from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A simple machine consisting essentially of a wheel with a grooved rim in which a pulled rope or chain can run to change the direction of the pull and thereby lift a load.
  • n. A wheel turned by or driving a belt.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. One of the simple machines; a wheel with a grooved rim in which a pulled rope or chain will lift an object (more useful when two or more pulleys are used together such that a small force moving through a greater distance can exert a larger force through a smaller distance).
  • v. To raise or lift by means of a pulley.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A wheel with a broad rim, or grooved rim, for transmitting power from, or imparting power to, the different parts of machinery, or for changing the direction of motion, by means of a belt, cord, rope, or chain.
  • transitive v. To raise or lift by means of a pulley.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To raise or hoist with a pulley.
  • n. Properly, a simple machine consisting of a wheel having a grooved rim for carrying a rope or other line, and turning in a frame, which, when movable, is termed a pulley-block.
  • n. A block containing several grooved wheels.
  • n. A tackle or apparatus consisting of one or more pulley-blocks with a rope or ropes reeved through them for use in hoisting.
  • n. In anatomy: A trochlea, or trochlear surface of an articulation.
  • n. A ligamentous loop which confines or changes the direction of the tendon of a muscle passing through it: as, the digastric muscle of the chin and the superior oblique of the eye both pass through a pulley. See cuts under muscle and eye.
  • n. A pulley which merely tightens the belt but takes off no power.
  • n. A pulley built up of segments or sectors.
  • n. A segmental pulley; a pulley made in two or more sectors for convenience in casting.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a simple machine consisting of a wheel with a groove in which a rope can run to change the direction or point of application of a force applied to the rope


Middle English poley, from Old French polie and from Medieval Latin poliva, both ultimately from Greek polos, axis; see kwel-1 in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Middle English polley, pullie, from Old French poulie, polie ("a pulley"), (compare Medieval Latin polea, polegia, polegium; Middle Dutch puleye), of Germanic origin, from or related to Middle Low German pulen ("to pull"), Old English pullian ("to pull") [2][3]. More at pull. (Wiktionary)


  • The double-line pull uses a snatch block (also known as a pulley block) to run the wire rope out to an anchor and then double it back to the vehicle, where the hook is attached to the frame -- not the bumper, winch, or any part of the suspension.

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  • Fixed to the pulley was a long rope, which was hand-held.

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  • And ye are prepared for the building of God the Father, and ye are raised up on high by the instrument of Jesus Christ, which is the cross; and ye are drawn by the rope, which is the Holy Spirit; and your pulley is your faith, and your love is the way which leadeth up on high to God.

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  • -- In the _rope_ and _pulley_ note that when the pulley is a fixed one, the only advantage is a changed direction of the rope.

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  • Across the batten hung a pulley and over the pulley was a rope.

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  • But, when treating of a grave subject, what can be more silly or indecorous than such language as the following -- "Ye are raised on high by the engine of Jesus Christ, which is the cross, and ye are drawn by the rope, which is the Holy Ghost, and your pulley is your faith."

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  • It worked on a principle called the pulley-and-counter-weight principle.


  • After investigating at school, Sid discovers that a pulley is the perfect simple machine to help lift heavy things up to high places, like a tree house! email reminder


  • The pulley is the only part of the assembly that had to be drawn in two dimensions as a project requirement.

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  • Abruptly she caught the human's and kender's innocent expressions, and she realized that the gully dwarf couldn't possibly be talking about the same kind of pulley job.



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