Meaning of pulley in English:


Pronunciation /ˈpʊli/

Translate pulley into Spanish

nounplural noun pulleys

  • 1A wheel with a grooved rim around which a cord passes, which acts to change the direction of a force applied to the cord and is used to raise heavy weights.

    ‘Prior to World War II, the sash (the parts that move) was counterweighted by a temperamental arrangement of cords, pulleys and iron weights.’
    • ‘It turned out to be a spare pulley used for lifting heavy equipment.’
    • ‘We come across bright ideas in books, like over-length lines passed through pulleys under floats and the excess taken up by counter-balancing weights.’
    • ‘At that end, a set of automated pulleys raise and lower noose-like weights onto the end of the veil, which hold the air in for the final part of the sequence, creating a large whale-like shape.’
    • ‘The dropping weights, connected to the paddlewheel by the cord through pulleys, caused the paddles to churn the water - like an old-fashioned ice cream maker stirring its custard.’
    • ‘Machines and engines, pulleys and wheels, and the idea that power could be harnessed by man-made devices made the toilsome labor of the past nearly obsolete.’
    • ‘When I finally rise from my pit of non-slumber, I am extraordinarily positive - despite aching in every limb and feeling like my eyelids are being forced down by lead-weighted pulleys.’
    • ‘There are two large weights hung from pulleys behind the clock.’
    • ‘All four cables entered the beam and passed over pulleys near the lower beam cap.’
    • ‘He described a two-dimensional triangular system of pulleys with weights called a Varignon Frame.’
    • ‘The capillary-support pressure measuring device was placed between the heel and a sling that was connected by a rope to a ceiling-mounted pulley to raise the heel.’
    • ‘Any flat bench with a pulley or cord system will work.’
    • ‘A string was pulled through the hole made by the needle and the string was drawn through a pulley so that weights could be attached to the end of the string.’
    • ‘Using a low pulley, Arnold raised one arm out to the side, knuckles up, to shoulder height and squeezed.’
    • ‘One crew-diver controlled its height using a line that passed through a pulley fixed to the seabed and another at the vessel's stern.’
    • ‘There was a rope as thick as my arm strung across the river, running through a heavy pulley on the barge.’
    • ‘After having reached a level of 1,000 feet, the expedition was compelled to abandon its elephants, throw away its baggage and climb further by means of cords and pulleys.’
    • ‘The Vasa Trainer operates on a sled that rolls on a track and comes equipped with all sorts of cords, straps, pulleys and a slew of accessories.’
    • ‘Little boardwalks lead down to the jetties and a complex set up of ropes and pulleys for setting and raising the nets.’
    • ‘You'll have to make those parts yourself, and replace the existing steel cable with appropriate cord on the constant force spring pulley.’
    lifting gear, crane, winch, tackle, block and tackle, pulley, windlass, davit, derrick
    1. 1.1A wheel or drum fixed on a shaft and turned by a belt, used for the application or transmission of power.
      ‘Standard belt lengths between pulleys: 132 to 500 mm; widths between 10 and 200 mm.’
      • ‘There are V-belt constructions made up of sections that lock together, allowing you to wrap the belt around a trapped pulley and join the two ends.’
      • ‘Something else you don't do - you don't clear sap buildup from between a pulley and belt when the conveyor is running.’
      • ‘The roar of the engine powering the pulley was like music to my ears as I was slowly but steadily going up again.’
      • ‘Incorrect pulley settings, loose fan belts, or incorrect motor speeds can all contribute to poor performance.’
      system of pulleys, hoisting gear, pulley, hoist, block and tackle, crane, winch, davit, windlass, sheave

verbverb pulleys, verb pulleying, verb pulleyed

[with object]
  • Hoist with a pulley.

    ‘the tree house was built on the ground and pulleyed into the branches’
    • ‘It's like being on a boat, sleeping on the bus, waking, buying a lift ticket, being pulleyed up the mountain, the payoff, the floating dance of linked telemark turns.’
    • ‘It was being pulleyed by several cords of thick rope overhead.’


Middle English from Old French polie, probably from a medieval Greek diminutive of polos ‘pivot, axis’.