pluck

Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Middle English plucken, plukken, plockien, from Old English pluccian, ploccian (to pluck, pull away, tear), also Old English plyċċan ("to pluck, pull, snatch; pluck with desire"; > Modern English plitch), from Proto-Germanic *plukkōną, *plukkijaną (to pluck), of uncertain and disputed origin. Perhaps related to Old English pullian (to pull, draw; pluck off; snatch). Cognate with Saterland Frisian plukje (to pluck), Dutch plukken (to pluck), Limburgish plógte (to pluck), Low German plukken (to pluck), German pflücken (to pluck, pick), Danish and Norwegian plukke (to pick), Swedish plocka (to pick, pluck, cull), Icelandic plokka, plukka (to pluck, pull). More at pull.

An alternate etymology suggests Proto-Germanic *plukkōną, *plukkijaną may have been borrowed from an assumed Vulgar Latin *piluccāre, *pilicāre, a derivative of Latin pilāre (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. [1]

The noun sense of "heart, liver, and lights of an animal" comes from it being plucked out of the carcass 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".

Pronunciation[edit]

Verb[edit]

pluck (third-person singular simple present plucks, present participle plucking, simple past and past participle plucked or (obsolete) pluckt)

  1. (transitive) To pull something sharply; to pull something out
    She plucked the phone from her bag and dialled.
  2. (transitive) To take or remove (someone) quickly from a particular place or situation.
    • 1994, Tom Clancy, Armored Cav: A Guided Tour of an Armored Cavalry Regiment, New York: Berkley Books, →ISBN, page 281:
      The hardest mission fell to the tanker aircraft, decidedly unglamorous birds, mainly flown by Air Force Reserve crews—most of them plucked from their airline jobs—so rapidly called into service that FAA rules for crew rest time on domestic airlines were quietly violated for the next several weeks.
  3. (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.
  4. (transitive) To remove feathers from a bird.
    • 1879, R[ichard] J[efferies], chapter 1, in The Amateur Poacher, London: Smith, Elder, & Co., [], OCLC 752825175, page 062:
      Molly the dairymaid came a little way from the rickyard, and said she would pluck the pigeon that very night after work. She was always ready to do anything for us boys; and we could never quite make out why they scolded her so for an idle hussy indoors. It seemed so unjust.
  5. (transitive) To rob, fleece, steal forcibly
    The horny highwayman plucked his victims to their underwear, or attractive ones all the way.
  6. (transitive) To play a string instrument pizzicato.
    Plucking a bow instrument may cause a string to break.
  7. (transitive) To
  8. (intransitive) To pull or twitch sharply.
    to pluck at somebody's sleeve
  9. (Britain, universities) To reject at an examination for degrees.
    • 1847, Charlotte Brontë, Jane Eyre
      He went to college, and he got— plucked, I think they call it: and then his uncles wanted him to be a barrister, and study the law [].

Derived terms[edit]

Translations[edit]

The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout#Translations.

Noun[edit]

pluck (countable and uncountable, plural plucks)

  1. An instance of plucking
    Those tiny birds are hardly worth the tedious pluck
  2. The lungs, heart with trachea and often oesophagus removed from slaughtered animals.
  3. (informal) Guts, nerve, fortitude or persistence.
    He didn't get far with the attempt, but you have to admire his pluck.
  4. (African American Vernacular, slang) Cheap wine.

Derived terms[edit]

Translations[edit]

The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout#Translations.

References[edit]

  • ^ http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=pluck
  • Anagrams[edit]