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Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English
pick
I.verb
COLLOCATIONS FROM OTHER ENTRIES
foot the bill/pick up the bill (=pay for something, especially when you do not want to)
▪ Taxpayers will probably have to foot the bill.
gain/gather/pick up speed (=go faster)
▪ The Mercedes was gradually picking up speed.
ice pick
pick a fight (=deliberately start a fight)
▪ The guy tried to pick a fight with Jack.
pick a quarrel (=deliberately start one)
▪ Members of the gang were picking quarrels with strangers.
pick flowers
▪ I'll pick some flowers to put on the table.
pick sb’s brains (=ask someone for ideas)
▪ I thought I’d pick Greg's brains about what to take with us.
pick up a bug (=catch one)
▪ He seems to pick up every bug going.
pick up a tip
▪ If you listen to the show, you’ll pick up some really useful gardening tips.
pick up an accent
▪ During his stay in England, he had picked up an English accent.
pick up the telephone
▪ As soon as she got home, she picked up the telephone and dialled his number.
pick up/lift the receiver
▪ She picked up the receiver and dialled his number.
pick up/scoop up an award (=to get an award – used especially in news reports)
▪ Angelina Jolie scooped up the award for best actress.
pick up/snap up a bargain (=find one)
▪ You can often pick up a bargain at an auction.
pick your nose (=remove substances from inside your nose with your finger)
▪ Stop picking your nose, Freddy.
pick your way through a minefield (also navigate/negotiate a minefield) (= behave in a careful way to avoid problems in a difficult situation)
▪ The guide helps you pick your way through the minefield of buying a new car.
receive/pick up a signal
▪ The antenna that will pick up the signals is a 12-metre dish.
take up/pick up/continue (sth) etc where sb left off (=continue something that has stopped for a short time)
▪ Barry took up the story where Justine had left off.
the wind picks up (also the wind gets up British English) (= becomes stronger)
▪ The rain beat down and the wind was picking up.
COLLOCATIONS FROM CORPUS
■ ADVERB
off
▪ Red Deer Commission stalkers have been helping estate staff in the Angus glens pick off marauding deer destroying farmlands.
▪ The photographers stormed the railing and took aim like a starved infantry picking off fish from a bridge.
▪ The defeated Arab states, fearful of being picked off one by one, insisted on indirect and collective negotiations.
▪ It was Cooper picking off the ball and feeding Thompson.
▪ Defries was picking off the survivors.
▪ In the first quarter, cornerback Deion Sanders picked off Young and got by most of the 49ers in a 31-yard return.
▪ This means you can shoot your way down a line of troops, picking off each one in turn.
▪ The caterpillars can be picked off, but their coloring makes them difficult to see, especially when they are small.
out
▪ You can also pick out small pieces of grass or leaf.
▪ Philadelphia and Baltimore were just cities picked out of a hat.
▪ And the new geography of this steeper decline can be picked out from Table 2.2.
▪ I have picked out the flowers.
▪ There's no point picking out individual climbs - they're all good.
▪ Finally, she picked out the Poulenc Gloria, as she had known she would.
▪ Alice came in store and picked out the color yellow.
up
▪ The Everglades kite in Florida picks up snails and carries them off to a feeding perch.
▪ Maybe he used a towel to pick up the iron teakettle.
▪ Miss Braithwaite had picked up the gap in Hereward's curriculum vitae fast enough.
▪ I decided that since Carlo was lost to me, maybe I could pick up some one else at the party.
▪ He picked up a rubber glove whose open end was sucking in brown greasy water.
▪ A couple of inmates were picking up leaves from around the graves, sweeping them into a large black sack.
▪ The first man picked up the end and threaded it through the loop on his leg iron.
■ NOUN
bill
▪ Everything depended on contributors picking up the bill in ten, twenty or thirty years.
▪ After its shareholder equity turned negative last year, parent Dasa started picking up the bills.
▪ There is a growing, often unstated, anticipation that the private sector will pick up the bill for public services.
▪ But remember - raid your savings now and Santa won't pick up the bill.
▪ If that involves an overnight stay the scheme will pick up the bill for accommodation.
▪ The authorities must ensure that taxpayers and passengers do not pick up the bill for the company's mistakes.
▪ It is the local authorities that must pick up the bill for those problems.
▪ Who is going to pick up the bill for all their tommy rot and skulduggery, Miss Green?
book
▪ They have picked up the wrong book and are probably in the wrong bookstore.
▪ He picked up a book on the floor... something highbrow.
▪ He picked up a book on juggling which his daughter had brought home, and 4 months later he's teaching others.
▪ I picked up the book Kip had been reading.
▪ She picked up her book, looked at it sightlessly, and then stuck it over her face.
▪ I picked up a book and threw it across the room.
▪ Martin offered to have that too, but was instructed to pick up her books instead, so be did.
▪ You pick up the book, holding it in your hands, turning it over, feeling its slightness or its heft.
fight
▪ We adults do the same: we come home from work and start complaining or picking a fight.
▪ Had never picked a fight in his life.
▪ Barton Lynch's manager had once picked a fight with him.
▪ From a lack of communication, parents are more likely to misunderstand, blame, or pick fights with one another.
▪ Anthony Ryan was known in his family as able to pick a fight with his own fingernails.
▪ The first thing Vicious does is start picking fights with these guys who are supposed to protect him.
▪ You pick your side and fight for it.
▪ He loved to pick arguments and fights.
flower
▪ He picked up the flower and held it to the light, a cluster of faded crimson petals with attenuated stalks.
▪ I have picked out the flowers.
▪ We're hoping, there's just a chance, she left her car to pick wild flowers.
▪ But when she picked the flowers, the brothers turned into ravens and flew away.
▪ She picked a bunch of flowers for Alan once.
▪ The Khmers held hands as they advanced and sometimes picked flowers.
▪ Help to protect them by following these rules: Don't pick or uproot wild flowers.
▪ Red decided to pick some flowers for her grandmother along the way.
nose
▪ He wouldn't be allowed to fart or pick his nose or put his feet on the table.
▪ Centuries later the light brought two of the shepherds, the tall one picking his nose, and Douthwaite smirking.
▪ Edwina Currie was opening her post, Sir James Spicer was picking his nose.
▪ I just saw a man trying not to pick his nose behind his newspaper!
▪ Please don't pick your nose at the table.
▪ The young Eric was looking away and picking his nose, looking bored.
▪ The toilet stank of urine, and at one point a chef was seen picking his nose while preparing food.
▪ Both pick the nose of rock credibility and flick rolled-up bogies at its established figureheads.
phone
▪ Very quietly and gently she picked the phone up, and dialled the number of his school.
▪ But when he picks up the phone and dials her number, there is no answer.
▪ On impulse I picked up the phone and rang her, hoping I still had the right number.
▪ She hoped he picked up the phone quickly.
▪ One day, when I least expected it, I picked up the phone and he was on the other end.
▪ Time to pick up the phone, Carl.
▪ They can zero in on this big wall map and pick any phone they want, and record the conversation.
piece
▪ I picked up the pieces myself.
▪ He came over to me, picked up the piece of paper before me, and sat back down on the bed.
▪ As proved by history, women are the ones who have to pick up the pieces in the aftermath of war.
▪ Upon release, however, he slowly picked up the pieces of his life and rebuilt his career.
▪ In her motherly concerned way, she was cosseting him as he tried to pick up the pieces of his life.
▪ Gardeners regularly stroll the grounds, picking up stray pieces of trash and trimming unruly bushes.
▪ Then the red mists cleared and she sank to her knees, picking up the pieces, moaning softly.
▪ You can also pick out small pieces of grass or leaf.
receiver
▪ Ven was her first thought when she picked up the receiver.
▪ In the hallway my hand trembled as I picked up the receiver.
▪ She picked up the receiver and spoke into it.
▪ I ran out into the hallway, picked up the receiver, and it was Minna.
▪ She picked up the receiver and dialled Tom's number.
▪ She could roll over the bed and pick up the receiver.
▪ Her mind made up, she picked up the receiver and dialled the number of the separate school.
▪ She picked up the receiver, dialled Giles Carnaby's number, and then replaced the receiver before the connection was made.
speed
▪ Of course, good melody will sound fine at any tempo, so play slowly and gradually pick up speed.
▪ As they picked up speed along the main tarmac road it was already 3 a.m.
▪ The coach picked up speed as it rattled and jolted down to Forty-second Street.
▪ The object thereupon begins to expand, and it will rapidly pick up speed.
▪ He picked up speed fast, and when we got to the clearing again, he banked very hard to the left.
▪ Brian Reade is back tomorrow Over the hill and picking up speed!
▪ A slowing economy lessens the threat that inflation will pick up speed.
tab
▪ In addition, my company will pick up the tab for all legal and moving expenses.
▪ His response is to pick up their tab.
▪ He wouldn't pick up the tab for anyone else.
▪ Often, the book publisher, not the author, picks up the tab.
▪ With Lissa's money I picked up his tabs.
▪ When the check comes, the lobbyists almost always pick up the tab.
▪ Normally, developers paying a barrister to represent them at an inquiry must pick up the tab.
▪ I wonder to myself as I pick up the tab for breakfast.
team
▪ He was not attempting to pick the team for tonight's First Division match against Wimbledon.
▪ Within a month, the committee had picked eight teams to tackle the first round of breakthroughs.
▪ So nobody's singled out - I don't pick out one team.
▪ The bus driver was late picking up the team from the hotel.
▪ Once again, Gould's ability to pick his team was to prove invaluable.
▪ So we picked quality for the teams to work on.
▪ But again they picked a team of boys, as they did in the last two World Cups.
▪ When they picked teams for outdoor games she and I were always the last two left standing by the wire-mesh fence.
telephone
▪ When Kee left the room Conway picked up the telephone.
▪ One day during the late winter or early spring of 1920, Margarett picked up the telephone.
▪ The principal of the public high school happened to pick up the telephone himself.
▪ Now, they need only to pick up their telephones to share their views with the world.
▪ Then taking off his tunic and loosening his tie, he picked up the telephone.
▪ He picked up the telephone and asked for his bill to be prepared, and for somebody to carry his luggage.
▪ Laura picked up the bedside telephone and dialled the number.
▪ Such was the case of a man who recently picked up an emergency telephone on the bridge and threatened suicide.
thread
▪ He picked up the thread and followed it.
▪ She gradually started to pick up the threads of her life.
▪ Enough to do picking up the threads of his own life.
▪ They talked non-stop in an elaborate relay race, one picking up the thread as soon as the other paused for breath.
way
▪ Every now and again rescue teams of young people would pick their way downhill with a bandaged pilgrim on a stretcher.
▪ The trails up toward the stone sheds were slippery and I picked my way along slowly.
▪ They picked their way through broken pieces of furniture, their feet crunching across splintered glass and wood.
▪ Delaney unbuckled his webbing and stood up, picking his way forward past the life rafts racked ready for the drop.
▪ Mrs Helgert picks her way carefully out of the rose bed, and I lay the roses in her arms.
▪ We pick our way across the cement floor and into the battered portacabin.
▪ The second was not looking at the Golden Tube material I picked up on the way out until several weeks later.
wind
▪ The rain beat down and the wind was picking up.
▪ A wind picks up, so we decide to raise the sails.
▪ The wind began to pick up again, moaning round their ears.
▪ Observed by a lone seal we headed west, the wind now beginning to pick up.
▪ The wind picked up that evening and big grey swells came charging in from the south-west.
▪ The wind has picked up a bit, and there is a light snow falling.
▪ They lose their keen sense of smell and direction when the wind picks up like this.
winner
▪ Experience to date and motivational goal data give us our greatest chance of picking a winner.
▪ A technology Strategy does not mean that a government has to pick winners and losers.
▪ As a result, everyone believes that they have a chance of picking the winner.
▪ You will certainly pick the winner, but at what cost?
▪ Softbank claims that it is better at picking winners and that it is buying into a growth industry.
▪ Technology development strategies are designed to pick technology winners.
▪ Trust you, Dwight, to pick a winner, and pick him before the rest of us have heard of him!
▪ Suddenly, Labour wobbled as it appeared that the Tories might have picked a genuine winner.
■ VERB
try
▪ She had tried to pick up Rudolf.
▪ When I tried to pick him up he squirmed wildly, jerked away and threw himself to the ground again.
▪ The waiter who'd tried to pick her up that first morning wasn't on duty.
▪ How Linda fell on to the track and he tried to pick her up just as the train bore down on them.
▪ As she tried to pick her way over frozen puddles, she regretted her decision to wear high heels instead of boots.
▪ No one on the farm spoke Hindi so it seemed more sensible to try to pick up Marwari from the servants.
▪ Perhaps I should try to pick up a little extra at Macready's tables.
▪ Just let your imagination run and try to pick up the underlying message. 2.
PHRASES FROM OTHER ENTRIES
be drawn/pulled/picked out of the/a hat
freshly ground/picked/made etc
▪ A garland of freshly picked marigolds hung from the mirror.
▪ A good addition to dried apricot fool is a spoonful or two of freshly ground almonds.
▪ Add the mascarpone Reheat, adding the mascarpone and correcting the seasoning with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
▪ Drizzle with a tablespoon or so of olive oil and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
▪ Season generously with freshly ground pepper and add salt to taste.
▪ Squeeze over some lemon juice and add freshly ground pepper.
▪ Sure enough, inside we found some beautiful zucchini and tomatoes, freshly picked from a nearby garden.
▪ There were dates and a delicious bowl of freshly made cottage cheese.
get/pick/build up steam
▪ But Dehlavi takes his time getting up steam, leaving a good 20 minutes of surplus slack in these two hours.
▪ Cons: Just when the bobsled builds up steam, brakes on the track slow it down.
▪ If the economy is picking up steam, the recovery may be nipped in the bud by renewed Fed tightening.
▪ Indications the economy may be picking up steam hurt bonds by sparking concern inflation may accelerate, eroding bonds' fixed payments.
▪ Millionaire publisher Steve Forbes, who is suddenly picking up steam?
▪ The black-out protest is expected to pick up steam after the president signs the bill.
have a bone to pick with sb
pick up the tab
▪ Airlines will have to pick up the tab for new safety regulations.
▪ Usually the book publisher, not the author, picks up the tab for a publicity tour.
▪ We all went out to dinner, and Adam picked up the tab.
▪ He wouldn't pick up the tab for anyone else.
▪ I wonder to myself as I pick up the tab for breakfast.
▪ In addition, my company will pick up the tab for all legal and moving expenses.
▪ Normally, developers paying a barrister to represent them at an inquiry must pick up the tab.
▪ Often, the book publisher, not the author, picks up the tab.
▪ Thus, port officials argue, the city should have picked up the tab for fixing the recently revealed environmental problems.
▪ When the check comes, the lobbyists almost always pick up the tab.
pick up the thread(s)
▪ Enough to do picking up the threads of his own life.
▪ He picked up the thread and followed it.
▪ She gradually started to pick up the threads of her life.
▪ They talked non-stop in an elaborate relay race, one picking up the thread as soon as the other paused for breath.
pick up/take up the gauntlet
take up/pick up the slack
the best/pick of the bunch
▪ But me third was the best of the bunch.
▪ Either they are one of the best of the bunch at home, or they make their name abroad.
▪ Even these modest broadcasts show only the best of the bunch.
▪ He may be the best of the bunch.
▪ It's also the best of the bunch for multi-processing, he says.
▪ Nevertheless as an introduction it is the best of the bunch.
▪ Woolwich is the best of the bunch, trading at a multiple to future earnings of 10.3.
EXAMPLES FROM OTHER ENTRIES
Pick a number from one to five.
▪ Do you think he might pick another woman for the Supreme Court?
▪ I'll pick a few flowers to take to mum's.
▪ In the end, Katie picked the blue dress.
▪ Joe picked Steve and Terry to be on his team.
▪ Laura's out in the garden picking tomatoes.
▪ Let me pick the movie tonight - I don't want to see another comedy.
▪ Migrant workers come to the orchard each autumn to pick apples.
▪ The class was divided into four teams, and each group was asked to pick a leader.
EXAMPLES FROM CORPUS
▪ After two or three days I started picking up.
▪ By Oscar night, Taylor had recovered sufficiently to pick up hers for Butterfield 8.
▪ It has already made behind-the-scenes preparations to share the job of picking up the pieces.
▪ Maybe he used a towel to pick up the iron teakettle.
▪ Republicans seized control of both houses of Congress, picking up a whopping 117 House seats along the way.
▪ Vietcong couriers slipped into Saigon to pick up his reports, which he wrote in invisible ink made from starch.
II.noun
COLLOCATIONS FROM CORPUS
■ ADJECTIVE
draft
▪ As compensation, the Lakers are awarded a 1979 first-round draft pick, which they use to select Magic Johnson.
▪ The Flyers might let Lindros go to Toronto and accept draft-pick compensation.
▪ That day, right wing Ray Sheppard went to Florida for draft picks.
▪ The former No. 1 draft pick hit. 326 with 71 RBIs last year.
▪ Hobert was acquired from the Raiders for a third-round draft pick in the offseason.
▪ We can always hope for a top draft pick.
▪ He made 55 trades of players or draft picks, moves that produced 11 Pro Bowl players.
■ NOUN
ice
▪ Winter hunting equipment, for example-including snow goggles, ice picks, and harpoons-was stored in skin bags.
▪ It was as if ice picks had been driven into my ear.
▪ Blue Mooney squatted next to a pink-and-white Pontiac as he stabbed the ice pick into the fourth tire.
■ VERB
choose
▪ Follow it through one week - or pick and choose the ideas that appeal to you.
▪ It looks very much as if Bush examined the possibility of making a radical pick, and then chose against it.
▪ But no; they wandered by him, offering themselves like gifts - pick, choose; pick, choose.
▪ It should not be a matter of pick and choose, as the Government please.
take
▪ An assortment of well-ventilated ferret carrying-boxes. Take your pick A compartmental ferret-box - the ferrets sitting placidly.
▪ He also planned to recommend not one, but three solid pastoral candidates of whom the cardinal could take his pick.
▪ Or: she doesn't understand him at all, nor cares to understand. Take your pick.
▪ Big and bold or overdone, take your pick.
▪ No, they take their pick.
▪ Nemo or Popeye, take your pick.
▪ Berlin took their pick, then allowed Sotheby's to sell what was left over.
▪ Then I took out my picks and went back to the guest room.
use
▪ Sometimes I have to dig a path through the snow down to the stream and use a pick on the frozen stream.
EXAMPLES FROM OTHER ENTRIES
▪ Mutombo, the fourth pick in the NBA draft, is averaging 19 points a game.
EXAMPLES FROM CORPUS
▪ I faxed each of them the list of no-load stocks and asked for their picks.
▪ Instead, they still have the same seven picks, including the third overall and one in each round.
▪ Jacksonville took Hardy with the second pick, leaving Rice.
▪ Last season, his picks resulted in losses of $ 2, 370.
▪ Selkirk and four soldiers, well-armed, carrying picks and shovels, were waiting rather self-consciously near the main gate.
▪ They were armed with pick axe handles and staves.
The Collaborative International Dictionary
Pick

Pick \Pick\ (p[i^]k), v. t. [imp. & p. p. Picked (p[i^]kt); p. pr. & vb. n. Picking.] [OE. picken, pikken, to prick, peck; akin to Icel. pikka, Sw. picka, Dan. pikke, D. pikken, G. picken, F. piquer, W. pigo. Cf. Peck, v., Pike, Pitch to throw.]

  1. To throw; to pitch. [Obs.]

    As high as I could pick my lance.
    --Shak.

  2. 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.

  3. To separate or open by means of a sharp point or points; as, to pick matted wool, cotton, oakum, etc.

  4. To open (a lock) as by a wire.

  5. To pull apart or away, especially with the fingers; to pluck; to gather, as fruit from a tree, flowers from the stalk, feathers from a fowl, etc.

  6. To remove something from with a pointed instrument, with the fingers, or with the teeth; as, to pick the teeth; to pick a bone; to pick a goose; to pick a pocket.

    Did you pick Master Slender's purse?
    --Shak.

    He picks clean teeth, and, busy as he seems With an old tavern quill, is hungry yet.
    --Cowper.

  7. To choose; to select; to separate as choice or desirable; to cull; as, to pick one's company; to pick one's way; -- often with out. ``One man picked out of ten thousand.''
    --Shak.

  8. To take up; esp., to gather from here and there; to collect; to bring together; as, to pick rags; -- often with up; as, to pick up a ball or stones; to pick up information.

  9. To trim. [Obs.] --Chaucer. To pick at, to tease or vex by pertinacious annoyance. To pick a bone with. See under Bone. To pick a thank, to curry favor. [Obs.] --Robynson (More's Utopia). To pick off.

    1. To pluck; to remove by picking.

    2. To shoot or bring down, one by one; as, sharpshooters pick off the enemy. To pick out.

      1. To mark out; to variegate; as, to pick out any dark stuff with lines or spots of bright colors.

      2. To select from a number or quantity. To pick to pieces, to pull apart piece by piece; hence [Colloq.], to analyze; esp., to criticize in detail. To pick a quarrel, to give occasion of quarrel intentionally. To pick up.

        1. To take up, as with the fingers.

        2. To get by repeated efforts; to gather here and there; as, to pick up a livelihood; to pick up news.

Pick

Pick \Pick\, v. i.

  1. To eat slowly, sparingly, or by morsels; to nibble.

    Why stand'st thou picking? Is thy palate sore?
    --Dryden.

  2. To do anything nicely or carefully, or by attending to small things; to select something with care.

  3. To steal; to pilfer. ``To keep my hands from picking and stealing.''
    --Book of Com. Prayer.

    To pick up, to improve by degrees; as, he is picking up in health or business. [Colloq. U.S.]

Pick

Pick \Pick\, n. [F. pic a pickax, a pick. See Pick, and cf. Pike.]

  1. A sharp-pointed tool for picking; -- often used in composition; as, a toothpick; a picklock.

  2. (Mining & Mech.) A heavy iron tool, curved and sometimes pointed at both ends, wielded by means of a wooden handle inserted in the middle, -- used for digging ino the ground by quarrymen, roadmakers, etc.; also, a pointed hammer used for dressing millstones.

  3. A pike or spike; the sharp point fixed in the center of a buckler. [Obs.] ``Take down my buckler . . . and grind the pick on 't.''
    --Beau. & Fl.

  4. Choice; right of selection; as, to have one's pick; in cat breeding, the owner of a stud gets the pick of the litter.

    France and Russia have the pick of our stables.
    --Ld. Lytton.

  5. Hence: That which would be picked or chosen first; the best; as, the pick of the flock.

  6. (Print.) A particle of ink or paper imbedded in the hollow of a letter, filling up its face, and occasioning a spot on a printed sheet.
    --MacKellar.

  7. (Painting) That which is picked in, as with a pointed pencil, to correct an unevenness in a picture.

  8. (Weaving) The blow which drives the shuttle, -- the rate of speed of a loom being reckoned as so many picks per minute; hence, in describing the fineness of a fabric, a weft thread; as, so many picks to an inch.

    Pick dressing (Arch.), in cut stonework, a facing made by a pointed tool, leaving the surface in little pits or depressions.

    Pick hammer, a pick with one end sharp and the other blunt, used by miners.

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary
pick

c.1200, "pointed tool for breaking up rock or ground," variant of pike (n.4). Meaning "sharp tool" is from mid-14c.

pick

mid-15c., "a blow with a pointed instrument," from pick (v.). Meaning "plectrum for a guitar, lute, etc." is from 1895; as a type of basketball block, from 1951; meaning "choicest part or example" is first recorded 1760.

pick

early 13c., picken "to peck;" c.1300, piken "to work with a pick," probably representing a fusion of Old English *pician "to prick," (implied by picung "a piercing, pricking," an 8c. gloss on Latin stigmata) with Old Norse pikka "to prick, peck," both from a Germanic root (source also of Middle Dutch picken, German picken "to pick, peck"), perhaps imitative. Influence from Middle French piquer "to prick, sting" (see pike (n.2)) also is possible, but that French word generally is not considered a source of the English word. Related: Picked; picking.\n

\nMeaning "to eat with small bites" is from 1580s. The meaning "to choose, select, pick out" emerged late 14c., from earlier meaning "to pluck with the fingers" (early 14c.). Sense of "to rob, plunder" (c.1300) weakened to a milder sense of "steal petty things" by late 14c. Of forcing locks with a pointed tool, by 1540s. Meaning "to pluck (a banjo)" is recorded from 1860. To pick a quarrel, etc. is from mid-15c.; to pick at "find fault with" is from 1670s. Pick on "single out for adverse attention" is from late 14c.; pick off "shoot one by one" is recorded from 1810; baseball sense of "to put out a runner on base" is from 1939. Also see pick up. To pick and choose "select carefully" is from 1660s (choose and pick is attested from c.1400).

Wiktionary
pick

n. 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. 5 That which would be picked or chosen first; the best. 6 (context basketball English) A screen. 7 (context lacrosse English) An offensive tactic in which a player stands so as to block a defender from reaching a teammate. 8 (context American football English) An interception. 9 (context baseball English) A good defensive play by an infielder. 10 (context baseball English) A pickoff. 11 (context music English) A tool used for strumming the strings of a guitar; a plectrum. 12 A pointed hammer used for dressing millstones. 13 (context obsolete English) A pike or spike; the sharp point fixed in the center of a buckler. 14 (context printing dated English) 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 (context art painting English) That which is picked in, as with a pointed pencil, to correct an unevenness in a picture. 16 (context weaving English) 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. vb. 1 To grasp and pull with the fingers or fingernails. 2 To harvest a fruit or vegetable for consumption by remove it from the plant to which it is attached; to harvest an entire plant by removing it from the ground. 3 To pull apart or away, especially with the fingers; to pluck. 4 To take up; especially, to gather from here and there; to collect; to bring together. 5 To remove something from with a pointed instrument, with the fingers, or with the teeth. 6 To decide upon, from a set of options; to select. 7 (context cricket English) 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. 8 (context music English) To pluck the individual strings of a musical instrument or to play such an instrument. 9 To open (a lock) with a wire, lock pick, etc. 10 To eat slowly, sparingly, or by morsels; to nibble. 11 To do anything nicely or carefully, or by attending to small things; to select something with care. 12 To steal; to pilfer. 13 (context obsolete English) To throw; to pitch. 14 (context dated English) 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. 15 To separate or open by means of a sharp point or points.

WordNet
pick
  1. n. the person or thing chosen or selected; "he was my pick for mayor" [syn: choice, selection]

  2. the quantity of a crop that is harvested; "he sent the first picking of berries to the market"; "it was the biggest peach pick in years" [syn: picking]

  3. the best people or things in a group; "the cream of England's young men were killed in the Great War" [syn: cream]

  4. the yarn woven across the warp yarn in weaving [syn: woof, weft, filling]

  5. a small thin device (of metal or plastic or ivory) used to pluck a stringed instrument [syn: plectrum, plectron]

  6. a thin sharp implement used for picking; "he used a pick to clean dirt out of the cracks"

  7. a heavy iron tool with a wooden handle and a curved head that is pointed on both ends; "they used picks and sledges to break the rocks" [syn: pickax, pickaxe]

  8. a basketball maneuver; obstructing an opponent with one's body; "he was called for setting an illegal pick"

  9. the act of choosing or selecting; "your choice of colors was unfortunate"; "you can take your pick" [syn: choice, selection, option]

pick
  1. v. select carefully from a group; "She finally picked her successor"; "He picked his way carefully"

  2. look for and gather; "pick mushrooms"; "pick flowers" [syn: pluck, cull]

  3. harass with constant criticism; "Don't always pick on your little brother" [syn: blame, find fault]

  4. provoke; "pick a fight or a quarrel"

  5. remove in small bits; "pick meat from a bone"

  6. remove unwanted substances from, such as feathers or pits; "Clean the turkey" [syn: clean]

  7. pilfer or rob; "pick pockets"

  8. pay for something; "pick up the tab"; "pick up the burden of high-interest mortgages"; "foot the bill" [syn: foot]

  9. pull lightly but sharply with a plucking motion; "he plucked the strings of his mandolin" [syn: pluck, plunk]

  10. attack with or as if with a pickaxe of ice or rocky ground, for example; "Pick open the ice" [syn: break up]

  11. hit lightly with a picking motion [syn: peck, beak]

  12. eat intermittently; take small bites of; "He pieced at the sandwich all morning"; "She never eats a full meal--she just nibbles" [syn: nibble, piece]

Gazetteer
Wikipedia
Pick

Pick may refer to:

Pick (TV channel)

Pick is a British television channel, available via Freeview, Freesat, Sky and Virgin Media.

Pick (hieroglyph)

The ancient EgyptianPick hieroglyph, Gardiner sign listed nos. U17, U18 is a portrayal of a 'pick upon the side view of a block'; it is in the Gardiner subset for agriculture, crafts, and professions.

In the Egyptian language, the pick hieroglyph is used as an ideogram or determinative for grg, the verb "to pick through", or for other related words.

Usage examples of "pick".

Oswald Brunies, the strutting, candy-sucking teacher -- a monument will be erected to him -- to him with magnifying glass on elastic, with sticky bag in sticky coat pocket, to him who collected big stones and little stones, rare pebbles, preferably mica gneiss -- muscovy biotite -- quartz, feldspar, and hornblende, who picked up pebbles, examined them, rejected or kept them, to him the Big Playground of the Conradinum was not an abrasive stumbling block but a lasting invitation to scratch about with the tip of his shoe after nine rooster steps.

He picked up a knife from the table and twirled it absently in his fingers.

Late-night cafes inNew Yorkwere apparently so familiar with this procedure that waiters and other diners would smile indulgently at Benzedrine abusers when they picked up the smell of menthol across the room.

Which she could do: better to convoy with riders you knew than ones the truckers picked, and Aby was an experienced senior guide whose recommendation counted.

It carried the boy to a smaller form that Acies could easily pick out with his keen eyes.

The only hitch was, that this cabby might have been ordered to pick up as a passenger a man who came from the Acme Florists, wearing a red primrose.

Harry smile - this cabby would make a report by telephone to some mysterious personage who had hired him to pick up a passenger outside the Acme Florists.

Her reaction had been stupid, she admitted as Acorn picked his way across a stream.

An innocent-looking piece of firewood set off a bundle of aerolite cartridges if anyone picked it up to put it in the stove.

Slowly Brandt climbed to the top of the sail from the aft bulkhead of the cockpit, keeping low to the top of the structure where he could see clearly yet not be picked off from the deck.

Most of the blood still had not returned to his brain, he had been enjoying the afterglow of one of the most erotic, sensual interludes in his life, and this impossible woman had to pick a fight with him, ruining the moment.

Perrin recognized ageless Aes Sedai faces even before he picked out Verin and Alanna, both riding to the rear of the women.

Nick picked up the agenda for 1979 and skimmed through the pages, finding the first referral to Goldluxe on March 13, 1979.

In the same way, you exist in Akasha before your body and mind pick up the signal and express it in the three-dimensional world.

Dubious but not wanting to appear ungrateful, Alec picked up a blanket and went to the pool.