pluck off

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pluck off

1. To grasp and remove something with one's fingers or a grasping instrument in an abrupt, forcible tug or pull. A noun or pronoun can be used between "pluck" and "off." I wanted my suit to look pristine, so I took a pair of tweezers and plucked off every little hair and bit of lint I could find. I went over the rose bush and plucked a flower off to give to Sarah.
2. To grasp something with one's fingers or a grasping instrument and pull or tug it forcibly and abruptly off of something else. A noun or pronoun is used between "pluck" and "from." He reached over and plucked the badge off her jacket. She plucked leaves off the trees to use in her diorama.
3. To remove someone from some undesirable place in order to elevate them to a better position or status. A noun or pronoun is used between "pluck" and "off." The child barely had enough to eat each day until he was plucked off the streets by a wealthy benefactor. The presidential pardon plucked the felon off of death row at the last moment.
See also: off, pluck
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

pluck something off (of) someone or something

 and pluck something off
to pick something off someone or something. (Of is usually retained before pronouns.) She plucked the mosquito off his back before it could bite him. She plucked off the bud.
See also: off, pluck
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
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References in classic literature ?
"That is the truth, senor," said one of the twelve; "we have not the money to get ourselves shaved, and so we have, some of us, taken to using sticking-plasters by way of an economical remedy, for by applying them to our faces and plucking them off with a jerk we are left as bare and smooth as the bottom of a stone mortar.
Very cheap brushes are usually a poor investment, as they often lose their bristles more easily - meaning you have to waste time and energy fishing them out of paint and plucking them off whatever it is you're painting.
It winched them to the beach after plucking them off a sandbar as heavy waves crashed over their heads and after landing picked up another six and flew the group to hospital.
It winched them to the beach after plucking them off a sandbar as heavy waves crashed over their heads and, after landing, picked up another six and flew the group to hospital.