From Middle English polley, pullie, from Old French poulie, polie (“a pulley, windlass”), (compare Medieval Latin polea, polegia, polegium, Middle Dutch puleye, modern Dutch poelie), of obscure origin. Perhaps connected to Middle Low German pulen (“to pull”), Old English pullian (“to pull”) . More at pull.
pulley (plural pulleys)
- (engineering, countable) One of the simple machines; a sheave, a wheel with a grooved rim, in which a pulled rope or chain lifts an object (more useful when two or more pulleys are used together, as in a block and tackle arrangement, such that a small force moving through a greater distance can exert a larger force through a smaller distance).
- (transitive) To raise or lift by means of a pulley.
- (Can we find and add a quotation of Howell to this entry?)