I'm making a game in which the player can either push or drag certain objects, like crates.

In my code I usually refer to both of these actions as "moving" whenever I don't want to specify which one I'm talking about (for instance, if I need to write a function that checks whether an object is being pulled or dragged I'll call it is_object_being_moved).

There are, however, other reasons why an object might move other than the player pushing or dragging them, so I'd like to substitute all those instances of "move" for something more specific.

I thought about "lug", but it means "dragging or carrying" rather than "dragging or pushing". "Displace" or "transport" are still too general. "Budge" is more of a one-time burst of movement.

So can any of you think of a word that means both "to push" and "to drag"?

  • 2
    The dog pushed or dragged the pillow around the room: moved. I don't think there is anything else.
    – Lambie
    Feb 15, 2022 at 18:49
  • 1
    Seems you may be after the old “pull ‘n push”.
    – David
    Feb 15, 2022 at 20:04
  • 2
    How about “to slide”: is _object_being_slid() The dog slid the pillow around the room.
    – Jim
    Feb 15, 2022 at 22:16
  • Questions about what to call functions are off-topic. But it seems some nice people have provided answers anyway.
    – Stuart F
    Feb 16, 2022 at 10:10
  • @Jim, I really like slide, I'll probably end up using that one. Thanks!
    – carllacan
    Feb 20, 2022 at 19:27

1 Answer 1


Here are seven possibilities:

shift, move, force, urge, propel, drive, impel

Dictionary definitions are trivial to find online or elsewhere. For examples:

Merriam Webster

Shift: to move or to cause (something or someone) to move to a different place, position, etc
Move: to change the place or position of
Urge: to force or impel in an indicated direction or into motion or greater speed
Drive: to impart a forward motion to by physical force
Propel: to drive forward or onward by or as if by means of a force that imparts motion
Force: to press, drive, pass, or effect against resistance or inertia
Impel: to urge or drive forward

Note that the force acting on something to move it may be imparted by a push or a pull; the effect on motion is the same

  • Drive might have a slight push-bias but in my mind best reflects @carllacan's request. Shift seems too passive?/shorter displacement, urge, impel, and force is less strictly about displacement
    – Unrelated
    Feb 15, 2022 at 22:46
  • 1
    Are these terms you would use? "The object is being driven." "Look at the player impel the object." I wouldn't (except shift and move).
    – Laurel
    Feb 15, 2022 at 23:11
  • Shift if used transitively seems active enough: "He shifted the rock". It can be used intransitively "the rock shifted" which doesn't imply someone moving it. So it might depend on details of context.
    – Stuart F
    Feb 17, 2022 at 0:01

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