pick out

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

  1. to remove by picking
    1859, Charles Dickens - A Tale of Two Cities
    Madame Defarge herself picked out the pattern on her sleeve with her toothpick, and saw and heard something inaudible and invisible a long way off.
  2. to select
    2007, Letticia, Body Worship, page 192
    Very often husbands would patronise my boutique and pick out something for the little lady and, in passing, pick out something for themselves.
  3. (idiomatic) to distinguish; discern
    Apr 30, 1988, Toronto Star - Bonaventure Island a birdwatcher's delight 50,000 gannets jostle and spar for a piece of the island
    The young birds cry out for food, and the parents returning from the sea manage to pick out their own amid a mass of lookalikes.
  4. To ornament or relieve with lines etc. of a different, usually lighter, colour.
    a dark green carriage body picked out with red
    • 1911, Chesterton, The Innocence of Father Brown, The Sins of Prince Saradine:
      Away on the farthest cape or headland of the long islet, on a strip of turf beyond the last rank of roses, the duellists had already crossed swords. Evening above them was a dome of virgin gold, and, distant as they were, every detail was picked out.
  5. (idiomatic) to detect using one's senses (sight, smell, hearing, touch, taste)
    And as I sat there brooding on the old, unknown world, I thought of Gatsby's wonder when he first picked out the green light at the end of Daisy's dock.
  6. (idiomatic, soccer) to send a long pass or cross to.
    26 December 2006, 4TheGame - Bolton Wanderers vs Newcastle United
    Ameobi skipped away down the left in the 39th minute and tried to pick out Shearer with a cross but his delivery was cut out by goalkeeper Jussi J...