pick

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English[edit]

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A pick (pickaxe)

Etymology[edit]

From Middle English picken, pikken, from Old English *pīcian, pȳcan (to pick, prick, pluck), from Proto-Germanic *pikōną, *pūkijaną (to pick, peck, prick, knock), from Proto-Indo-European *beu-, *bu- (to make a dull, hollow sound). Cognate with Dutch pikken (to pick), German picken (to pick, peck), Icelandic pikka (to pick, prick).

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

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.
    • Lord Lytton
      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.
    • Beaumont and Fletcher
      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.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of MacKellar to this entry?)
  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

Derived terms[edit]

Translations[edit]

Verb[edit]

pick (third-person singular simple present picks, present participle picking, simple 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 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
    • Shakespeare
      Did you pick Master Slender's purse?
    • Cowper
      He picks clean teeth, and, busy as he seems / With an old tavern quill, is hungry yet.
  6. To decide upon, from a set of options; to select.
    I'll pick the one with the nicest name.
  7. (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.
  8. (music) To pluck the individual strings of a musical instrument or to play such an instrument.
    He picked a tune on his banjo.
  9. To open (a lock) with a wire, lock pick, etc.
  10. To eat slowly, sparingly, or by morsels; to nibble.
    • Dryden
      Why stand'st thou picking? Is thy palate sore?
  11. To do anything nicely or carefully, or by attending to small things; to select something with care.
  12. To steal; to pilfer.
    • Book of Common Prayer
      to keep my hands from picking and stealing
  13. (obsolete) To throw; to pitch.
    • Shakespeare
      as high as I could pick my lance
  14. (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.
  15. To separate or open by means of a sharp point or points.
    to pick matted wool, cotton, oakum, etc.

Derived terms[edit]

Translations[edit]

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See also[edit]


German[edit]

Pronunciation[edit]

Verb[edit]

pick

  1. Imperative singular of picken.
  2. (colloquial)First-person singular present of picken.