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Related to reel in: come in handy, reel under, take account of, so much for, reels off
reel something in
to bring in something, such as a fish, by winding up the line on a reel. With great effort, she reeled the huge fish in. Hurry and reel in the fish!
reel in somebody/somethingalso reel somebody/something in
1. to pull someone or something toward you We snagged the alligator near its tail and reeled it in. Rob took his hand, reeled him in, and gave him a big hug.
2. to attract someone or something Car dealers have to work harder to reel in customers when the economy is in bad shape.
Etymology: from the use of a reel (an object shaped like a wheel) used to pull in the fishing line when a fish is caught
1. To draw or haul something inward by winding on a reel: It took me two hours to reel in the giant fish. I reeled the line in slowly, pulling the lure along the bottom.
2. To attract someone or something, such as business or customers: Their excellent pizza is reeling customers in. The fundraising campaign reeled in $10 million.