A pulley is a basic device or machine made of a wheel with a rim that a cord or rope fits around. The wheel and axle of a pulley make it easier to lift heavy objects with the rope.

Ships and sailboats use pulleys — though they're often called drums — to make raising the sails less difficult. Flagpoles also have pulleys for raising and lowering the flag, many garage doors work by a pulley system, and loading docks and constructions sites use pulleys for lifting heavy things. Pulley comes from the Old French polie, with a Greek root of polidion, or "little pivot."

Definitions of pulley
  1. noun
    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
    synonyms: block, pulley block, pulley-block
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    bollock, bullock block
    a pulley-block at the head of a topmast
    a pulley-block used to guide a rope forming part of a ship's rigging to avoid chafing
    idle pulley, idle wheel, idler pulley
    a pulley on a shaft that presses against a guide belt to guide or tighten it
    snatch block
    a pulley-block that can be opened to receive the bight of a rope
    type of:
    machine, simple machine
    a device for overcoming resistance at one point by applying force at some other point
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