A woman uses tweezers to pluck her eyebrows.
- Pluck means courage.
An example of pluck is a twelve year old girl that successfully completes a spelling contest without any help from her parents.
- Pluck is defined as to grab, pick or pull out.
An example of pluck is using tweezers to pull out unwanted hairs in eyebrows.
- to pull off or out; pick
- to drag or snatch; grab
- to pull feathers or hair from: to pluck a chicken, pluck eyebrows
- to pull at (the strings of a musical instrument) and release quickly with little jerking movements of the fingers
- Slang to rob or swindle
Origin of pluckMiddle English plukken from Old English pluccian, akin to German pflücken from Vulgar Latin an unverified form piluccare, to pull out (from source French éplucher), for Classical Latin pilare, to deprive of hair from pilus, hair: see pile
- to pull; tug; snatch: often with at
- to pluck a musical instrument
- an act of pulling; tug
- an animal's heart, liver, lungs, and windpipe, used for food
- courage to meet danger or difficulty; fortitude
verbplucked, pluck·ing, plucks
- To remove or detach by grasping and pulling abruptly with the fingers; pick: pluck a flower; pluck feathers from a chicken.
- To pull out the hair or feathers of: pluck a chicken.
- To remove abruptly or forcibly: plucked their child from school in midterm.
- To give an abrupt pull to; tug at: pluck a sleeve.
- Music To sound (the strings of an instrument) by pulling and releasing them with the fingers or a plectrum.
- The act or an instance of plucking.
- Resourceful courage and daring in the face of difficulties; spirit.
- The heart, liver, windpipe, and lungs of a slaughtered animal.
Origin of pluckMiddle English plukken from Old English pluccian probably from Vulgar Latin piluccāre ultimately from Latin pilāre from pilus hair
(third-person singular simple present plucks, present participle plucking, simple past and past participle plucked or obsolete, pluckt)
- To pull something sharply; to pull something out
- She plucked the phone from her bag and dialled.
- (music) To gently play a single string, e.g. on a guitar, violin etc.
- Whereas a piano strikes the string, a harpsichord plucks it.
- To remove feathers from a bird.
- To rob, fleece, steal forcibly
- The horny highwayman plucked his victims to their underwear, or attractive ones all the way
- To play a string instrument pizzicato
- Plucking a bow instrument may cause a string to break
- (intransitive) To pull or twitch sharply.
- to pluck at somebody's sleeve
- (UK, universities) To reject at an examination for degrees.
From Middle English plucken, plukken, plockien, from Old English pluccian, ploccian (“to pluck, pull away, tear"), also Old English plyÄ‹Ä‹an ("to pluck, pull, snatch; pluck with desire"; > Modern English plitch), from Proto-Germanic *plukkÅnÄ…, *plukkijanÄ… (“to pluck"), of uncertain and disputed origin. Perhaps related to Old English pullian (“to pull, draw; pluck off; snatch"). Cognate with Dutch plukken (“to pluck"), Limburgish plÃ³gte (“to pluck"), Low German plukken (“to pluck"), German pflÃ¼cken (“to pluck, pick"), Danish plukke (“to pick"), Swedish plocka (“to pick, pluck, cull"), Icelandic plokka, plukka (“to pluck, pull"). More at pull.
An alternate etymology suggests Proto-Germanic *plukkÅnÄ…, *plukkijanÄ… may have been borrowed from an assumed Vulgar Latin *piluccÄre, *pilicÄre, a derivative of Latin pilÄre (“to deprive of hair, make bald, depilate"), from pilus (“hair"). The Oxford English Dictionary, however, finds difficulties with this and cites gaps in historical evidence.
The noun sense of "heart, liver, and lights of an animal" comes from it being plucked out of the carcas after the animal is killed; the sense of "fortitude, boldness" derives from this meaning, originally being a boxing slang denoting a prize-ring, with semantic development from "heart", the symbol of courage, to "fortitude, boldness".