Definition of suck in English:



  • 1[with object] Draw into the mouth by contracting the muscles of the lips and mouth to make a partial vacuum.

    ‘they suck mint juleps through straws’
    ‘he sucked in air between sentences’
    • ‘I put my face kiss-close to his and sucked the breath from his mouth like it was nitrous oxide.’
    • ‘He's so cool, he's like a professional, blowing big bubbles then sucking them back into his mouth with a pop.’
    • ‘I mean, he really sucked all the oxygen.’
    • ‘I managed a quick smile before letting my jaw drop as I greedily sucked in air.’
    • ‘When a deep-sea Fangtooth feels a fish swimming nearby, it opens its huge mouth and sucks the animal in.’
    • ‘He opens his big mouth, sucks the stray fish or shrimp in, and snaps the trap shut.’
    • ‘The pressure was immediately released from his mouth and he sucked in a gulp of air.’
    • ‘We won't choke to death when we open our mouths to suck air into our lungs.’
    • ‘He complied, leant over the bowl, and sucked the food into his mouth.’
    • ‘And on top of that, there will be another religious group trying to suck at the public teat.’
    • ‘Within seconds he'd anaesthetised my entire mouth and sucked on a few mouthfuls of nitrous oxide (to keep his hand steady he said).’
    • ‘Hesitantly, I sucked in the smoke drawn through the pipe, holding it in my lungs and feeling the warmth inside of me, before slowly letting it out.’
    • ‘Back outside, I sucked the air into my all-new mouth, and wondered how long I could delay my return appointment.’
    • ‘They all sucked in their breath at the same time.’
    • ‘As the cowboy turned in their direction, the ladies all sucked in their breath simultaneously.’
    • ‘By the time the last rows have done their scraping, the beak is completely closed, leaving the algae trimmings to be sucked in during the next chomp.’
    • ‘Each time I brought a heaped spoonful to his mouth, he would greedily suck it all in.’
    • ‘Pavel took a long draw on his cigarette, irritably sucking the smoke in.’
    • ‘My brow burned, and I sucked a deep breath, sending the oxygen to my muscles.’
    • ‘Instead I just sucked in my breath and smiled.’
    sip, sup, siphon, slurp, draw, drink, gulp, lap, guzzle, quaff, swill, swallow, imbibe
    draw, pull, breathe, gasp, sniff, gulp
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    1. 1.1Hold (something) in the mouth and draw at it by contracting the lip and cheek muscles.
      ‘she sucked a mint’
      [no object] ‘the child sucked on her thumb’
      • ‘I stuck my thumb into my mouth and started to suck it.’
      • ‘You don't want to be around when she sucks on a lozenge, let me tell you.’
      • ‘The videos show the fetus's fingers and toes, hair, muscles, facial features, and genitals and show it sucking a thumb or moving about.’
      • ‘Like all boys he immediately put his thumb into this mouth and sucked it.’
      • ‘He started sucking on his pacifier a lot, and he slept less.’
      • ‘If this is not possible, it must be sucked on for 30 minutes before throwing it away.’
      • ‘Nicky gave me a long hard stare and sucked on his cigarette.’
      • ‘If there is swelling, sucking on a Popsicle may help.’
      • ‘Sucking on a hard lozenge or chewing gum were shown to ease symptoms.’
      • ‘For the most part, they sat through the trial drawing, sucking their thumbs or crying.’
      • ‘He offered it to me, I made a face and said ‘no thanks’ and he popped it into his mouth and sucked it with the enthusiasm of a child sucking candy.’
      • ‘Factors as diverse as skeletal muscle pathology and sucking a digit (thumb or finger) can substantially influence the growth of the face and dentition.’
      • ‘Suck on one zinc lozenge every two hours while symptoms are in evidence.’
      • ‘He sucked on another cigarette, blowing the smoke out through his nose in little puffs.’
      • ‘She put her index finger back into her mouth and sucked it.’
      • ‘Lozenges should be sucked on and moved side to side until it is dissolved, just like hard candy or a cough drop.’
      • ‘I mean if she had a lollipop in her mouth and started sucking her teeth, I would have thought she was Glamour Girl Sue.’
      • ‘Tweed jackets, moleskins, wool board ties, pipes gently being sucked on, aromatic smoke rising over the grandstand.’
      • ‘You place them between your gum and cheek and suck them slowly.’
      • ‘He didn't respond, even when I moved my mouth to suck his ear.’
    2. 1.2Draw fluid from (something) into the mouth by suction.
      ‘she sucked each segment of the orange carefully’
      • ‘The lice are parasites and are sucking off essential fluids, while leaving a gaping wound prone to infection.’
      • ‘Thrips probe plant, fungus, and animal tissues with the slender mouthparts, and suck out fluid contents.’
      • ‘They are like vampires sucking the lifeblood out of the taxpayers.’
      • ‘I put the cut to my mouth, and sucked the blood from it until it wouldn't bleed any longer.’
      • ‘I realized that the vampire was sucking my blood out from my arm.’
      • ‘Supposedly they leap onto the backs of camels and suck out the blood.’
      • ‘‘Ow,’ I whispered, and tried to suck out the blood.’
    3. 1.3[with object and adverbial of direction]Draw in a specified direction by creating a vacuum.
      ‘he was sucked under the surface of the river’
      • ‘Huddled against each other were two gargantuan dragons, so large that a passing breath might have sucked all of my eight feet into the depths of a nostril.’
      • ‘The lead car displaces the air, creating a vacuum to suck the trailing car along.’
      • ‘All around her Caroline could see that even some of the smaller boats were being sucked under the water by the pressure created by the sinking ship.’
      • ‘Air can be sucked out of the container, creating a vacuum, while the baby's head remains outside the ventilator.’
      • ‘Before she had a chance to recover, the craft hit another rock and split apart, and Miri was sucked under the surface.’
      draw, pull
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    4. 1.4[no object](of a pump) make a gurgling sound as a result of drawing air instead of water.
  • 2[with object] Involve (someone) in something without their choosing.

    ‘I didn't want to be sucked into the role of dutiful daughter’
    • ‘I was trapped, and I was sucked into a way of life that I now realise was wrong.’
    • ‘Had I been sucked into a vacuous, unappreciative, homogenous culture that moved at breakneck speed?’
    • ‘Then professionalism came in a rush, and the next thing is you are sucked into it.’
    • ‘We were sucked into doing exactly what Celera has always done, which is to talk up the result and watch the reports come out saying that it's all done.’
    • ‘We need to go into the direction that we have identified, not into the direction that we are sucked into.’
    • ‘Blinded by the glittering of gold, a multitude of people are sucked into the maelstrom of seeking windfalls by whatever means within reach, legal or illegal.’
    • ‘Either way, many students are sucked into the workforce at entry-level posts, grumbling that they're overqualified and underpaid.’
    • ‘Framed for murder in Berlin, he is soon sucked into a battle with an unknown enemy that wants him dead.’
    • ‘Every year a lot of new people are sucked into the media occupations, while at the same time a lot of people leave.’
    • ‘Or maybe she was sucked into a maelstrom of organised crime, from which only he could extricate her.’
    • ‘Is he being sucked into the febrile world of bickering, backstabbing artists, or can he use the RA as a platform to improve the status of architecture in Britain?’
    • ‘I finished high school that June and once exams and graduation was complete, I was sucked into the wedding vortex.’
    • ‘As he tries to find out what happened, he is sucked into a world of gunmen and no-go garrisons, brutalities and betrayals.’
    • ‘He knows anyone can read his face like a book and hates the fact that he's always sucked into telling a secret.’
    implicate in, involve in, draw into
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  • 3North American informal [no object] Be very bad or unpleasant.

    ‘I love your country but your weather sucks’
    • ‘And as any itinerant surf junkie will tell you, nothing sucks worse than flying halfway around the world to find your favorite planks battered to hell.’
    • ‘Aggghhh, I hate alarm clocks and it sucks getting up half an hour early so you can get the shower first.’
    • ‘Sometimes it sucks being the responsible, predictable one.’
    • ‘But the fact that it sucks doesn't keep it from being real.’
    • ‘The timing sucks given this new venture but I spoke with Chloe and we agree it's better to go now than later.’
    • ‘Hit the grocery store - if the weather is going to suck, the food must rock.’
    • ‘The only thing that sucked was having to take turns with my brother and sister.’
    • ‘It sucks having to work a million hours during the summer.’
    • ‘It completely sucked having science as a first hour class, but did that room also have to be 10 degrees warmer than the rest of the school?’
    • ‘Put differently: text sucks, and legal text sucks more.’
    be very bad, be awful, be terrible, be dreadful, be horrible, be very unpleasant, be abhorrent, be despicable, be contemptible, be vile, be foul
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  • 1An act of sucking something.

    ‘the fish draws the bait into its mouth with a strong suck’
    • ‘Stormy's here with me; he just jumped up and had a brief suck of my ears, but I don't think they taste as good as Mandy's and he's wandered off again.’
    • ‘Men also have many sensitive nerve endings in their nipples and can become very excited by nipple kisses, sucks, and twirls.’
    • ‘You can tell a baby is swallowing by listening for a swallow sound after every one to four sucks.’
    1. 1.1The sound made by water retreating and drawing at something.
      ‘the soft suck of the sea against the sand’
      • ‘There are the expected childhood fears - the dark, deep water, barking dogs, thunderstorms, spiders, the suck of the emptying bath.’
      • ‘They wouldn't hear it on the beach, not over the hiss and roar and suck of the ocean, and not over their own talking, singing, shrieking.’


  • Used to express derision and defiance.

    ‘sucks to them!’
    • ‘Well, sucks to them! They can jolly well go without.’
    • ‘Her hostility, so irrational, and really so unnecessary, rather amused me. ‘Sucks to you,’ I muttered under my breath.’


  • give suck

    • archaic Give milk from the breast or teat; suckle.

      • ‘But woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck, in those days!’
      • ‘The children are tender, and the flocks and herds giving suck… For their sake, he must ‘journey on gently’ and meet up with his brother later in Seir.’
      • ‘The Virgin Mary gives suck to the infant Jesus both as his historical mother and as the metaphysical image of nourishing Mother Church.’
      • ‘Allah says in the Qur'an ‘The mothers shall give suck to their offspring for two whole years…’’
      • ‘But if you make difficulties for one another, then some other woman may give suck for him (the father of the child).’
  • suck someone dry

    • Exhaust someone's physical, material, or emotional resources.

      ‘the new company is sucking them dry of technical expertise’
      • ‘Of course, when your company is based upon the idea of your customers sucking you dry via a multi-level marketing scheme, there's nowhere to go but up.’
      • ‘Now the mortgage is finally paid off and he no longer has any children sucking him dry for allowance, tuition and other costly fees.’
      • ‘The empty state coffers, both literally and figuratively, combined with the raised public expectations, reveal how much Georgia has been sucked dry by state bribery and gangland criminality.’
      • ‘The government, the university and the corporations involved must work very hard to put people with little money into a significant and glorious debt and suck them dry for 10 years ensuing.’
      • ‘She left my apartment and as soon as she was out the door, so was I. I walked across Bleeker and down West 4th to the square and I passed some of the NYU buildings that sucked me dry of my humanity.’
      • ‘They are all destitute, since the corporation has already sucked them dry.’
      • ‘I kicked my girlfriend out of my apartment at college because since we moved in together she has been sucking me dry of money.’
      • ‘No problem, Bob: the ruling classes are sucking us dry, and the sooner the workers wrest the means of production from them and reclaim their dignity, the better.’
      • ‘So what keeps me here on Long Island, in a place where I can barely afford to live, where the house we bought one year ago this week cost nearly half a million dollars and sucks us dry with property and school taxes?’
      • ‘They've ripped out our hearts and sucked us dry financially.’
      drain, exhaust, sap, deplete, deprive, milk, bleed, fleece, empty, reduce, squeeze
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  • suck it and see

    • informal Used to suggest that the only way to know if something will work or be suitable is to try it.

      ‘for other baits, and for different waters, it is a case of suck it and see’
      • ‘I hadn't quite known what to do in preparation, so I'd just chosen a few bits I liked to read out and then thought I would suck it and see (so to speak).’
      • ‘It would be fantastic if the opportunity arose but, as the saying goes, we will have to suck it and see.’
      • ‘We'll just have to suck it and see, as your species says.’
      • ‘It is a case of ‘Let's suck it and see if it works, then pass the legislation.’’
      • ‘Cllr Welch said splitting the events was a case of suck it and see and admitted she was tired of people constantly running down the efforts of committed volunteers.’
      • ‘No serious economist says they can possibly predict it: suck it and see, they say.’
      • ‘It's a case of suck it and see at the moment until bigger trials are carried out.’
      • ‘I can recall, on going to the Privileges Committee and asking it to defend my rights, being told to suck it and see.’
      • ‘We have no reliable predictive tests for opioid efficacy other than suck it and see.’
      • ‘I suppose I should just suck it and see, if that's what happens…’
  • suck it up

    • informal Accept something unpleasant or difficult.

      • ‘I think I might just need to suck it up and pay the extra!’
      • ‘So please, don't hate winter - winter doesn't hate you; it just thinks that you should suck it up and put on a sweater.’
      • ‘They should suck it up and accept the will of the people.’
      • ‘He still has to suck it up as he has been sucking it up all his life.’
      • ‘Superstar artists are going to have to suck it up and deal with accepting less as well because their contracts are driving the outrageous prices.’
      • ‘The Japanese, for example, speak of ‘gaman,’ which roughly means to suck it up when things are tough.’
      • ‘Hanson tells us to suck it up and muddle through, and he is right.’
      • ‘Maybe if I just suck it up and wait it out it will get better.’
      • ‘I sucked it up, however, complimented her on her gown, and wished her and her friends a fun evening.’
      • ‘I sucked it up and did what I said I would do for donations.’

Phrasal Verbs

  • suck someone in

    • Cheat or deceive someone.

      ‘we were sucked in by his charm and good looks’
      • ‘‘When I was a high school student, they sucked me in,’ said Quinn, who had an anti-war stance at that time.’
      • ‘And take no notice when Capitalist hooligans continue reaping the profits of your labour for their own affluent ends; sucking you in like’
      • ‘But what's the secret to sucking you in to see a movie?’
      • ‘Did I stumble onto some airline cult, sucking me in with low, low fares and a direct flight to Boston?’
      • ‘It's hard to know whether the reporters actually think the Republican candidate is an interesting and new kind of candidate or whether in fact he's, you know, somehow sucked us in just by virtue of the unfettered access.’
  • suck someone off

    • Perform fellatio on someone.

  • suck up

    • Behave obsequiously, especially for one's own advantage.

      ‘he has risen to where he is mainly by sucking up to the president’
      • ‘Because, as everyone knows, celebrities are for sucking up to only.’
      • ‘Every waiter and waitress sucks up as much as humanly possible, assuming that that's the way to earn a nice gratuity.’
      • ‘He was just sucking up to the hippie establishment, trying to be cool.’
      • ‘He sucks up to the fat cats; they wrinkle their noses and hand him the check using a pair of tongs.’
      • ‘They're just sucking up to their own bosses, their own lusts.’
      • ‘There is no time for jealousy: you have much sucking up to do.’
      • ‘After about a minute of sucking up and butterfly kisses, he gave in.’
      • ‘She has discovered that the Right pays a hell of a lot better than the Left, and is promoting her own fortunes as fast as she can by sucking up.’
      • ‘In a grand gesture of sucking up, I offered them my lunch to pillage.’
      • ‘Later on, Bobby sucks up to Izzy and tells her he has a big opportunity and wants her advice.’
      grovel, creep, toady, be obsequious, be servile, be sycophantic, kowtow, bow and scrape, play up, truckle
      fawn on, curry favour with, dance attendance on
      bootlick, lick someone's boots, be all over, fall all over, butter up, rub up the right way, keep sweet
      kiss someone's arse, lick someone's arse
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Old English sūcan (verb), from an Indo-European imitative root; related to soak.