reel in


Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Encyclopedia.

reel in

1. To draw someone or something toward oneself by winding in a line. A noun or pronoun can be used between "reel" and "in." My uncle once reeled in a fish that weighed over 50 pounds! I kept the raft attached to the main boat with a rope so they could reel me in if I drifted too far away.
2. By extension, to lure or bring in someone or something that one wants or needs. A noun or pronoun can be used between "reel" and "in." Arcades always reel kids in with flashy lights and exciting games. We've been reeling in donations from some very big contributors.
See also: reel

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!
See also: reel

reel in

v.
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.
See also: reel