pick off

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English[edit]

Verb[edit]

pick off (third-person singular simple present picks off, present participle picking off, simple past and past participle picked off)

  1. (literally) To remove by picking.
    Before you recycle the bottle you need to pick off the label.
  2. To shoot one by one.
    The sniper picked off the incoming police one at a time.
  3. To dispose of tasks, obstacles, opponents etc. one by one.
    Let's pick off these issues starting from the top.
    England's batsmen were nothing more than sitting ducks waiting to be picked off by these unerringly accurate marksmen.
  4. (baseball) To throw out a runner by tagging them whilst they are not in contact with any of the three bases or home plate.
    The pitcher attempted to pick off the runner at first, but he was safe.
  5. To intercept, such as a ball in flight.
    • 2011 October 1, Tom Fordyce, “Rugby World Cup 2011: England 16-12 Scotland”, BBC Sport:
      But the World Cup winning veteran's left boot was awry again, the attempt sliced horribly wide of the left upright, and the saltires were waving aloft again a moment later when a long pass in the England midfield was picked off to almost offer up a breakaway try.

Noun[edit]

pick off (plural pick offs)

  1. (baseball) An instance of throwing out a batter leading off base.
    The final out of the game was determined by a pick off.