Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
- (literally) To remove by picking.
- Before you recycle the bottle you need to pick off the label.
- To shoot one by one.
- The sniper picked off the incoming police one at a time.
- 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.
- (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.
- 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.
- (baseball) An instance of throwing out a batter leading off base.
- The final out of the game was determined by a pick off.