • Passage won five of the six games played and drew the other.
  • Yorkshire showed several changes from the side which drew their Championship match against Lancashire at Old Trafford last week.


1An act of selecting names randomly, typically by extracting them from a bag or other container, to match competitors in a game or tournament: the draw has been made for this year’s tournament
More example sentences
  • There were 19 names in the draw and the lucky winner was Mariel Campion, Ballyhemmon.
  • ‘I'm happy to have got the win and got our names in the draw,’ said coach Gary Moorby after the victory.
  • This was followed by a random draw of names from the entire ship's company to work in that space.
2A game that ends with the score even; a tie.
Example sentences
  • This season the Berkshire club have lost only four times in 21 games, with seven wins and three draws from 13 league matches.
  • A short-rising ball from Farmer was unplayable by the batsman and the match ended as a draw with the scores tied.
  • But despite his efforts, it's not enough: the points are still even and the match is a draw.
3A person or thing that is very attractive or interesting: the museum has turned out to be a big draw for schoolchildren in the city
More example sentences
  • Celtic are a famous club and will be an attractive draw for our fans.
  • This was one of the biggest draws at of Lollapalooza.
  • All of these hallmarks of the American dream are a powerful draw.
4An act of inhaling smoke from a cigar: superb cigars offering tons of peppery smoke on each draw
More example sentences
  • She lifted the cigar to her lips and took a draw, turning her head over to look at him and exhaling the smoke.
5An act of removing a gun from its holster in order to shoot.
Example sentences
  • It can also make your draw from holster or pocket a little more difficult as fabric tends to cling to the rubber stocks.
  • It's because when I was working with the police, that was a - what I call a quick draw, just like that.
  • A post or an undercut front sight may snag on the bottom of the holster loop during your draw.
6 Golf A shot causing the ball to deviate to the left (or, for a left-handed golfer, the right).
Example sentences
  • In effect, this closes the clubface slightly and allows you to hit straight shots or draws.
  • Ideally, the grip you feel now should produce a straight shot or slight draw.
  • Though this drill is normally used to help cure the slice swing of a beginner, it can help a good player make the switch from fading the ball to hitting a draw.
6.1 Billiards Backspin imparted to a cue ball, causing it to move backwards after hitting an object ball.
Example sentences
  • Since they weigh ‘too much’ they want to follow every shot, and draw is very difficult.
  • I might also choose to use spin throw with bottom in order to hit the ball fuller for tighter draw.
  • These are the nine ball snap draws, force follows, three rail shape, etc. that we see Johnny Archer shoot.



draw a bead on

see bead.

draw a blank

see blank.

draw blood

Cause someone to bleed, especially in the course of a fight: the blow drew blood from the corner of his mouth figurative she knew she’d drawn blood when the smile faded from his face
More example sentences
  • On a bad day, Barney might get into a fight with another dog, growling and scratching and fighting and trying to draw blood.
  • But nobody would really want to fight if a vampire draws blood with no malice.
  • This time, her blow drew blood from the monster.

draw fire

Attract hostile criticism, usually away from a more important target: the vaccination campaign continued to draw fire
More example sentences
  • Jewel then charges alongside the buffet, finally attracting the soldiers' attention and drawing their fire.
  • Word is they know our plans and the General has a gambit to draw their fire before they can use that knowledge against us.
  • The comments regarding the subordination of women in First Corinthians, Ephesians and Timothy were points which easily drew my fire.

draw lots

see lot.

draw the short straw

see straw.

quick on the draw

Very fast in taking one’s gun from its holster.
Example sentences
  • The tourists who lost their lives were just two in thousands; the policeman, a bit quick on the draw, no doubt and on the trigger too, was acting in defense of his own daughter and over-reacted, but can he really be blamed?
  • Trench, ever quick on the draw, drew a shotgun out of his trench-coat and quickly pointed it at the abomination in their midst.
  • The worst corporate bandits are still likely to face a sheriff who's quick on the draw.
7.1Very fast in acting or reacting.
Example sentences
  • You've got to be very quick on the draw, because a horse can stumble leaving the gate, and you got plan A. All of a sudden, because of the break or the bad break, you have to go to plan B, and you've got to be able to adjust very quickly.
  • Experience and necessity - so many books, so little time - have made Ms. Hensley quick on the draw.
  • He obviously learned from past mistakes when he was too quick on the draw in dismissing three former senators.

Phrasal verbs


draw back

Choose not to do something that one was expected to do: the government has drawn back from attempting reform
More example sentences
  • Both companies looked at floating two years ago but drew back in the face of falling share prices.
  • It draws back from the frenzied pursuit of marketing novelties and technological turnover and assumes the measured pace of humane and sustainable values.
  • The genial married priest, who has six children, draws back from calling the people of the area pagans and denies he came from Uganda to convert.

draw something down

(or draw down)
Reduce the size of a military force in an area: more had to be done before the US could begin to draw down its forces in any significant number we need to start letting them stand on their own feet, and that isn’t going to happen until we start drawing down
More example sentences
  • There are good reasons to fund the country's experiment in democracy, even as the U.S. draws down its military forces there.
  • When is the U.S. military going to be able to begin drawing down its forces and bringing them home?
  • This has nothing to do with drawing down the American military presence overall in that part of the world, does it?
2.1Withdraw money from a fund or loan facility: I’m not actually going to be drawing down any of the loan until early 1999 she would have to draw down on her $253,000 investments at a rate of 7.2 per cent
More example sentences
  • With his wife still working, the husband shouldn't have to draw down all his retirement stash.
  • Despite pessimists' fears, the U.S. is not drawing down national wealth to pay for imports.
  • Some 70 million baby boomers will soon draw down trillions in government payments.
2.2Withdraw water, oil, or gas from a reservoir or repository: the state began drawing down some of its stored water
More example sentences
  • Adding to this gloomy scenario is the fact that reservoirs in northeastern Colorado have been drawn down substantially.
  • Our state's reservoirs and soil profiles were drawn down this summer.
  • Geologist David Bainbridge of Alliant International University also points out that there are scant few penalties against users who draw down water tables or deplete aquifers.

draw on

(Of a period of time) pass by and approach its end: he remembered sitting in silence with his grandmother as evening drew on
More example sentences
  • The afternoon came and went; night drew on; few cars passed; none stopped.
  • The evening drew on, the bats came out, and when the light faded to the point where I couldn't read another word, we repaired to the kitchen where I snapped on the lights.
  • She said research had shown that evenings were an area of weakness in York's tourism industry, with streets that were packed by day becoming empty as evening drew on.

draw something on

Put an item of clothing on: she drew on her gloves

draw someone out

Gently or subtly persuade someone to talk or become more expansive: she drew me out and flattered me
More example sentences
  • Delia's final summary: ‘The sessions have been very motivating and positive and Susan and I were on the same wavelength; she made me relaxed and drew me out well.’
  • But Hill drew him out, helped him clarify his clichés and energise his anecdotes.
  • Millar draws him out on the concept of reconciliation.

draw something out

Make something last longer: the transition was long drawn out
More example sentences
  • Far too many shots are drawn out too lengthily and his selection of long shot vs. medium shot vs. close-up is questionable.
  • His presentation was too complicated, his menus were drawn out and his plate composition was fussy.
  • It may not prove possible to reach agreement by the close of the meeting, in which case negotiations could be drawn out until next spring.

draw up

Come to a halt: drivers drew up at the lights
More example sentences
  • As we taxied to a halt, a car drew up to the plane's steps to take us home through mundane rush-hour traffic.
  • Indeed, the bus drew up to my alighting stop when I was just ten metres from it.
  • As he approached Ashdon Way in Basildon he drew up at a bus stop where he saw a young man.
stop, pull up, halt, come to a standstill, brake, park;

draw something up

Prepare a plan, proposal, agreement, or other document in detail: they instructed an attorney to draw up a sales agreement
More example sentences
  • Detailed plans will be drawn up for the introduction of coaching for non golfers and it is hoped to introduce the scheme through the primary schools both North and South during the next school year.
  • Detailed plans will be drawn up and people will be given a chance to comment before the area committee gives the final go-ahead.
  • Detailed plans will be drawn up over the next few months after people are consulted on what they would like to see in the building.
compose, formulate, frame, write down, draft, prepare, think up, devise, work out;
create, invent, design

draw oneself up

Make oneself stand in a stiffly upright manner: Sarah drew herself up, full of indignation that he should presume to judge her
More example sentences
  • And then I self-consciously drew myself up and stood, a little embarrassed at being in a compromising position.
  • George's eyes grew very upset and he drew himself up stiffly.
  • He grabbed her by the hair and started to drag her away, but I stood up, drawing myself up to my full height.


Old English dragan, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch dragen and German tragen, also to draft.

Words that rhyme with draw

abhor, adore, afore, anymore, ashore, awe, bandore, Bangalore, before, boar, Boer, bore, caw, chore, claw, cocksure, comprador, cor, core, corps, craw, Delors, deplore, door, drawer, evermore, explore, flaw, floor, for, forbore, fore, foresaw, forevermore, forswore, four, fourscore, furthermore, Gábor, galore, gnaw, gore, grantor, guarantor, guffaw, hard-core, Haugh, haw, hoar, ignore, implore, Indore, interwar, jaw, Johor, Lahore, law, lessor, lor, lore, macaw, man-o'-war, maw, mirador, mor, more, mortgagor, Mysore, nevermore, nor, oar, obligor, offshore, onshore, open-jaw, or, ore, outdoor, outwore, paw, poor, pore, pour, rapport, raw, roar, saw, scaur, score, senhor, señor, shaw, ship-to-shore, shop-floor, shore, signor, Singapore, snore, soar, softcore, sore, spore, store, straw, swore, Tagore, tau, taw, thaw, Thor, threescore, tor, tore, torr, trapdoor, tug-of-war, two-by-four, underfloor, underscore, war, warrantor, Waugh, whore, withdraw, wore, yaw, yore, your

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: draw

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