cherry picker

or cherry-picker, cher·ry·pick·er

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a moveable boom, having a bucketlike attachment at its top that is large enough to carry a worker: used for repairing telephone lines, pruning trees, etc.
a vehicle equipped with such a boom.
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Origin of cherry picker

First recorded in 1860–65
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2022


What does cherry-picker mean?

A cherry picker is a kind of crane with a bucket or platform that can hold a person, especially one mounted on a truck (often called a bucket truck). Cherry pickers can be used to lift someone up to heights that can’t be reached by most ladders, such as to trim trees or fix power lines.

In sports like basketball and soccer (football), cherry picker means something different. It’s an informal term used to refer to a player who positions themself away from the main action and most defenders, near the basket or goal, in hopes of being passed the ball and being able to score easily. To do this is to cherry-pick.

The verb cherry-pick has several other meanings. Most commonly, it means to choose very carefully. It especially means to select the best of what’s available or being offered. The word sometimes implies that doing so is solely for one’s benefit or gain, or to gain an advantage over others.

In the context of research and data, cherry-pick is used in a more specific way meaning to selectively choose and present information that supports an existing point of view or hypothesis. This kind of cherry-picking is often unethical.

The term cherry picker can refer to anyone who cherry-picks in any of the senses of the word.

Cherry picker is sometimes spelled with a hyphen, as cherry-picker, or as one one, cherrypicker.

Example: They have a guy up in a cherry picker trimming branches.

Where does cherry picker come from?

The first records of cherry picker in a nonliteral sense come from around the middle of the 1900s.

Someone literally picking cherries would only select the best ones, and a person who’s a cherry picker in the common figurative sense of the word is trying to do the same thing: select the best stuff from what’s available. In the context of sports, research, and data, being a cherry picker is often seen as unfair, unethical, or as downright cheating.

When it refers to a kind of crane, a cherry picker can also be called a boom. If it’s attached to a truck and has a bucket at the end of the arm, the truck is often called a bucket truck.

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What are some other forms related to cherry picker?

  • cherry-picker (alternate spelling)
  • cherrypicker (alternate spelling)
  • cherry-pick (verb)

What are some words that share a root or word element with cherry picker



What are some words that often get used in discussing cherry picker?

How is cherry picker used in real life?

Cherry picker is also commonly spelled cherry-picker and cherrypicker. In the context of sports, cherry picker is informal and is often used in a mildly negative way.



Try using cherry picker!

Is cherry picker used correctly in the following sentence?

Don’t be a cherry picker—go to the ball!

How to use cherry picker in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for cherry picker

cherry picker

a hydraulic crane, esp one mounted on a lorry, that has an elbow joint or telescopic arm supporting a basket-like platform enabling a person to service high power lines or to carry out similar operations above the ground
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012