verb (used with object)
to choose or select from among a group:
to pick a contestant from the audience.
to seek and find occasion for; provoke:
to pick a fight.
to attempt to find; seek out:
to pick flaws in an argument.
to steal the contents of:
Her pocket was picked yesterday.
to open (a lock) with a device other than the key, as a sharp instrument or wire, especially for the purpose of burglary.
to pierce, indent, dig into, or break up (something) with a pointed instrument:
to pick rock; to pick ore.
to form (a hole) by such action:
to pick a hole in asphalt.
to use a pointed instrument, the fingers, the teeth, the beak, etc., on (a thing), in order to remove or loosen something, as a small part or adhering matter:
to pick one’s teeth.
to prepare for use by removing a covering piece by piece, as feathers, hulls, or other parts:
to pick a fowl.
to detach or remove piece by piece with the fingers:
She picked the meat from the bones.
to pluck or gather one by one:
to pick flowers.
(of birds or other animals) to take up (small bits of food) with the bill or teeth.
to eat daintily or in small morsels.
to separate, pull apart, or pull to pieces:
to pick fibers.
verb (used without object)
to strike with or use a pick or other pointed instrument on something.
(of birds or other animals) to take up small bits of food with the bill or teeth:
The hens were busily picking about in their coop.
to select carefully or fastidiously.
to pilfer; steal.
to pluck or gather fruit, flowers, etc.
Basketball. to execute a pick.
the act of choosing or selecting; choice; selection:
to take one’s pick.
a person or thing that is selected:
He is our pick for president.
the choicest or most desirable part, example, or examples:
This horse is the pick of the stable.
the right of selection:
He gave me my pick of the litter.
the quantity of a crop picked, as from trees, bushes, etc., at a particular time:
The pick was poor this season.
a stroke with something pointed:
The rock shattered at the first pick of the ax.
Basketball. an offensive maneuver in which a player moves into a position between a defender and a teammate with the ball so as to prevent the defender from interfering with the shot.
pick over, to examine (an assortment of items) in order to make a selection:
Eager shoppers were picking over the shirts on the bargain tables.
pick up on, Informal.
pick and choose, to be very careful or particular in choosing:
With such a limited supply of fresh fruit, you won’t be able to pick and choose.
pick apart, to criticize severely or in great detail:
They picked her apart the moment she left the room.
pick it up, Informal. to move, work, etc., at a faster rate.
pick one’s way / steps, to walk with care and deliberation:
She picked her way across the muddy field.
pick someone’s brains. (def 12).
Also called pick-up arm, tone arm. the light balanced arm of a record player that carries the wires from the cartridge to the preamplifier
an electromagnetic transducer that converts the vibrations of the steel strings of an electric guitar or other amplified instrument into electric signals
another name for cartridge (sense 3)
Also called pick-up truck. a small truck with an open body and low sides, used for light deliveries
(informal, mainly US) an ability to accelerate rapidly: this car has good pick-up
(informal) a casual acquaintance, usually one made with sexual intentions
(slang) a free ride in a motor vehicle
(informal) an improvement
(slang) a pick-me-up
(US & Canadian) organized, arranged, or assembled hastily and without planning: a pick-up band, pick-up games
(transitive) to gather up in the hand or hands
(transitive) to acquire, obtain, or purchase casually, incidentally, etc
(transitive) to catch (a disease): she picked up a bad cold during the weekend
(intransitive) to improve in health, condition, activity, etc: the market began to pick up
(reflexive) to raise (oneself) after a fall or setback
(transitive) to notice or sense: she picked up a change in his attitude
to resume where one left off; return to: we’ll pick up after lunch, they picked up the discussion
(transitive) to learn gradually or as one goes along
(transitive) to take responsibility for paying (a bill): he picked up the bill for dinner
(transitive) (informal) to reprimand: he picked her up on her table manners
(transitive) to collect or give a lift to (passengers, hitchhikers, goods, etc)
(transitive) (informal) to become acquainted with, esp with a view to having sexual relations
(transitive) (informal) to arrest
to increase (speed): the cars picked up down the straight
(transitive) to receive (electrical signals, a radio signal, sounds, etc), as for transmission or amplification
pick up the pieces, to restore a situation to normality after a crisis or collapse
to choose (something) deliberately or carefully, from or as if from a group or number; select
to pluck or gather (fruit, berries, or crops) from (a tree, bush, field, etc): to pick hops, to pick a whole bush
(transitive) to clean or prepare (fruit, poultry, etc) by removing the indigestible parts
(transitive) to remove loose particles from (the teeth, the nose, etc)
(esp of birds) to nibble or gather (corn, etc)
when intr, foll by at. to nibble (at) fussily or without appetite
to separate (strands, fibres, etc), as in weaving
(transitive) to provoke (an argument, fight, etc) deliberately
(transitive) to steal (money or valuables) from (a person’s pocket)
(transitive) to open (a lock) with an instrument other than a key
to pluck the strings of (a guitar, banjo, etc)
(transitive) to make (one’s way) carefully on foot: they picked their way through the rubble
pick and choose, to select fastidiously, fussily, etc
pick someone’s brains, to obtain information or ideas from someone
freedom or right of selection (esp in the phrase take one’s pick)
a person, thing, etc, that is chosen first or preferred: the pick of the bunch
the act of picking
the amount of a crop picked at one period or from one area
(printing) a speck of dirt or paper fibre or a blob of ink on the surface of set type or a printing plate
a tool with a handle carrying a long steel head curved and tapering to a point at one or both ends, used for loosening soil, breaking rocks, etc
any of various tools used for picking, such as an ice pick or toothpick
(transitive) to pierce, dig, or break up (a hard surface) with a pick
(transitive) to form (a hole) in this way
/in weaving pɪk/
(transitive) to cast (a shuttle)
one casting of a shuttle
a weft or filling thread
early 13c., picken “to peck;” c.1300, piken “to work with a pick,” probably representing a fusion of Old English *pician “to prick,” (implied by picung “a piercing, pricking,” an 8c. gloss on Latin stigmata) with Old Norse pikka “to prick, peck,” from a common Germanic root (cf. Middle Dutch picken, German picken “to pick, peck”), perhaps imitative. Influence from Middle French piquer “to prick, sting” (see pike (n.2)) also is possible, but that French word generally is not considered a source of the English word. Related: Picked; picking.
Meaning “to eat with small bites” is from 1580s. The meaning “to choose, select, pick out” emerged late 14c., from earlier meaning “to pluck with the fingers” (early 14c.). Sense of “to rob, plunder” (c.1300) weakened to a milder sense of “steal petty things” by late 14c. Of forcing locks with a pointed tool, by 1540s. Meaning “to pluck (a banjo)” is recorded from 1860. To pick a quarrel, etc. is from mid-15c.; to pick at “find fault with” is from 1670s. Pick on “single out for adverse attention” is from late 14c.; pick off “shoot one by one” is recorded from 1810; baseball sense of “to put out a runner on base” is from 1939. Also cf. pick up. To pick and choose “select carefully” is from 1660s (choose and pick is attested from c.1400).
c.1200, “pointed tool for breaking up rock or ground,” variant of pike (n.4). Meaning “sharp tool” is from mid-14c.
mid-15c., “a blow with a pointed instrument,” from pick (v.). Meaning “plectrum for a guitar, lute, etc.” is from 1895; as a type of basketball block, from 1951; meaning “choicest part or example” is first recorded 1760.
noun 1. .
noun 1. (def 3).
- Pick up on something
- Pick-up stick
[pik-uhp] /ˈpɪkˌʌp/ noun 1. one of a group of sticks used in the game of . 2. pick-up sticks [pik-uhp-stiks] /ˈpɪkˌʌpˌstɪks/ (Show IPA). (used with a singular verb) the game of .