pull (one's) punches


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pull

1. noun A drink or swig, especially alcohol from a bottle or flask. The old man took a long pull of whiskey, then flashed a toothless grin and began laughing again.
2. noun An inhalation or mouthful of smoke. I know I quit smoking, but let me just get a quick pull off your cigarette.
3. verb To take a drink or swig, especially alcohol from a bottle or flask. He pulled long and hard from the bottle of hooch.
4. verb To inhale or take in a mouthful of smoke. I know I quit smoking, but let me just get a quick pull off your cigarette.
5. verb To act as if one is punching someone, without making physical contact.(Short for "pull one's punches.") How dare you—have never pulled during a fight in my entire career!

pull (one's) punches

1. To act as if one is punching someone, without making any or much physical contact. (Short for "pull one's punches.") How dare you—have never pulled my punches during a fight in my entire career! I know you're trying to make the scene realistic, but please pull your punches next time!
2. By extension, to restrain one's commentary or criticism to avoid offending or upsetting someone. (Usually used in the negative.) I want your honest opinion of my story—don't pull your punches! Wow, your aunt really doesn't pull her punches. Is my sweatshirt really that ugly?
See also: pull, punch

pull one's punches

 
1. [for a boxer] to strike with light blows to enable the other boxer to win. Bill has been barred from the boxing ring for pulling his punches. "I never pulled punches in my life!" cried Tom.
2. Fig. to hold back in one's criticism. (Usually in the negative. The one's can be replaced with any in the negative.) I didn't pull any punches. I told her exactly what I thought of her. The teacher doesn't pull any punches when it comes to discipline.
See also: pull, punch

pull your punches

be less forceful, severe, or violent than you could be.
See also: pull, punch

pull your ˈpunches

(informal) (usually used in negative sentences) express something less strongly than you are able to, for example to avoid upsetting or shocking somebody: Her articles certainly don’t pull any punches.I don’t believe in pulling punches. If they’re wrong, let’s say so. OPPOSITE: not mince your words
See also: pull, punch

pull

1. n. a drink; a swig; a drink from a flask. He took another pull and kept on talking.
2. tv. to take a drink or a mouthful of liquor from a bottle or other container. He pulled a slug from the bottle.
3. n. a mouthful of smoke from a cigarette; a drag on a cigarette. A couple of pulls and she crushed out the cigarette.
4. tv. to smoke a cigarette. He pulled a long filter job and then went back to work.
5. in. to pull one’s punches. (Martial arts.) If you pull during a fight, you’re through as a fighter.

pull

/yank (someone's) chain
To take unfair advantage of someone; deceive or manipulate someone.

pull

strings/wires Informal
To exert secret control or influence in order to gain an end.

pull (one's) punches

To refrain from deploying all the resources or force at one's disposal: didn't pull any punches during the negotiations.
See also: pull, punch