AskDefine | Define pluck

Dictionary Definition



1 the trait of showing courage and determination in spite of possible loss or injury [syn: gutsiness, pluckiness] [ant: gutlessness]
2 the act of pulling and releasing a taut cord


1 pull or pull out sharply; "pluck the flowers off the bush" [syn: tweak, pull off, pick off]
2 sell something to or obtain something from by energetic and especially underhanded activity [syn: hustle, roll]
3 rip off; ask an unreasonable price [syn: overcharge, soak, surcharge, gazump, fleece, plume, rob, hook] [ant: undercharge]
4 pull lightly but sharply with a plucking motion; "he plucked the strings of his mandolin" [syn: plunk, pick]
5 strip of feathers; "pull a chicken"; "pluck the capon" [syn: pull, tear, deplume, deplumate, displume]
6 look for and gather; "pick mushrooms"; "pick flowers" [syn: pick, cull]

User Contributed Dictionary



  • /plʌk/, /plVk/
  • Rhymes with: -ʌk


  1. Nerve, fortitude, or persistence.
    He didn't get far with the attempt, but you have to admire his pluck.
  2. The lungs, heart with trachea and often oesophagus removed from slaughtered animals.


nerve, fortitude, persistence
offal from the trunk of an animal
  • Hungarian: belsőség
  • Polish: podroby


  1. To pull something sharply; to pull something out
    She plucked the phone from her bag and phoned her friend.
  2. In the context of "transitive|music": To gently play a single string, e.g. on a guitar, violin, etc.
    Whereas a piano strikes the string, a harpsichord plucks it.
  3. To remove feathers from a bird.


to pull something sharply; to pull something out
music: to gently play a single string
to remove feathers from a bird
  • Dutch: plukken, pluimen
  • Finnish: kyniä
  • French: plumer
  • Hungarian: megkopaszt
  • Polish: oskubać
  • Spanish: desplumar

See also


Extensive Definition

Plucking describes two types of things.

Removal of external fur/feathers/hair

Plucking can mean the process of removing human hair, animal hair or a bird's feathers by mechanically pulling the item from the owner's body.
In humans, this is done for personal grooming purposes, usually with tweezers. An epilator is a motorised hair plucker.
In birds and animals, plucking is usually carried out by humans, sometimes called pluckers, to the carcass of the subject as part of food preparation.
In pigs, sheeps and calf the internal organs comprising the larynx, trachea, lungs, heart and liver constitute the pluck.
Roman baths employed individuals solely to pluck hair from their clients' bodies.

Musical definition

This term also relates to a method of playing musical instruments called Pizzicato. One plucks a stringed instrument with the finger to make a sound distinct from strumming or bowing.

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

accumulate, amass, assemble, avulse, backbone, bare, bleed, bleed white, bob, boldness, bottle, bottom, bravery, bring in, bring together, bust, catch at, chutzpah, collect, courage, crop, crop herbs, cull, cut, cut out, dauntlessness, denudate, denude, deplume, deracinate, despoil, determination, dig, dig out, dig up, disentangle, displume, divest, drain, draw, draw out, dredge, dredge up, dry, eradicate, evolve, evulse, excavate, excise, exhaust, expose, exsect, extract, extricate, fail, flay, fleece, flick, flip, flirt, flounce, flunk, flunk out, fortitude, gameness, gather, gather in, get in, get out, get together, glean, gouge out, grab, grabble, grit, grub, grub up, guts, gutsiness, guttiness, hardiness, harvest, hay, heart, heart of oak, hitch, impoverish, intestinal fortitude, intrepidity, jerk, jig, jigger, jigget, jiggle, jog, joggle, lay bare, lay open, mettle, mettlesomeness, milk, mine, mow, moxie, nerve, nut, pick, pick clean, pick out, pick up, pith, pluck out, pluck up, pluckiness, plunk, pull, pull out, pull up, quarry, rake out, rake up, reap, reap and carry, remove, resolution, resolve, rip out, root out, root up, round up, sand, scare up, scrape together, scrape up, shear, skin, snake, snatch, spirit, spunk, spunkiness, stamina, start, steadfastness, stout heart, stoutness, strip, strip bare, strum, sturdiness, suck dry, sudden pull, sweep the strings, take out, take up, tear out, thrum, toughness, true grit, twang, tweak, twitch, uncloak, uncover, unearth, unravel, unsheathe, unveil, uproot, vellicate, wash out, weed out, withdraw, wrench, wrest out, yank, yerk
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