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.

Origin of pick-off

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

Definition for pick off (2 of 2)

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 forms

pick·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 (1 of 4)

pick off


verb

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

British Dictionary definitions for pick off (2 of 4)

pick

1
/ (pɪk) /

verb

noun

Derived Forms

pickable, adjective

Word Origin for pick

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

British Dictionary definitions for pick off (3 of 4)

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

British Dictionary definitions for pick off (4 of 4)

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

Idioms and Phrases with pick off (1 of 2)

pick off


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

Idioms and Phrases with pick off (2 of 2)

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.