pull (one's) punches(redirected from pulls their punches)
1. noun A long sip or swig, especially one of 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 long sip or swig, especially one of 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 pull off your cigarette real quick.
5. verb To act as if one is punching someone, without making physical contact. (Short for "pull one's punches.") How dare you—I 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. How dare you—I 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?
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.
pull your punchesbe less forceful, severe, or violent than you could be.
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
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 one’s punches
1. tv. to pull back during a boxing punch just before the full force of a blow is felt; to land lighter blows than normal upon an opponent. (Boxing and related sports.) The boxer started pulling his punches, and the ref ended the fight.
2. tv. to hold back in one’s criticism; to attenuate the intensity of one’s remarks. (Also with any in the negative.) I won’t pull my punches with you. This is lousy.
pull/yank (someone's) chain
To take unfair advantage of someone; deceive or manipulate someone.
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.