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tug at someone or something

to pull at someone or something. Stop tugging at me! I'll talk to you in a minute. The dog tugged at my pants cuff.
See also: tug

tug away (at something)

to pull hard at something; to haul something. She tugged away at the rope, but the anchor would not budge. No matter how much she tugged away, it didn't move.
See also: away, tug

tug at your heartstrings

also pull on your heartstrings
to cause strong feelings of affection or sympathy He looked into his son's smiling eyes and felt a tug on his heartstrings.
Usage notes: sometimes used with other verbs: The stories he told plucked at your heartstrings.
See also: heartstring, tug


showing too much respect towards someone who is in a high position As the General marched in, the collective forelock-tugging began.

tear/tug at your heartstrings

  also tear/tug at the heartstrings
if something or someone tugs at your heartstrings, they make you feel strong love or sympathy It's the story of a lost child - guaranteed to tug at the heartstrings.
See also: heartstring, tear

tug of war

A struggle for supremacy, as in There's a constant political tug of war between those who favor giving more power to the states and those who want a strong federal government . Although there is an athletic contest also so named, in which participants holding either end of a rope try to pull each other across a dividing line, the present usage, first recorded in 1677, predates it by about two centuries. The noun tug itself means "a strenuous contest between two sides," and war refers to fighting, either physical or figurative.
See also: of, tug, war
References in periodicals archive ?
An agreement was signed this week at the New Orleans Workboat Show between Damen Shipyards Group and Great Lakes Shipyard, USA, for the latter to build two Stan Tugs 1907 ICE at its facility in Cleveland, Ohio.
Shaikh Khaled also toured and inspected the tug boat after the ceremony.
For ground handling crews, the tow tug cockpit is their immediate workplace, and therefore, it was important to achieve a design that supports the principles of comfort, ease of operation, convenience, and safety.
Lastly TUG also provides one of the largest Timeshare Marketplaces available on the internet with over $24,000,000 in completed listings by owners in the past few years alone, and all without paying huge upfront fees, or any commissions!
For some tug and barge operators, the marine industry is part of their ancestry.
The first two Stan Tug 1606 mooring boats, Ras Al Allaj Qatar and Al Esaiwed, were delivered in August 2014.
Another tug was en route to the affected boat to help.
The 30 tonne pull tug will have a 2,500-hp engine and a shallow draft which will enable the tug to be used in shallow waters, such as in and around Musaffah Port.
TUG Technologies is based in Kennesaw, Georgia, where it manufactures ground support equipment servicing airlines, air-freight companies, ground handlers, government agencies and airports worldwide.
Earlier MD Karachi Shipyard, Rear Admiral Syed Hasan Nasir Shah in his welcome address said that Karachi Shipyard has already constructed various tugs ranging from 10 to 40 Tons Bollard Pull; but construction of this Tug is distinct due to very different design and state of art equipment and machinery to facilitate multi-purpose operations.
After check-in procedures were completed, a trained clinic nurse administered the three TUG tasks as follows.
While tug of war is still an amateur sport, competitors at this level taKe it very seriously.
Ten firefighters from Billesley station and the technical rescue unit, based at Bickenhill, used search cameras and listening devices while digging three holes to find Tug.
Theoretical investigations into the new types of work methods for tugs in ports, experimental tests on real ships and calibrated simulators were the main research direction to prepare a methodology of calculating tug towing power under real conditions, which is an important issue and the need for future investigations and practical calculations of tug bollard pull.