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1. To draw someone or something toward oneself by winding in a line. A noun or pronoun can be used between "reel" and "in." My uncle once reeled in a fish 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. A noun or pronoun can be used between "reel" and "in." Arcades always reel kids in with flashy lights and exciting games. We've been reeling in donations from some very big contributors.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
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!
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
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.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Phrasal Verbs. Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.