pick up

pick up

  1. (transitive) To lift; to grasp and raise.
    Antonyms: put down
    When you pick up the bag, make sure to support the bottom.
  2. (transitive) To collect an object, especially in passing.
    Antonyms: drop off
    Can you pick up a pint of milk on your way home?
    • 1909, Archibald Marshall [pseudonym; Arthur Hammond Marshall], chapter II, in The Squire’s Daughter, London: Methuen, OCLC 12026604 ↗; republished New York, N.Y.: Dodd, Mead and Company, 1919, OCLC 491297620 ↗:
      "I don't want to spoil any comparison you are going to make," said Jim, "but I was at Winchester and New College." ¶ "That will do," said Mackenzie. "I was dragged up at the workhouse school till I was twelve. Then I ran away and sold papers in the streets, and anything else that I could pick up a few coppers by—except steal. […]"
  3. (transitive or intransitive) To clean up; to return to an organized state.
    Antonyms: mess up
    Aren't you going to pick up after yourself?
    • 1967, Beverly Cleary, Mitch and Amy, 2009 HarperCollins edition, ISBN 9780688108069, p.28:
      The floor was strewn with bright snips of origami paper, a crumpled drawing, and one dirty sock, which Amy now shoved under the bed with her foot. ¶ "You're lucky," said Marla. "My mother makes me pick up my room every single day."
  4. (transitive) To collect a passenger.
    Antonyms: drop off
    I'll pick you up outside the library.
  5. (transitive) To collect and detain (a suspect).
    The cops have picked up the man they were looking for.
  6. (intransitive) To improve, increase or speed up.
    Prices seem to be picking up again.  I was in bed sick this morning, but I'm picking up now.
  7. (intransitive) To restart or resume.
    Let's pick up where we left off yesterday.
    • 2012 July 18, Scott Tobias, AV Club [http://www.avclub.com/articles/the-dark-knight-rises-review-batman,82624 The Dark Knight Rises]
      Picking up eight years after The Dark Knight left off, the film finds Gotham enjoying a tenuous peace based on Harvey Dent’s moral ideals rather than the ugly truth of his demise.
  8. (transitive) To learn, to grasp; to begin to understand; to realize.
    Synonyms: learn
    It looks complicated, but you'll soon pick it up.
  9. (transitive) To receive (a radio signal or the like).
    With the new antenna, I can pick up stations all the way from Omaha.
  10. (transitive) To notice, detect or discern; to pick up on
    Did you pick up his nervousness?
  11. (transitive) To point out (a person's behaviour, habits or actions) in a critical manner.
    She's always picking me up on my grammar.
  12. (transitive and intransitive with on) To meet and seduce somebody for romantic purposes, especially in a social situation.
    Synonyms: hit on
    He was in the fabric store not to buy fabric but to pick up women.  She could tell he intended to pick up on her.  Did you pick up at the party last night?
  13. (transitive or intransitive) To answer a telephone. See pick up the phone.
    I'm calling him, but he just isn't picking up!
  14. (intransitive, of a phone) To receive calls; to function correctly.
    I've tried his home number a couple times, but it isn't picking up.
  15. To pay for.
    The company will pick up lunch with customers for sales calls.
  16. To reduce the despondency of.
    • 1973 (released 1974), Lynard Skynyrd, Sweet Home Alabama
      […] they pick me up when I'm feeling blue
  17. To take control (physically) of something.
  18. (soccer) To mark, to defend against an opposition player by following them closely.
  19. To record; to notch up.
  20. (sports) To behave in a manner that results in a foul.
Translations Translations
  • French: s'améliorer
  • German: sich erholen, sich berappeln, sich fangen
  • Russian: улучша́ться
  • Spanish: mejorar, repuntar, remontar
Translations Translations Translations Translations Translations Translations Translations Translations Translations Translations
  • German: auffangen

pick up (plural pick ups)

  1. (rare) Alternative form of pickup

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