• (America) IPA: /pɪk/, [pʰɪk]

pick (plural picks)

  1. A tool used for digging; a pickaxe.
  2. A tool for unlocking a lock without the original key; a lock pick, picklock.
  3. A comb with long widely spaced teeth, for use with tightly curled hair.
  4. A choice; ability to choose.
    • 1858, Edward Bulwer-Lytton, What Will He Do With It?
      France and Russia have the pick of our stables.
  5. That which would be picked or chosen first; the best.
  6. (basketball) A screen.
  7. (lacrosse) An offensive tactic in which a player stands so as to block a defender from reaching a teammate.
  8. (American football) An interception.
  9. (baseball) A good defensive play by an infielder.
  10. (baseball) A pickoff.
  11. (music) A tool used for strumming the strings of a guitar; a plectrum.
  12. A pointed hammer used for dressing millstones.
  13. (obsolete) A pike or spike; the sharp point fixed in the center of a buckler.
    • c. 1607–1611, Francis Beaumont; John Fletcher, “Cupid’s Revenge”, in Comedies and Tragedies […], London: Printed for Humphrey Robinson, […], and for Humphrey Moseley […], published 1679, OCLC 3083972 ↗, Act 4, (please specify the scene number in lowercase Roman numerals):
      Take down my buckler […] and grind the pick on 't.
  14. (printing, dated) A particle of ink or paper embedded in the hollow of a letter, filling up its face, and causing a spot on a printed sheet.
  15. (art, painting) That which is picked in, as with a pointed pencil, to correct an unevenness in a picture.
  16. (weaving) The blow that drives the shuttle, used in calculating the speed of a loom (in picks per minute); hence, in describing the fineness of a fabric, a weft thread.
    so many picks to an inch
Translations Translations Translations Translations Translations Verb

pick (picks, present participle picking; past and past participle picked)

  1. To grasp and pull with the fingers or fingernails.
    Don't pick at that scab.
    He picked his nose.
  2. To harvest a fruit or vegetable for consumption by removing it from the plant to which it is attached; to harvest an entire plant by removing it from the ground.
    It's time to pick the tomatoes.
  3. To pull apart or away, especially with the fingers; to pluck.
    She picked flowers in the meadow.
    to pick feathers from a fowl
  4. To take up; especially, to gather from here and there; to collect; to bring together.
    to pick rags
  5. To remove something from somewhere with a pointed instrument, with the fingers, or with the teeth.
    to pick the teeth; to pick a bone; to pick a goose; to pick a pocket
    • c. 1597, William Shakespeare, “The Merry VViues of VVindsor”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies: Published According to the True Originall Copies (First Folio), London: Printed by Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358 ↗, [Act I, scene i]:
      Did you pick Master Slender's purse?
    • 1785, William Cowper, The Task
      He picks clean teeth, and, busy as he seems / With an old tavern quill, is hungry yet.
    • 1867, Charles Dickens, Oliver Twist Chapter 43
      He was charged with attempting to pick a pocket, and they found a silver snuff-box on him,--his own, my dear, his own, for he took snuff himself, and was very fond of it.
  6. To decide upon, from a set of options; to select.
    I'll pick the one with the nicest name.
  7. (transitive) To seek (a fight or quarrel) where the opportunity arises.
  8. (cricket) To recognise the type of ball being bowled by a bowler by studying the position of the hand and arm as the ball is released.
    He didn't pick the googly, and was bowled.
  9. (music) To pluck the individual strings of a musical instrument or to play such an instrument.
    He picked a tune on his banjo.
  10. To open (a lock) with a wire, lock pick, etc.
  11. To eat slowly, sparingly, or by morsels; to nibble.
    • 1693, Dryden, Third Satire of Persius
      Why stand'st thou picking? Is thy palate sore?
  12. To do anything fastidiously or carefully, or by attending to small things; to select something with care.
    I gingerly picked my way between the thorny shrubs.
  13. To steal; to pilfer.
    • Book of Common Prayer
      to keep my hands from picking and stealing
  14. (obsolete) To throw; to pitch.
    • c. 1608–1609, William Shakespeare, “The Tragedy of Coriolanus”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies: Published According to the True Originall Copies (First Folio), London: Printed by Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358 ↗, [Act I, scene i]:
      as high as I could pick my lance
  15. (dated) To peck at, as a bird with its beak; to strike at with anything pointed; to act upon with a pointed instrument; to pierce; to prick, as with a pin.
  16. (ambitransitive) To separate or open by means of a sharp point or points.
    to pick matted wool, cotton, oakum, etc.
    • 1912, Victor Whitechurch, Thrilling Stories of the Railway
      Naphtha lamps shed a weird light over a busy scene, for the work was being continued night and day. A score or so of sturdy navvies were shovelling and picking along the track.
  17. (basketball) To screen.
Translations Translations Translations
Proper noun
  1. Surname

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