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WordReference Random House Learner's Dictionary of American English © 2016
pick1 /pɪk/USA pronunciation   v. [+ object]
  1. to choose or select, esp. with care:She picked the best detective on the force to head the investigation.
  2. to seek occasion for;
    provoke:to pick a fight.
  3. to attempt to find;
    seek out:trying to pick flaws in his argument.
  4. to steal the contents of:to pick a pocket.
  5. to open (a lock) with a device other than a key, esp. for the purpose of burglary:The spy managed to pick the lock and get into her house.
  6. to pierce or break up (something) with a pointed instrument:to pick iron ore.
  7. to use a pointed instrument on (a thing), to remove particles or something stuck:After dinner he grabbed a toothpick and began to pick his teeth.
  8. to prepare for use by removing a covering, as feathers:to pick a fowl.
  9. to detach or remove piece by piece with the fingers:to pick meat from the bones.
  10. to pull out and gather one by one:to pick flowers.
  11. Music and Dance
    • to pluck (the strings of a musical instrument):She picked the strings softly at first.
    • to play (a stringed instrument) by plucking with the fingers:strumming and picking his guitar.
  12. pick apart, to criticize severely or in great detail: [+ apart + object]picked apart his arguments one by one.[+ object + apart]picked most of his arguments apart.
  13. pick at, [+ at + object]
    • to find fault with;
      nag:He kept picking at her until she exploded.
    • to eat only a small amount:For days she only picked at her meals.
    • to grasp at;
      touch;
      handle:a nervous habit of picking at his jacket sleeve.
  14. pick off: 
    • to remove by pulling or plucking off: [+ off + object]She picked off the feathers from the chicken.[+ object + off]She picked the feathers off the chicken.
    • to single out and shoot: [+ off + object]picked off a duck rising from the marsh.[+ object + off]With this rifle an assassin could pick you off at a thousand yards.
    • [Baseball.]to put out (a base runner) in a pick-off play: [+ off + object]picked off three players in one game.[+ object + off]picked me off twice in one game.
  15. pick on, [+ on + object]
    • to tease;
      bother greatly;
      harass:The other kids picked on her because she was poor.
    • to single out;
      choose:The teacher tended to pick on her often because she came to class prepared.
  16. pick out: 
    • to choose;
      select: [+ out + object]Pick out the best tomatoes.[+ object + out]She picked the best tomatoes out and left the rest.
    • to distinguish (something) from that which surrounds: [+ out + object]to pick out her face in a crowd.[+ object + out]Can you pick that criminal's face out from among these photos?
    • to work out (a melody) note by note;
      play by ear: [+ out + object]idly picking out a tune.[+ object + out]She picked a tune out on the piano.
  17. pick up: 
    • to lift or take up: [+ up + object]to pick up a stone.[+ object + up]He picked the stone up.
    • to gather or collect, esp. systematically: [+ up + object]Please pick up the pieces.[+ object + up]Pick the pieces up.
    • [+ up + object] to gain or acquire:picked up nine yards on the play.
    • to obtain or learn casually or as a result of occasional opportunity: [+ up + object]I've picked up a few Japanese phrases.[+ object + up]I was able to pick English up fairly quickly.
    • to take on (casually) as a passenger: [+ up + object]They picked up some guy hitchhiking on Interstate 40.[+ object + up]They picked some guy up on Interstate 40.
    • to arrange to collect (something), or to meet and collect (someone) as a passenger, etc.: [+ up + object]Please pick up some milk on the way home.[+ object + up]We'll pick you up at eight o'clock.
    • to bring into the range of one's ability to receive (as on a radio), or observe, detect, etc.: [+ up + object]to pick up Toronto on the radio.[+ object + up]Their sonar could pick the Russian sub up.
    • [+ up + object] to accelerate;
      gain (speed):The car picked up speed.
    • [+ up + object] to catch or contract, as a disease:picked up a cold.
    • to (cause to) make progress, improve, or recover: [no object]Business is picking up.[+ object + up]This should pick you up: good news at last about the economy![+ up + object]The news of the invasion picked up the morale of the prisoners.
    • to become acquainted with informally or casually, often in hope of a sexual relationship: [+ up + object]They were cruising at the bars, hoping to pick up some men.[+ object + up]Let's try to pick those girls up.
    • to resume or continue after being left off: [+ up + object]Let's pick up the discussion at our next meeting.[+ object + up]Can we pick this up at our next meeting?
    • to take to jail;
      arrest: [+ up + object]The police picked up the suspect the next day.[+ object + up]The police picked the suspect up the day after the murder.
    • [+ up + object] to accept, as in order to pay:As we rose to leave, he picked up the check, saying, "I'll pay this time.''
  18. pick up on, [+ up on + object][Informal.]to become aware of;
    notice:I picked up on his hostility right away.

n. 
  1. the act of selecting;
    choice:[uncountable]Take your pick.
  2. a person or thing selected:[countable]Two of the team's first draft picks would not sign with them.
  3. the best, choicest, or most desirable part or example:[uncountable]This horse is the pick of the stable.
Idioms
  1. Idiomspick and choose, [no object] to be careful or particular in choosing:You won't have time to pick and choose; just grab what looks good.

pick•er, n. [countable]

pick2 /pɪk/USA pronunciation   n. [countable]
  1. Buildinga heavy tool made of a metal head, usually curved, coming to a point at one or both ends, mounted on a wooden handle, and used for breaking up soil, rock, etc.
  2. Buildingany pointed tool or instrument for picking:an ice pick.
  3. Music and Danceplectrum.

WordReference Random House Unabridged Dictionary of American English © 2016
pick1  (pik),USA pronunciation v.t. 
  1. to choose or select from among a group:to pick a contestant from the audience.
  2. to seek and find occasion for;
    provoke:to pick a fight.
  3. to attempt to find;
    seek out:to pick flaws in an argument.
  4. to steal the contents of:Her pocket was picked yesterday.
  5. to open (a lock) with a device other than the key, as a sharp instrument or wire, esp. for the purpose of burglary.
  6. to pierce, indent, dig into, or break up (something) with a pointed instrument:to pick rock; to pick ore.
  7. to form (a hole) by such action:to pick a hole in asphalt.
  8. 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.
  9. to prepare for use by removing a covering piece by piece, as feathers, hulls, or other parts:to pick a fowl.
  10. to detach or remove piece by piece with the fingers:She picked the meat from the bones.
  11. to pluck or gather one by one:to pick flowers.
  12. Animal Behavior(of birds or other animals) to take up (small bits of food) with the bill or teeth.
  13. to eat daintily or in small morsels.
  14. to separate, pull apart, or pull to pieces:to pick fibers.
  15. Music and Dance
    • to pluck (the strings of an instrument).
    • to play (a stringed instrument) by plucking with the fingers.

v.i. 
  1. to strike with or use a pick or other pointed instrument on something.
  2. Animal Behavior(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.
  3. to select carefully or fastidiously.
  4. to pilfer;
    steal.
  5. to pluck or gather fruit, flowers, etc.
  6. Sport[Basketball.]to execute a pick.
  7. Idiomspick 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.
  8. Idiomspick apart, to criticize severely or in great detail:They picked her apart the moment she left the room.
  9. pick at: 
    • 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.
  10. Idiomspick it up, [Informal.]to move, work, etc., at a faster rate.
  11. pick off: 
    • 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.
  12. pick on: 
    • [Informal.]to criticize or blame;
      tease;
      harass.
    • to single out;
      choose:The professor always picks on me to translate long passages.
  13. Idiomspick one's way or  steps, to walk with care and deliberation:She picked her way across the muddy field.
  14. pick out: 
    • 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.
  15. 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.
  16. Idiomspick someone's brains. See  brain (def.10).
  17. pick up: 
    • to lift or take up:to pick up a stone.
    • to collect, esp. 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.
  18. pick up on, [Informal.]
    • 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.

n. 
  1. the act of choosing or selecting;
    choice;
    selection:to take one's pick.
  2. a person or thing that is selected:He is our pick for president.
  3. the choicest or most desirable part, example, or examples:This horse is the pick of the stable.
  4. the right of selection:He gave me my pick of the litter.
  5. Agriculturethe quantity of a crop picked, as from trees, bushes, etc., at a particular time:The pick was poor this season.
  6. [Print.]
    • 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.
  7. a stroke with something pointed:The rock shattered at the first pick of the ax.
  8. Sport[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.
picka•ble, adj. 
  • 1250–1300; verb, verbal Middle English pyken, pikken, pekken, cognate with Dutch pikken, German picken, Old Norse pikka to pick; akin to peck2, pike5; (noun, nominal) derivative of the verb, verbal
    • 1.See corresponding entry in Unabridged See  choose. 
    • 4.See corresponding entry in Unabridged rob, pilfer.
    • 12.See corresponding entry in Unabridged reap, collect.

pick2  (pik),USA pronunciation n. 
  1. Buildinga heavy tool consisting of an iron or steel head, usually curved, tapering to a point at one or both ends, mounted on a wooden handle, and used for loosening and breaking up soil, rock, etc.;
    pickax.
  2. Buildinga hammerlike tool for the rough dressing of stone, having two sharp, pyramidal faces.
  3. Buildingany pointed or other tool or instrument for picking (often used in combination):a toothpick; an ice pick.
  4. Music and Danceplectrum.
  5. Slang Termsa large pocket comb having long, widely spaced teeth.
  • 1300–50; Middle English pikk(e); perh. variant of pike5

pick3  (pik),USA pronunciation [Textiles.]
v.t. 
  1. Textilesto cast (a shuttle).

n. 
  1. Textiles(in a loom) one passage of the shuttle.
  2. Textilesfilling (def. 5).
  • variant of pitch1


Collins Concise English Dictionary © HarperCollins Publishers::

pick out vb (tr, adverb)
  1. to select for use or special consideration, illustration, etc, as from a group
  2. to distinguish (an object from its surroundings), as in painting: she picked out the woodwork in white
  3. to perceive or recognize (a person or thing previously obscured): we picked out his face among the crowd
  4. to distinguish (sense or meaning) from or as if from a mass of detail or complication
  5. to play (a tune) tentatively, by or as if by ear



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