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Related to reel in: come in handy, reel under, take account of, so much for, reels off
reel (someone or something) in
1. To draw someone or something toward oneself by winding in a line. My uncle once reeled a fish in 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. Arcades always reeled kids in with flashy lights and exciting games. We've been reeling in donations from some very big contributors.
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!
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.