a sudden abrupt pull
- "The prisoner tugged at the chains"
- "This movie tugs at the heart strings"
tow (a vessel) with a tug
- "The tugboat tugged the freighter into the harbor"
move by pulling hard: "The horse finally tugged the cart out of the mud"
pull or strain hard at
- "Each oar was tugged by several men"
struggle in opposition
- "She tugged and wrestled with her conflicts"