verb (used with object)
- to pluck (the strings of an instrument).
- to play (a stringed instrument) by plucking with the fingers.
verb (used without object)
- a speck of dirt, hardened ink, or extra metal on set type or a plate.
- a small area removed from the surface of a coated paper by ink that adheres to the form.
- to find fault with unnecessarily or persistently; nag.
- to eat sparingly or daintily: As he was ill, he only picked at his food.
- to grasp at; touch; handle: The baby loved to pick at her mother's glasses.
- to remove by pulling or plucking off.
- to single out and shoot: The hunter picked off a duck rising from the marsh.
- Baseball. to put out (a base runner) in a pick-off play.
- Informal. to criticize or blame; tease; harass.
- to single out; choose: The professor always picks on me to translate long passages.
- to choose; designate: to pick out one's successor.
- to distinguish from that which surrounds or accompanies; recognize: to pick out a well-known face in a crowd.
- to discern (sense or meaning); discriminate.
- to play (a melody) by ear; work out note by note.
- to extract by picking.
- to lift or take up: to pick up a stone.
- to collect, especially in an orderly manner: Pick up the tools when you're finished.
- to recover (one's courage, health, etc.); regain.
- to gain by occasional opportunity; obtain casually: to pick up a livelihood.
- to learn, as by experience: I've picked up a few Japanese phrases.
- to claim: to pick up one's bags at an airport.
- to take (a person or thing) into a car or ship, etc., or along with one.
- to bring into range of reception, observation, etc.: to pick up Rome on one's radio.
- to accelerate; gain (speed).
- to put in good order; tidy: to pick up a room.
- to make progress; improve: Business is beginning to pick up.
- to catch or contract, as a disease.
- Informal. to become acquainted with informally or casually, often in hope of a sexual relationship: Let's pick up some dates tonight.
- to resume or continue after being left off: Let's pick up the discussion in our next meeting.
- Informal. to take into custody; arrest: They picked him up for vagrancy.
- Informal. to obtain; find; purchase: She picked up some nice shoes on sale.
- Slang. to steal: to pick up jewels and silver.
- to accept, as in order to pay: to pick up the check.
- become aware or cognizant of; be perceptive about; notice: to pick up on the hostess's hostility.
- to pay special attention to; keep an eye on: to pick up on a troubled student.
Words nearby pick
Idioms for pick
Origin of pick1
OTHER WORDS FROM pickpick·a·ble, adjectiveun·pick·a·ble, adjective
synonym study for pick
British Dictionary definitions for pick up (1 of 3)
Derived forms of pickpickable, adjective
Word Origin for pick
British Dictionary definitions for pick up (2 of 3)
Word Origin for pick
British Dictionary definitions for pick up (3 of 3)
Word Origin for pick
Idioms and Phrases with pick up (1 of 2)
Lift, take up by hand, as in Please pick up that book from the floor. [Early 1300s]
Collect or gather, as in First they had to pick up the pieces of broken glass.
Tidy, put in order, as in Let's pick up the bedroom, or I'm always picking up after Pat. [Mid-1800s]
Take on passengers or freight, as in The bus picks up commuters at three stops.
Acquire casually, get without great effort or by accident. For example, I picked up a nice coat at the sale, or She had no trouble picking up French. This usage is even extended to contracting diseases, as in I think I picked up the baby's cold. [Early 1500s]
Claim, as in He picked up his laundry every Friday.
Buy, as in Please pick up some wine at the store on your way home.
pick up the bill or check or tab. Accept a charge in order to pay it, as in They always wait for us to pick up the tab. [Colloquial; mid-1900s]
Increase speed or rate, as in The plane picked up speed, or The conductor told the strings to pick up the tempo.
Gain, as in They picked up five yards on that pass play.
Take into custody, apprehend, as in The police picked him up for burglary. [Colloquial; second half of 1800s]
Make a casual acquaintance with, especially in anticipation of sexual relations, as in A stranger tried to pick her up at the bus station. [Slang; late 1800s]
Come upon, find, detect, as in The dog picked up the scent, or They picked up two submarines on sonar, or I can't pick up that station on the car radio.
Resume, as in Let's pick up the conversation after lunch.
Improve or cause to improve in condition or activity, as in Sales picked up last fall, or He picked up quickly after he got home from the hospital, or A cup of coffee will pick you up. [1700s]
Gather one's belongings, as in She just picked up and left him.
pick oneself up. Recover from a fall or other mishap, as in Jim picked himself up and stood there waiting. [Mid-1800s] Also see the subsequent entries beginning with pick up.
Idioms and Phrases with pick up (2 of 2)
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
- bone to pick
- slim pickings