pick-off

[ pik-awf, -of ]
/ ˈpɪkˌɔf, -ˌɒf /

noun

Baseball. a play in which a base runner, caught off base, is tagged out by an infielder on a quick throw, usually from the pitcher or catcher.
Electronics. a mechanism that senses mechanical motion and produces a corresponding electric signal.

Nearby words

  1. pick up the pieces,
  2. pick's atrophy,
  3. pick-and-roll,
  4. pick-and-shovel,
  5. pick-me-up,
  6. pick-up,
  7. pick-up stick,
  8. pickaback,
  9. pickaback plane,
  10. pickaback plant

Origin of pick-off

First recorded in 1935–40; noun use of verb phrase pick off

Origin of pick

1
1250–1300; v. Middle English pyken, pikken, pekken, cognate with Dutch pikken, German picken, Old Norse pikka to pick; akin to peck2, pike5; (noun) derivative of the v.

Related formspick·a·ble, adjectiveun·pick·a·ble, adjective

Synonym study

1. See choose.

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019


British Dictionary definitions for pick off

pick off

verb

(tr, adverb) to aim at and shoot one by one

pick

1
/ (pɪk) /

verb

noun


Derived Formspickable, adjective

Word Origin for pick

C15: from earlier piken to pick, influenced by French piquer to pierce; compare Middle Low German picken, Dutch pikken

pick

2
/ (pɪk) /

noun

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
a plectrum

verb

(tr) to pierce, dig, or break up (a hard surface) with a pick
(tr) to form (a hole) in this way

Word Origin for pick

C14: perhaps variant of pike ²

pick

3
/ (in weaving pɪk) /

verb

(tr) to cast (a shuttle)

noun

one casting of a shuttle
a weft or filling thread

Word Origin for pick

C14: variant of pitch 1

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

Word Origin and History for pick off
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with pick off

pick off

Shoot after singling out, as in The hunter picked off the ducks one by one. [Early 1800s]

pick

In addition to the idioms beginning with pick

  • pick a bone with
  • pick and choose
  • pick apart
  • pick a quarrel
  • pick at
  • picked over
  • pick holes in
  • pick off
  • pick of the litter
  • pick on
  • pick one's way
  • pick out
  • pick over
  • pick someone's brain
  • pick to pieces
  • pick up
  • pick up on
  • pick up the pieces

also see:

  • bone to pick
  • slim pickings
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.