English Wikipedia has articles on:


From Middle English drawen, draȝen, dragen, from Old English dragan (to draw, drag, pull), from Proto-West Germanic *dragan, from Proto-Germanic *draganą, from Proto-Indo-European *dʰregʰ- (to draw, pull).


Rhymes: -ɔː
Homophone: drawer (UK)


draw (third-person singular simple present draws, present participle drawing, simple past drew, past participle drawn or (colloquial and nonstandard) drew)

  1. To move or develop something.
    1. To sketch; depict with lines; to produce a picture with pencil, crayon, chalk, etc. on paper, cardboard, etc.
      • 1774, Oliver Goldsmith, Retaliation
        A flattering painter who made it his care / To draw men as they ought to be, not as they are.
      • 1718, Mat[thew] Prior, “To Mr. Howard: An Ode”, in Poems on Several Occasions, London: [] Jacob Tonson [], and John Barber [], OCLC 5634253, stanza I, page 70:
        Can I untouch'd the Fair ones Paſſions move? / Or Thou draw Beauty, and not feel it's Pow'r?
      • 1963, Margery Allingham, chapter 3, in The China Governess[1]:
        Sepia Delft tiles surrounded the fireplace, their crudely drawn Biblical scenes in faded cyclamen blending with the pinkish pine, while above them, instead of a mantelshelf, there was an archway high enough to form a balcony with slender balusters and a tapestry-hung wall behind.
    2. To deduce or infer.
      He tried to draw a conclusion from the facts.
    3. (intransitive, transitive, of drinks, especially tea) To steep, leave temporarily so as to allow the flavour to increase.
      • 1930, Norman Lindsay, Redheap, Sydney: Ure Smith, published 1965, page 207:
        "There's your tay set for you an' drawin' nicely this minute, Miss Ethel," called old Bridget from the hall.
      Tea is much nicer if you let it draw for more than two minutes before pouring.
    4. (transitive) To take or procure from a place of deposit; to call for and receive from a fund, etc.
      to draw money from a bank
    5. To take into the lungs; to inhale.
      • 1910, Emerson Hough, chapter I, in The Purchase Price: Or The Cause of Compromise, Indianapolis, Ind.: The Bobbs-Merrill Company, OCLC 639762314:
        Serene, smiling, enigmatic, she faced him with no fear whatever showing in her dark eyes. [] She put back a truant curl from her forehead where it had sought egress to the world, and looked him full in the face now, drawing a deep breath which caused the round of her bosom to lift the lace at her throat.
      • 1979, Monty Python, Always Look on the Bright Side of Life
        So always look on the bright side of death / Just before you draw your terminal breath
    6. (used with prepositions and adverbs) To move; to come or go.
      We drew back from the cliff edge.
      The runners drew level with each other as they approached the finish line.
      Draw near to the fire and I will tell you a tale.
    7. To approach, come to, or arrive at a point in time or a process.
      The end of the world draws near.
      • 1962 October, “The Victoria Line was only part of the plan”, in Modern Railways, page 258:
        As the war drew to its end, it became evident that repairs and rebuilding in the heavily blitzed Greater London area would be so extensive as to afford opportunity for effective large-scale planning.
    8. (transitive) To obtain from some cause or origin; to infer from evidence or reasons; to deduce from premises; to derive.
    9. (transitive, obsolete) To withdraw.
    10. (archaic) To draw up (a document).
      to draw a memorial, a deed, or bill of exchange
  2. To exert or experience force.
    1. (transitive) To drag, pull.
      • 1913, Robert Barr, chapter 4, in Lord Stranleigh Abroad:
        “[…] No rogue e’er felt the halter draw, with a good opinion of the law, and perhaps my own detestation of the law arises from my having frequently broken it. []
      • 1918, Edgar Rice Burroughs, The Land That Time Forgot, Chapter VIII
        Lys shuddered, and I put my arm around her and drew her to me; and thus we sat throughout the hot night. She told me of her abduction and of the fright she had undergone, and together we thanked God that she had come through unharmed, because the great brute had dared not pause along the danger-infested way.
      • 1945 August 17, George Orwell [pseudonym; Eric Arthur Blair], chapter 1, in Animal Farm: A Fairy Story, London: Secker & Warburg, OCLC 3655473:
        At the last moment Mollie, the foolish, pretty white mare who drew Mr. Jones's trap, came mincing daintily in, chewing at a lump of sugar.
    2. (intransitive) To pull; to exert strength in drawing anything; to have force to move anything by pulling.
      This horse draws well.
      A ship's sail is said to draw when it is filled with wind.
    3. To pull out, unsheathe (as a gun from a holster, or a tooth).
      They drew their swords and fought each other.
    4. To undergo the action of pulling or dragging.
      The carriage draws easily.
    5. (archery) To pull back the bowstring and its arrow in preparation for shooting.
    6. (of curtains, etc.) To close.
      You should draw the curtains at night.
    7. (of curtains, etc.) To open.
      She drew the curtains to let in the sunlight.
    8. (card games) To take the top card of a deck into hand.
      At the start of their turn, each player must draw a card.
  3. (fluidic) To remove or separate or displace.
    1. To extract a liquid, or cause a liquid to come out, primarily water or blood.
      draw water from a well;  draw water for a bath;  the wound drew blood
    2. To drain by emptying; to suck dry.
    3. (figuratively) To extract; to force out; to elicit; to derive.
    4. To sink in water; to require a depth for floating.
      A ship draws ten feet of water.
    5. (intransitive, medicine, dated) To work as an epispastic; said of a blister, poultice, etc.
    6. (intransitive) To have a draught; to transmit smoke, gases, etc.
      The chimney won't draw properly if it's clogged up with soot.
    7. (analogous) To consume, for example, power.
      The circuit draws three hundred watts.
  4. To change in size or shape.
    1. To extend in length; to lengthen; to protract; to stretch.
      to draw a mass of metal into wire
    2. (intransitive) To become contracted; to shrink.
      • 1631, Francis [Bacon], “(please specify |century=I to X)”, in Sylua Syluarum: Or A Naturall Historie. In Ten Centuries. [], 3rd edition, London: [] VVilliam Rawley; [p]rinted by J[ohn] H[aviland] for William Lee [], OCLC 1044372886:
        water [] will shrink or draw into less room
  5. To attract or be attracted.
    1. To attract.
      The citizens were afraid the casino would draw an undesirable element to their town.
      I was drawn to her.
      • 1913, Joseph C. Lincoln, chapter 5, in Mr. Pratt's Patients:
        When you're well enough off so's you don't have to fret about anything but your heft or your diseases you begin to get queer, I suppose. And the queerer the cure for those ailings the bigger the attraction. A place like the Right Livers' Rest was bound to draw freaks, same as molasses draws flies.
      • 1935, George Goodchild, chapter 5, in Death on the Centre Court:
        By one o'clock the place was choc-a-bloc. […] The restaurant was packed, and the promenade between the two main courts and the subsidiary courts was thronged with healthy-looking youngish people, drawn to the Mecca of tennis from all parts of the country.
      • 1964 April, “Letters: Rethinking emergency procedures”, in Modern Railways, page 274:
        [...] 1. Handsignalmen, where needed, ought to wear a conspicuous orange/yellow cape (like many road workmen) to draw attention to them.
    2. To induce (a reticent person) to speak.
      He refused to be drawn on the subject
    3. (hunting) To search for game.
    4. To cause.
      • 2011 July 3, Piers Newbury, “Wimbledon 2011: Novak Djokovic beats Rafael Nadal in final”, in BBC Sport:
        In a desperately tight opening set, the pace and accuracy of the Serbian's groundstrokes began to draw errors from the usually faultless Nadal and earned him the first break point of the day at 5-4.
    5. (intransitive) To exert an attractive force; (figuratively) to act as an inducement or enticement.
      • 1626, Francis Bacon, Sylva Sylvarum, Or, A Naturall Historie. In Ten Centuries
        These following bodies do not draw: smaragd, achates, corneolus, pearl, jaspis, chalcedonius, alabaster, porphyry, coral, marble, touchstone, haematites, or bloodstone []
      • 1711 August 7, Joseph Addison; Richard Steele, “FRIDAY, July 27, 1711 [Julian calendar]”, in The Spectator, number 128; republished in Alexander Chalmers, editor, The Spectator; a New Edition, [], volume II, New York, N.Y.: D[aniel] Appleton & Company, 1853, OCLC 191120697:
        Keep a watch upon the particular bias which nature has fixed in their minds, that it may not draw too much.
  6. (usually as draw on or draw upon) To rely on; utilize as a source.
    She had to draw upon her experience to solve the problem.
  7. To disembowel.
    • 1709, William King, The Art of Cookery
      In private draw your poultry, clean your tripe.
  8. (transitive or intransitive) To end a game in a draw (with neither side winning).
    We drew last time we played.  I drew him last time I played him.  I drew my last game against him.
    • 1922, Edgar Rice Burroughs, The Chessmen of Mars, HTML edition, The Gutenberg Project, published 2010:
      The game is won when a player places any of his pieces on the same square with his opponent's Princess, or when a Chief takes a Chief. It is drawn when a Chief is taken by any opposing piece other than the opposing Chief; []
  9. To choose by means of a random selection process.
    1. To select by the drawing of lots.
      The winning lottery numbers were drawn every Tuesday.
    2. (transitive) To win in a lottery or similar game of chance.
      He drew a prize.
    3. (poker) To trade in cards for replacements in draw poker games; to attempt to improve one's hand with future cards. See also draw out.
      Jill has four diamonds; she'll try to draw for a flush.
  10. (curling) To make a shot that lands gently in the house (the circular target) without knocking out other stones.
  11. (cricket) To play (a short-length ball directed at the leg stump) with an inclined bat so as to deflect the ball between the legs and the wicket.
  12. (golf) To hit (the ball) with the toe of the club so that it is deflected toward the left.
  13. (billiards) To strike (the cue ball) below the center so as to give it a backward rotation which causes it to take a backward direction on striking another ball.


Derived termsEdit


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.


draw (countable and uncountable, plural draws)

  1. The result of a contest that neither side has won; a tie.
    The game ended in a draw.
  2. The procedure by which the result of a lottery is determined.
    The draw is on Saturday.
    • 2011 January 29, Chris Bevan, “Torquay 0 - 1 Crawley Town”, in BBC[2]:
      Having spent more than £500,000 on players last summer, Crawley can hardly be classed as minnows but they have still punched way above their weight and this kind of performance means no-one will relish pulling them out of the hat in Sunday's draw.
  3. Something that attracts e.g. a crowd.
    • 2012, Christoper Zara, Tortured Artists: From Picasso and Monroe to Warhol and Winehouse, the Twisted Secrets of the World's Most Creative Minds, part 1, chapter 1, 27:
      After It, Clara became one of the top box-office draws in Hollywood, but her popularity was short lived.
  4. (cricket) The result of a two-innings match in which at least one side did not complete all their innings before time ran out (as distinguished from a tie).
  5. (golf) A golf shot that (for the right-handed player) curves intentionally to the left. See hook, slice, fade.
  6. (curling) A shot that is intended to land gently in the house (the circular target) without knocking out other stones; cf. takeout.
  7. (geography) A dry stream bed that drains surface water only during periods of heavy rain or flooding.
    • 1918, Willa Cather, My Ántonia, Mirado Modern Classics, paperback edition, page 15
      The garden, curiously enough, was a quarter of a mile from the house, and the way to it led up a shallow draw past the cattle corral.
  8. (slang, countable) A bag of cannabis.
    • 2011, Yvonne Ellis, Daughter, Arise: A Journey from Devastation to Restoration (page 54)
      So my friends and I would all chip in money to get a bag of weed or a draw.
  9. (slang, uncountable) Cannabis.
    • 2017, Michael Coleman, Old Skool Rave (page 139)
      Mick spoke to Simon, who was more of a drinker. He said that people who smoked draw were boring.
  10. In a commission-based job, an advance on future (potential) commissions given to an employee by the employer.
  11. (poker) A situation in which one or more players has four cards of the same suit or four out of five necessary cards for a straight and requires a further card to make their flush or straight.
    • 2007, Ryan Wiseman, Earn $30,000 Per Month Playing Online Poker: A Step-By-Step Guide to Single, page 82:
      The player to your left immediately raises you the minimum by clicking the raise button. This action immediately suggests that he's on a draw
  12. (archery) The act of pulling back the strings in preparation of firing.
  13. (sports) The spin or twist imparted to a ball etc. by a drawing stroke.
  14. This term needs a definition. Please help out and add a definition, then remove the text {{rfdef}}.
    • 1981, Stephen King, Do the Dead Sing?
      She looked in [to the stove] and a tight, dismayed gasp escaped her. She slammed the door shut and adjusted the draw with trembling fingers. For a moment—just a moment—she had seen her old friend Annabelle Frane in the coals.


  • (The result of a contest in which neither side has won): stalemate
  • (dry stream bed that drains water during periods of heavy precipitation): wash, arroyo, wadi, dry creek

Derived termsEdit


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.


  • draw at OneLook Dictionary Search




Related to Breton treu, Old Breton dydreu, didreu.




  1. there, yonder, beyond
    Mae'n byw ochr draw'r mynydd.He/She lives on the other/far side of the mountain.
    Synonyms: acw, hwnt
  2. over
    Dere draw ar ôl y gwaith.Come over after work.

Usage notesEdit

This adverb, originally the a soft-mutated form of traw, is found almost exclusively as unmutatable draw today except in literary contexts where forms such as aspirate-mutated thraw may be encountered.

Derived termsEdit

{{der3|cy |draw fama<t:over here> |draw fan hyn<t:over here> |draw fanna<t:over there> |draw ’na<t:over there> |mas draw<t:exceedingly> |ochr draw<t:other side, far side> |pen draw<t:far end, limit> |trwyddo draw<t:through and through> |tu draw<t:beyond> |cadw draw<t:keep away> |}

Further readingEdit

  • R. J. Thomas, G. A. Bevan, P. J. Donovan, A. Hawke et al., editors (1950–present), “draw”, in Geiriadur Prifysgol Cymru Online (in Welsh), University of Wales Centre for Advanced Welsh & Celtic Studies