v. & n.
1 (also absol.) choose carefully from a number of alternatives (picked the pink one; picked a team; picked the right moment to intervene).
2 detach or pluck (a flower, fruit, etc.) from a stem, tree, etc.
3 a probe (the teeth, nose, ears, a pimple, etc.) with the finger, an instrument, etc. to remove unwanted matter. b clear (a bone, carcass, etc.) of scraps of meat etc.
4 (also absol.) (of a person) eat (food, a meal, etc.) in small bits; nibble without appetite.
5 (also absol.) esp. US pluck the strings of (a banjo etc.).
6 remove stalks etc. from (esp. soft fruit) before cooking.
7 a select (a route or path) carefully over difficult terrain by foot. b place (one's steps etc.) carefully.
8 pull apart (pick oakum).
9 (of a bird) take up (grains etc.) in the beak.
1 the act or an instance of picking.
2 a a selection or choice. b the right to select (had first pick of the prizes).
3 (usu. foll. by of) the best (the pick of the bunch).
Phrases and idioms:
pick and choose select carefully or fastidiously. pick at
1 eat (food) without interest; nibble.
2 = pick on
1 (see PICK(1)). pick a person's brains extract ideas, information, etc., from a person for one's own use.
pick holes (or a hole) in
1 make holes in (material etc.) by plucking, poking, etc.
2 find fault with (an idea etc.). pick a lock open a lock with an instrument other than the proper key, esp. with intent to steal.
1 a tonic for the nerves etc.
2 a good experience, good news, etc. that cheers.
pick off
1 pluck (leaves etc.) off.
2 shoot (people etc.) one by one without haste.
3 eliminate (opposition etc.) singly.
pick on
1 find fault with; nag at.
2 select.
pick out
1 take from a larger number (picked him out from the others).
2 distinguish from surrounding objects or at a distance (can just pick out the church spire).
3 play (a tune) by ear on the piano etc.
4 (often foll. by in, with) a highlight (a painting etc.) with touches of another colour. b accentuate (decoration, a painting, etc.) with a contrasting colour (picked out the handles in red).
5 make out (the meaning of a passage etc.). pick over select the best from. pick a person's pockets steal the contents of a person's pockets. pick a quarrel start an argument or a fight deliberately. pick to pieces = take to pieces (see PIECE).
pick up
1 grasp and raise (from the ground etc.) (picked up his hat).
2 gain or acquire by chance or without effort (picked up a cold).
3 a fetch (a person, animal, or thing) left in another person's charge. b stop for and take along with one, esp. in a vehicle (pick me up on the corner).
4 make the acquaintance of (a person) casually, esp. as a sexual overture.
5 (of one's health, the weather, share prices, etc.) recover, prosper, improve.
6 (of a motor engine etc.) recover speed; accelerate.
7 (of the police etc.) take into charge; arrest.
8 detect by scrutiny or with a telescope, searchlight, radio, etc. (picked up most of the mistakes; picked up a distress signal).
9 (often foll. by with) form or renew a friendship.
10 accept the responsibility of paying (a bill etc.).
11 (refl.) raise (oneself etc.) after a fall etc.
12 raise (the feet etc.) clear of the ground.
13 Golf pick up one's ball, esp. when conceding a hole. pick-up 1 sl. a person met casually, esp. for sexual purposes.
2 a small open motor truck.
3 a the part of a record-player carrying the stylus. b a detector of vibrations etc.
4 a the act of picking up. b something picked up. pick-your-own (usu. attrib.) (of commercially grown fruit and vegetables) dug or picked by the customer at the place of production. take one's pick make a choice.
pickable adj.
Etymology: ME, earlier pike, of unkn. orig.
n. & v.
1 a long-handled tool having a usu. curved iron bar pointed at one or both ends, used for breaking up hard ground, masonry, etc.
2 colloq. a plectrum.
3 any instrument for picking, such as a toothpick.
1 break the surface of (the ground etc.) with or as if with a pick.
2 make (holes etc.) in this way.
Etymology: ME, app. var. of PIKE(2)

Useful english dictionary. 2012.

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