Definition of haul in English:



  • 1[with object and adverbial] (of a person) pull or drag with effort or force:

    ‘he hauled his bike out of the shed’
    [no object, with adverbial] ‘she hauled on the reins’
    • ‘By the end of this cycle I wind up with bins the Terminator would have trouble dragging down the driveway, but I dutifully haul them out in front of the wall and up onto the curb.’
    • ‘These big, burly men can then haul inconsiderate Singaporeans off the train.’
    • ‘The friendly owner hauls water up on his back every day from the clear mountain stream.’
    • ‘When he'd hauled the box to safety, I followed up the ladder.’
    • ‘Tomorrow I have to help the attorney's assistant haul all the files back in and make sure as many books and tchotchkes as we can remember are back in their proper places.’
    • ‘We all hauled the bikes to the top of Mud Hill, mounted up, and raced for the bottom, the first past the tree being the winner.’
    • ‘Jeremy glared at Bridget before being hauled away to the living room.’
    • ‘I've admired the fallen trees this morning, and the broken branches, and I've hauled many of them off the paths.’
    • ‘The numbers are then passed on to transport officials who haul the offenders in for ‘consultation’.’
    • ‘While waiting for all this to occur, we'll haul our clothes to the neighbourhood laundrette.’
    • ‘Her father hauled her back on board and sailed for home.’
    • ‘The worker hauls the animal out of the water and tosses it with a dull thud into a rotating drum like a table-top spin-dryer to remove the animal's coat.’
    • ‘Upstairs in the offices above the injecting room, Nurse Andy hauls a suitcase out of the cupboard, heaves it onto the table, and opens it up.’
    • ‘Then every soldier hauled his own gear inside the crafts.’
    • ‘Like a cork after its bottle, she follows her raft downstream until her companions haul her back on board.’
    • ‘Not to be deterred, the kids were hauling their sleds up the 3m high slope by Victoria Road Bridge, and sledding down the wet grass.’
    • ‘They were both quiet as they hauled the luggage out into the spacious living room, and deposited it all next to the front door.’
    • ‘If they heard a dog bark, they'd haul it out and shoot it.’
    • ‘Jessica hauled Frankie outside and immediately started in on her.’
    • ‘The pair will each haul more than 100 kg in food, fuel and equipment from Ammassalik on the east coast to Sondre Strmfjord, 535 km to the west.’
    drag, pull, tug, heave, hump, trail, draw, tow, manhandle
    pull, drag, hoist, crane, lift, tug, heave, trail, draw, tow, manhandle
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1haul oneself Propel or pull oneself with difficulty:
      ‘he hauled himself along the cliff face’
      • ‘I've found it much more difficult to haul myself out of bed in the morning.’
      • ‘He hauled himself back aboard and pulled the javelin out of the riverbed, allowing the vessel to float free again.’
      • ‘One man hauls himself along on a three-wheeled skateboard, propelling himself with his one leg as his opposite hand uses a flat, iron contraption as a cane.’
      • ‘Steadily he pulled himself across, by the time he hauled himself up, onto the bank he was exhausted.’
      • ‘He hauled himself up through a river of freezing mud, finally pulling his abused body onto level ground.’
    2. 1.2informal Force (someone) to appear for reprimand or trial:
      ‘he is to be hauled before the Press Council’
      • ‘Yet, she was hauled before Congress, charged, tried, and convicted within a couple of years.’
      • ‘He was hauled before Manchester magistrates who read our story in open court.’
      • ‘He'll get a sympathetic ‘Don't do it again’ if, by the remotest chance, he is hauled before their worships.’
      • ‘She was hauled before the Star Chamber and the houses ordered demolished.’
      • ‘Who should foot the legal bill when company directors are hauled before the courts?’
      • ‘To publish their comments in full would lead to all three individuals being hauled before the Croke Park authorities.’
      • ‘He began his 18 months sentence for dangerous driving after he was eventually hauled before the courts again.’
      • ‘Yet some band members were hauled before the courts on firearm offences and making threats to kill.’
      • ‘In April 1929 ‘she was hauled before the customs office charged with being a prohibited immigrant’.’
      • ‘The pensioner was hauled before York Crown Court after he struck concert chairman Peter Suter in the face as tempers flared at Burton Lane Working Men's Club in York.’
      • ‘He was hauled before his commanding officer, Lieutenant-Colonel James Stevenson, and summarily dismissed.’
      • ‘A top Navy Officer was hauled before a court martial yesterday after a laptop packed with military secrets was nicked from his car.’
      • ‘He was hauled before the town jurists, and fined!’
      • ‘He was hauled before a court next morning which he claims was a shambles.’
      • ‘You'll probably also recall that a few years ago, an American millionaire was hauled before the local courts on charges relating to the possession of cannabis.’
      • ‘Every time he turns around, the cops tow his car, his girls are hauled before the courts, or he's busted on some phony armed robbery charge.’
      • ‘As teachers were hauled before Judge Fisher they denounced the school authorities for tyranny and deception and said they were willing to go to jail to defend their rights.’
      • ‘Know the state's nursing law and follow regulations before you are hauled before the board on a licensure issue.’
      • ‘Today he was hauled before immigration authorities in Dili.’
      • ‘Eleven people were hauled before magistrates earlier this week charged with public nuisance offences.’
  • 2[with object] (of a vehicle) pull (an attached trailer or carriage) behind it:

    ‘the engine hauls the overnight sleeper from London Euston’
    • ‘There are plenty of critics with woeful tales of upturned or lost caravans, and how they were held up for hours by tiny cars hauling huge caravans.’
    • ‘A truck hauling two trailers - with a total length measuring 22 metres - was travelling from Umtata when the driver is believed to have lost control.’
    • ‘My first streetcar trip had one other close call, a sport-utility vehicle hauling a trailer that made a U-turn right in front of us.’
    • ‘Ask if they will set your towing vehicle up to properly haul your new trailer and if they are willing to teach you how to drive one if you never have before.’
    • ‘Police reported that the truck hauling two trailers - with a length measuring 22m - was travelling from Umtata when the driver was believed to have lost control.’
    1. 2.1 Transport in a lorry or cart:
      ‘he made a living hauling coal’
      • ‘Who was he trying to impress, the Broward County Department of Sanitation workers who haul his trash away?’
      • ‘They are usually used to haul heavy loads or carry cargoes.’
      • ‘Carnegie needs at least five dump trucks to haul trash to the Imperial landfill.’
      • ‘The asset is the future economic benefit, that is, the present value of the cash flows that will come from using the truck to haul lumber, or coal, or bread.’
      • ‘Hedge got a job hauling coal for Sam Dean, who had a little mine near Sand Coulee.’
      • ‘As the construction of the huge vessel approached completion, transport firms hauled the mountains of food to the site.’
      • ‘Heavy horse carts with rubber tires haul sacks of corn, piles of fodder, and other freight.’
      • ‘Utility ATVs are commonly used for loading and hauling things, which calls for a larger exterior to carry objects.’
      • ‘The call came last summer, and he was using the truck to haul stuff for the yard.’
      • ‘Young girls of eight or nine worked down the mines hauling coal just so the families could exist.’
      • ‘He had trained as an apprentice engineer at Dan Mitchells, later working as a lorry driver for Tunnicliffe's at Silsden, hauling timber.’
      • ‘This means that the farmer is having to haul his own stock or arrange transport.’
      • ‘In between, we hauled freight, carried troops and VIPs, and served as a hospital ship with wounded and nurses aboard.’
      • ‘If that was the case, then people who don't haul things on a regular basis wouldn't buy pickup trucks, and there is probably no good reason why anyone needs a Jaguar of any type.’
      • ‘Amid the truckloads of rubble being hauled away is forensic evidence about how and why the buildings collapsed.’
      • ‘I haul coal, silica, gravel, grain - anything that will go into a dump.’
      • ‘The whole theme was accented by stuffed toy poodles carried by models on the catwalk, who held them as lovingly as yesterday's trash being hauled to the bin.’
      • ‘Goran Rakonjac, for instance, uses horse-drawn farm carts on back roads to haul the soft white cheese from his family farm in Serbia to market 15 miles away in Montenegro.’
      • ‘One record-breaking day in 1864 saw the company haul three tons of silver bullion from the mines of Virginia City, Nevada alone.’
      • ‘Meanwhile, the smaller compact track loader hauled the spoil to dump trucks and brought in the rock.’
      transport, convey, cart, carry, ship, ferry, move, shift, take
      View synonyms
  • 3Nautical
    [no object, with adverbial of direction] (especially of a sailing ship) make an abrupt change of course:

    ‘my plan was to haul offshore, well clear of the land’
    • ‘The waters of the Nile slipped beneath the hull and the boat hauled for the western shore.’
    • ‘The ship hauled away from the dock and proceeded to Mare Island, California, in accordance with the orders of the Commander-in-Chief, Pacific Squadron.’
    • ‘As the ship hauled out into the stream, her bow was swung by the tide downward, and her helm was put to the starboard.’


  • 1A quantity of something that has been stolen or is possessed illegally:

    ‘they escaped with a haul of antiques’
    • ‘The Iraqi intelligence haul came on the sixth day of a nationwide sweep to seize weapons and insurgents.’
    • ‘Det Con Graham Jones said the haul may have been stolen to order.’
    • ‘Photographs of valuable rings, earrings and pendants - part of a huge haul stolen from her Buckinghamshire home - were issued in the hope of tracking the items down.’
    • ‘The haul, stolen from a house in Rodbourne, also included army vehicles.’
    • ‘The medals, including a CBE and DSO, were found in Harrow, north London, among a haul of items stolen by burglars.’
    • ‘The spokesperson said the recording industry called the haul the largest CD manufacturing seizure in the US.’
    • ‘GARDAÍ have seized more than €200,000 worth of illegal drugs in two hauls in counties Clare and Meath.’
    • ‘The individual was sentenced to six years in jail in July 2003 after being caught with a haul of heroin.’
    • ‘Police have uncovered a double haul of illegal guns and more than £250,000 of stolen property following two dawn raids in the Chelmsford area.’
    • ‘Forensic experts were today combing through more than 100 items from a Skipton house where robbers escaped with a haul of thousands of pounds in cash and gems.’
    • ‘Armed robbers escaped with a haul of cash after threatening the owner of a Bradford newsagent's at gunpoint.’
    • ‘This latest haul brings the total amount of drugs seized in the Limerick region over the last two years to €4 million.’
    • ‘A Croatian lorry driver caught with a haul of sub-machineguns in his truckload of frozen pizzas was cleared of all charges yesterday.’
    • ‘Burglars made off with a haul of antiques worth thousands of pounds in two raids in Broad Town.’
    • ‘Thieves stole a huge haul of guitars and other instruments worth up to £6,000 from a Westcliff music store.’
    • ‘Gardaí suspect the haul was acquired in Dublin and was being delivered to a major drugs gang based in Southill.’
    • ‘Officers were also criticised for not fully recording details of the weight or quantity of drug hauls or why they thought suspects possessed it.’
    • ‘Saturday's haul is also connected with a major operation in Britain last weekend, which netted seven kilos of heroin and led to over 15 arrests.’
    • ‘I later heard on the radio of a large haul of confiscated illegal nets and spearguns being burnt as a warning to transgressors.’
    • ‘John Barber, Customs and Excise spokesman, said that the haul was the largest amount of heroin seized from Harwich port this year 75 kilos is a significant seizure.’
    booty, loot, plunder
    spoils, stolen goods, gains, ill-gotten gains
    swag, the goods, hot goods, boodle
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 A number of fish caught:
      ‘he landed a record pike haul’
      • ‘That they have increased their haul is a product of improved fishing methods, not a reflection of an increased number of fish in the sea.’
      • ‘Anglers on the River Tweed in southeast Scotland landed more than 14,000 salmon, one of the biggest hauls ever recorded in Britain.’
      • ‘These were huge fishing craft capable of picking up a thousand tonnes of fish in a single haul.’
      • ‘Prawn vessels continued to catch fairly large hauls of prawns.’
      • ‘Long after some fish stocks sank below their maximally productive sizes, fisheries' hauls continued to rise, says Pauly.’
      • ‘The Moy Fishery, at Ballina, again produced the biggest haul with 120 salmon for the week.’
      • ‘The first buffet area is a fisherman's haul of shrimp, sushi, sashimi and fish-egg rolls prepared fresh on the other side of the counter and laid in individual wicker baskets.’
      • ‘The people of Manus Island in Papua New Guinea traditionally catch large hauls of tuna in October.’
      • ‘But Mormon use of advanced methods to net large hauls of fish for pickling and shipment elsewhere had impoverished the Utes and made them resentful and ready for war.’
      • ‘It is a top achievement to get fish of this size but even better to see a nice catch of good sized fish, such as a 14 blackfish haul caught on the Ballina North Wall in the recent swell.’
      • ‘Their haul accounts for nearly 28 percent of the country's fish exports, Kee said.’
      • ‘The seas around West Kerry have been throwing up some very unusual species of fish in recent days and the latest haul included three white albinos which were hooked by Irish fishermen.’
      • ‘Here's the rub - hauls of fish have declined sharply since the 1970s but total workforce numbers have not.’
      • ‘Then one year the fishermen began to notice a change in their daily haul.’
      • ‘The Moy enjoyed its best week of the season, so far, with a huge haul of 1,252 salmon taken by anglers over the week.’
      • ‘Fishermen from the coastal villages of southern Hainan Island look forward to the occasional surprise catch in their daily haul that could net them a handsome reward.’
      • ‘Sure, if I so choose I could reel in a nice haul of little fish but if I wait things out just that little bit longer, I know a nice big juicy fish is going to come my way.’
      • ‘Under EU rules, trawlers which fish for so-called industrial species are permitted to catch up to 5% of white fish as part of their haul.’
      • ‘The Harrogate Angling Supplies-backed star won yet again with a fine haul of 72 lb 6oz.’
      • ‘Reservoir trouters will have no problems at all, but short range stream fishers would do well to spend a few hours on the lawn, perfecting their double haul.’
    2. 1.2 The number of points, medals, or titles won by a person or team in a sporting event or over a period:
      ‘his seven-goal haul against Liverpool’
      • ‘For the record, among diverse contributions, Blackadder topped Edinburgh's tackle count with a personal haul of 20.’
      • ‘The club is now looking forward to the forthcoming Wharfedale Championships and is hoping to shatter last year's record trophy haul.’
      • ‘The medal haul was completed by Naomi Boynton, 11, also in the 200m butterfly.’
      • ‘Tiger Woods, only the second player to win all four majors more than once, paid a glowing tribute to Jack Nicklaus whose record haul of 18 is clearly his sights.’
      • ‘Brailsford said ‘two or three medals’ would be a satisfactory haul in Athens.’
      • ‘Ballesteros was crowned champion after his record haul of 23 birdies to the delight of Europe.’
      • ‘Lions centre Matt Nanyn was the chief benefactor from the 14-try rout as three tries and nine goals gave him a haul of 30 points to equal the club record for points in a match.’
      • ‘Walsh, 38, the only fit fast bowler in the West Indian team following an injury to Mervyn Dillon, took his world record haul of Test wickets to 513.’
      • ‘England rugby legend Jason Leonard is set to extend his international career for one match only - without adding to his world record haul of 114 caps, writes Scott Amos.’
      • ‘Castlecomer Basketball Club can reflect with great pride on an excellent season that saw the club take a record haul of nine trophies.’
      • ‘Eight bowlers had seven wicket returns during the month and there were a total of 23 six-wicket hauls recorded.’
      • ‘It would be easy to be triumphant about Manchester as the medal haul headed towards the 30-point mark last night.’
      • ‘Prinz's goal haul was also a record for most goals scored by one player in a women's match at the Olympics.’
      • ‘Ferrari could pass McLaren's record haul of 199 points in a season at the next race in three weeks' time in Hungary.’
      • ‘That's an interesting one: it turns out that two unlucky bowlers have managed an eight-wicket haul in a Test their side lost by an innings.’
      • ‘The now defunct Glasgow Club's record haul of 33 wins keeps them alive in name only in the history books ahead of their former rivals - though very much still in existence!’
      • ‘Her gold medal was a sixth for Japan in Athens, a record haul for a single Games for one country in judo.’
      • ‘Thirsk's bowling star, Barry Petty, recorded his 28th haul of five or more wickets in the premier league when he captured 5-73.’
      • ‘That haul, which remains a record for both men and women, included a Grand Slam in 1970.’
      • ‘If Phelps didn't quite match Mark Spitz's record haul of seven individual golds in 1972, he still ruled the pool.’
    3. 1.3 All the products purchased by someone during a particular episode of shopping:
      ‘my husband looked over my haul and announced that I was a shopaholic’
      ‘included in her beauty haul were a lot of facial masks’
      • ‘Recently I popped by Burlington to see what they had in store for the season and today I wanted to share my haul with all of you!’
      • ‘She emerged with an armload of designer black bags, requiring two shop assistants to carry her haul to her car.’
      • ‘I did a bit of online shopping and bought some makeup, hair and skincare and I thought I'd show you my haul and give you a bit of a first impression.’
      • ‘My haul: a long sleeved thermal shirt (for the 4 days a year it gets a little chilly in Miami), 2 T shirts and about 20 pair of socks, $18.’
      • ‘This, plus a couple dresses, was my haul for the morning.’
      • ‘Who among us hasn't come back from a shopping excursion, looked over the just-purchased haul, and wondered, What was I thinking?’
  • 2A distance to be covered in a journey:

    ‘the thirty-mile haul to Boston’
    • ‘What we have to do, is improve the railroads, to take the pressure off the air transport system, so short-haul, inter-city hauls, should be done by rail, not by air.’
    • ‘It was a long distance haul, not like a sprint, which is what we will be doing when we compete with our dogs in the Savoie Alps in January.’
    • ‘It's a long haul from Vegas to Seattle.’
    • ‘Often the transport cost of English timber equaled the value of the wood itself, and twenty miles was considered the maximum profitable overland haul.’
    • ‘Afterwards he loses his sight and from that day is plagued with hallucinations seeded with guilt and shame, the unspoken sense that his condition is a judgment, and his career a long, redemptive haul.’

Phrasal Verbs

  • haul off

    • 1Leave; depart.

      • ‘Rather than hurrying to finish my last doodle, I carefully pack it away in my bag and, along with the rest of my gear, haul off to my locker.’
      go away, depart, leave, take off, get out, get out of my sight
      View synonyms
      1. 1.1Withdraw a little before doing something:
        ‘he hauled off and smacked the kid’
        • ‘Suddenly without warning, he hauls off and smacks her across the face.’
        • ‘He growled and I didn't hesitate this time to just haul off and smack him.’
  • haul out

    • (of a seal or similar marine mammal) come out of the water to spend time on land:

      ‘seals haul out to bask in areas where they can see and smell approaching predators’
      • ‘It is low tide, with lots of room for the seals to haul out and snooze at Lynch's Reef.’
      • ‘As the season progressed, seals gradually began to haul out on the ice surface where they could be counted during surveys.’
      • ‘They haul out on intertidal rocks and ledes, sandy and pebble beaches, sandbars, and sometimes, ice floes.’
      • ‘At Cap Blanc, almost all seals haul out in one of two caves with access only from the sea, which makes the collection of samples very difficult.’
      • ‘Ducks frequently hauled out onto rocks to rest and preen, and we read as many tarsal bands as possible during each survey.’


Mid 16th century (originally in the nautical sense ‘trim sails for sailing closer to the wind’): variant of hale.