Green’s Dictionary of Slang

pull n.

1. as a power over someone/something.

(a) [16C; late 18C+] influence, advantage.

(b) [early 17C–19C] a trick, a fraud, a knack.

(c) [mid-19C] a physical advantage.

(d) [late 19C] an ulterior motive, a hidden agenda.

(e) [1900s–50s] an anxious or worrying moment that ‘tugs at one’s heartstrings’.

2. as a physical act.

(a) the act of drinking, a drink.

(b) [1920s] (US Und.) the act of drawing a gun.

(c) [mid-19C; 1940s+] a puff on a pipe; a (puff on a) cigarette.

(d) an act of masturbation.

3. in senses of fig. ‘taking away’.

(a) [mid-19C] (UK Und.) a successful theft or the profits it brings.

(b) [late 19C–1900s] (US) a police raid.

(c) [20C+] an act of sexual conquest.

(d) [20C+] an object of sexual conquest; one who can be seduced.

(e) [1950s+] an arrest.

(f) [1960s] (Aus.) that which has been earned.

In phrases

get the pull on (v.)

[1910s] to have at a disadvantage.

give someone a pull (v.) [1950s+]

1. to tell off, to reprimand.

2. to arrest.

3. to notify.

take a pull at (v.)

[1900s] (Aus. ) to assess (oneself).