Does it mean to give up and not organize the voting? Is there an opposite such as push (for) the vote? (I am an English learner/translator.)

This is a context: "A ring-round of Cabinet on Friday and over the weekend saw ministers more or less unanimous: the vote should be pulled. The press became increasingly confident that May could not go ahead: in the Sunday Times on 9 December, Tim Shipman predicted that it would be pulled." (May at 10 - Anthony Seldon)

It is used in this article too.


1 Answer 1


It is the Oxford English Dictionary's, sense 10(b) of the verb to pull.

Essentially it means "put a stop to something*. It is said to be of US origins, and the first OED example from the Baltimore Sun in 1937. Though it wasn't in that instance, it is often applied to the stopping of a newspaper report or publication.

*10. b. transitive. colloquial (originally U.S.). To withdraw from publication, circulation, or use; to cancel or revoke (a business deal, etc.); to recall or rescind (a document); to cease to operate or make use of.

1937 Sun (Baltimore) 22 May 18/3 We are pulling the fires under most of the boilers but leaving sufficient boilers to maintain steam to [etc.].

1967 Los Angeles Times 15 Jan. g4/4 Staughton Lynd of Yale made an unauthorized trip to North Vietnam in 1965, and the department pulled his passport.

1978 G. Bordman Amer. Musical Theatre ii. 96 Previous commitments forced it to be pulled when its initial booking ended.

1986 Times 11 Oct. 21/5 Some dealers were convinced the deal had been pulled at the last minute after a disagreement over the price.

2005 Gazette (Montreal) (Nexis) 12 Mar. a7 The Gazette has joined several other newspapers that have decided to pull any further Julie story ads.*

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