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Syllabification: pul·ley
Pronunciation: /ˈpo͝olē

Definition of pulley in English:

noun (plural pulleys)

(also pulley wheel)
1A wheel with a grooved rim around which a cord passes. It acts to change the direction of a force applied to the cord and is chiefly used (typically in combination) to raise heavy weights. Compare with block (sense 7) of the noun).
Example sentences
  • Prior to World War II, the sash (the parts that move) was counterweighted by a temperamental arrangement of cords, pulleys and iron weights.
  • It turned out to be a spare pulley used for lifting heavy equipment.
  • We come across bright ideas in books, like over-length lines passed through pulleys under floats and the excess taken up by counter-balancing weights.
1.1(On a bicycle) a wheel with a toothed rim around which the chain passes.
Example sentences
  • The upper pulley wheel is such a cool thing for rearward arc travel bikes.
  • The lower pulley wheel has no play and should be installed with the lettering facing away from your bicycle's frame.
1.2A wheel or drum fixed on a shaft and turned by a belt, used especially to increase speed or power.
Example sentences
  • Standard belt lengths between pulleys: 132 to 500 mm; widths between 10 and 200 mm.
  • There are V-belt constructions made up of sections that lock together, allowing you to wrap the belt around a trapped pulley and join the two ends.
  • Something else you don't do - you don't clear sap buildup from between a pulley and belt when the conveyor is running.

verb (pulleys, pulleying, pulleyed)

[with object] Back to top  
Hoist with a pulley.
Example sentences
  • It's like being on a boat, sleeping on the bus, waking, buying a lift ticket, being pulleyed up the mountain, the payoff, the floating dance of linked telemark turns.
  • It was being pulleyed by several cords of thick rope overhead.


Middle English: from Old French polie, probably from a medieval Greek diminutive of polos 'pivot, axis'.

Definition of pulley in:

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