draw back

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v. drew (dro͞o), drawn (drôn), draw·ing, draws
a. To cause to move after or toward one by applying continuous force; drag: drew the chair closer to the table; a team of horses drawing a wagon. See Synonyms at pull.
b. To cause to move in a given direction or to a given position, as by leading: The teacher drew the children into the room to see the decorations.
c. To move or pull so as to cover or uncover something: draw the curtains.
2. To cause to flow forth: a pump drawing water; a blow that drew blood.
3. To suck or take in (air, for example); inhale.
4. To require (a specified depth of water) for floating: a boat drawing 18 inches.
5. To take or pull out: drew a gun from beneath the counter; drew out a fat wallet.
a. To extract or take for one's own use: draw strength from one's friends.
b. To make (tea) by steeping.
7. To eviscerate; disembowel: a traitor to the king who was drawn and quartered.
a. To cause to come by attracting; attract: afraid the casino will draw undesirable elements to the town.
b. To select or take in from a given group, type, or region: draw clients from all levels of society.
9. To bring to a certain condition or action; lead: drawn to despair; drew them to resign.
10. To bring about deliberately; provoke: draw enemy fire; draw a penalty on an opponent.
11. To evoke as a response; elicit: a performance that drew jeers from the audience.
12. To earn; gain: deposits that draw interest at a rate of 5 percent.
a. To withdraw (money).
b. To use (a check, for example) when paying.
c. To receive on a regular basis or at a specified time: draw a pension.
14. To take or receive by chance: draw lots.
15. Games
a. To take (cards) from a dealer or central stack.
b. To force (a card) to be played.
16. To end or leave (a contest) tied or undecided.
17. Sports
a. To hit or strike (a billiard ball, for example) so as to give it backspin.
b. To hit (a golf ball) with a draw.
a. To make tense or taut: drew the rope across the ravine.
b. To pull back the string of (a bow).
c. To distort the shape of: He drew his face into a scowl.
a. To flatten, stretch, or mold (metal) by hammering or die stamping.
b. To shape or elongate (a wire, for example) by pulling through dies.
a. To inscribe (a line or lines) with a pencil or other marking implement.
b. To make a likeness of on a surface, using mostly lines; depict with lines: drew a map of the area; drawing landscapes and still lifes.
c. To portray in writing or speech; depict with words: draws moving scenes of ghetto life.
21. To formulate or devise from evidence or data at hand: draw a comparison.
22. To compose or write out in legal format: draw a deed.
1. To proceed or move steadily: a ship drawing near the shore.
2. To attract customers or spectators: The new play is drawing well.
3. To pour forth liquid: The patient's veins don't draw easily.
4. To cause suppuration.
5. To take in a draft of air: The flue isn't drawing.
6. To steep in or as if in the manner of tea.
7. To pull out a weapon for use.
8. To use or call upon part of a fund or supply: drawing on an account; drew from the experience of fellow workers.
9. To contract or tighten: material that draws when it dries.
10. To conclude a contest without either side winning; tie: The chess players drew in 32 moves.
11. To make a likeness with lines on a surface; sketch.
a. An act of drawing.
b. The result of drawing.
2. Something drawn, especially a lot, card, or cards drawn at random.
3. Sports & Games
a. The arrangement of competitors in a tournament in which the matchups are made at random.
b. A matchup or opponent in such a tournament.
4. An inhalation, especially through a pipe or other smoking implement.
5. One that attracts interest, customers, or spectators: a singer who is a popular draw.
6. The movable part of a drawbridge.
7. A special advantage; an edge: have the draw on one's enemies.
8. A contest ending without either side winning.
9. A small natural depression that water drains into; a shallow gully.
10. Football A play in which the quarterback drops back as if to pass and then runs or hands off to a running back.
11. Sports A face-off.
a. Games A draw shot.
b. Sports A moderate, usually controlled hook in golf.
Phrasal Verbs:
draw away
To move ahead of competitors.
draw back
To retreat.
draw down
1. To reduce or deplete by consuming or spending: drew down our food reserves.
2. To reduce (military forces in a specific deployment).
draw on
To approach: as evening draws on.
draw out
1. To prolong; protract.
2. To induce to speak freely: managed to draw the shy child out.
draw up
1. To compose or write in a set form; write out: draw up a contract; draw up a list.
2. To bring (troops, for example) into order.
3. To bring or come to a halt.
4. To bring (oneself) into an erect posture, often as an expression of dignity or indignation.
5. Chiefly Southern US To shrink when washed. Used of clothes.
draw a blank
To fail to find or remember something.
draw and quarter
1. To execute (a prisoner) by tying each limb to a horse and driving the horses in different directions.
2. To disembowel and dismember after hanging.
3. Informal To punish severely: The teenager was drawn and quartered for wrecking the family's only car.
draw straws
To decide by a lottery with straws of unequal lengths.
draw the line
1. To decide firmly an arbitrary boundary between two things: "Where do you draw the line between your own decisions and those of your superiors?" (Robert Marion).
2. To decide firmly the limit of what one will tolerate or participate in: The officer committed fraud but drew the line at blackmail.

[Middle English drauen, from Old English dragan.]
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Verb1.draw back - pull back or move away or backward; "The enemy withdrew"; "The limo pulled away from the curb"
back away, crawfish, crawfish out, pull in one's horns, back out, retreat, pull back, withdraw - make a retreat from an earlier commitment or activity; "We'll have to crawfish out from meeting with him"; "He backed out of his earlier promise"; "The aggressive investment company pulled in its horns"
go, locomote, move, travel - change location; move, travel, or proceed, also metaphorically; "How fast does your new car go?"; "We travelled from Rome to Naples by bus"; "The policemen went from door to door looking for the suspect"; "The soldiers moved towards the city in an attempt to take it before night fell"; "news travelled fast"
fall back - move back and away from; "The enemy fell back"
retreat, retrograde - move back; "The glacier retrogrades"
back down, back off, back up - move backwards from a certain position; "The bully had to back down"
2.draw back - use a surgical instrument to hold open (the edges of a wound or an organ)
pull - apply force so as to cause motion towards the source of the motion; "Pull the rope"; "Pull the handle towards you"; "pull the string gently"; "pull the trigger of the gun"; "pull your knees towards your chin"


1. To exert force so as to move (something) toward the source of the force:
2. To cause (a liquid) to flow in a steady stream.Also used with off:
3. To remove (a liquid) by a steady, gradual process.Also used with off:
4. To obtain from another source:
5. To direct or impel to oneself by some quality or action:
Informal: pull.
6. To call forth or bring out (something latent, hidden, or unexpressed).Also used with out:
7. To make as income or profit:
8. To arrive at (a conclusion) from evidence or reasoning:
phrasal verb
draw back
To move back in the face of enemy attack or after a defeat:
phrasal verb
draw downphrasal verb
draw in
1. To pull back in:
2. To involve (someone) in an activity:
phrasal verb
draw out
To make or become longer:
Mathematics: produce.
phrasal verb
draw up
To devise and set down:
1. The act of drawing or pulling a load:
2. An inhalation, as of a cigar, pipe, or cigarette:
Slang: hit.
4. A dominating position, as in a conflict:
Informal: inside track, jump.
5. An equality of scores, votes, or performances in a contest:
References in classic literature ?
But he could not draw back from the generous word when it was once uttered, even though he felt now, vaguely foreseeing certain eventualities in his intrigue with Madame Karenina, that this generous word had been spoken thoughtlessly, and that even though he were not married he might need all the hundred thousand of income.
Was it for nothing that I warned you, solemnly warned you, to draw back, when I found you bent on discovering the truth?
but for a girl to draw back and say, 'No, really, Bill
This will soon make him odious to his subjects, and becoming poor he will be little valued by any one; thus, with his liberality, having offended many and rewarded few, he is affected by the very first trouble and imperilled by whatever may be the first danger; recognizing this himself, and wishing to draw back from it, he runs at once into the reproach of being miserly.
Draw back, therefore, and call your chieftains round you, that we may advise together whether to fall now upon the ships in the hope that heaven may vouchsafe us victory, or to beat a retreat while we can yet safely do so.
Fortunately, I managed to draw back unseen, and, taking care to stamp heavily with my sea-boots at the foot of the cabin stairs, I made my second entry.
When I saw that Strickland was really indifferent to the blame his conduct must excite, I could only draw back in horror as from a monster of hardly human shape.
Weston to be one of your victims,' said I, with affected indifference, 'you will have to make such overtures yourself that you will find it difficult to draw back when he asks you to fulfil the expectations you have raised.