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- (transitive) To lift; to grasp and raise.
- Antonym: put down
- When you pick up the bag, make sure to support the bottom.
- (transitive) To collect an object, especially in passing.
- Antonym: drop off
- Can you pick up a pint of milk on your way home?
- 1909, Archibald Marshall [pseudonym; Arthur Hammond Marshall], chapter II, in The Squire’s Daughter, London: Methuen, OCLC 12026604; republished New York, N.Y.: Dodd, Mead and Company, 1919, OCLC 491297620:
- "I don't want to spoil any comparison you are going to make," said Jim, "but I was at Winchester and New College." ¶ "That will do," said Mackenzie. "I was dragged up at the workhouse school till I was twelve. Then I ran away and sold papers in the streets, and anything else that I could pick up a few coppers by—except steal. […]"
- (transitive or intransitive) To clean up; to return to an organized state.
- Antonym: mess up
- Aren't you going to pick up after yourself?
- 1967, Beverly Cleary, Mitch and Amy, 2009 HarperCollins edition, →ISBN, p.28:
- The floor was strewn with bright snips of origami paper, a crumpled drawing, and one dirty sock, which Amy now shoved under the bed with her foot. ¶ "You're lucky," said Marla. "My mother makes me pick up my room every single day."
- (transitive) To collect a passenger.
- Antonym: drop off
- I'll pick you up outside the library.
- (transitive) To collect and detain (a suspect).
- The cops have picked up the man they were looking for.
- (transitive, media) To obtain and publish a story, news item, etc.
- The story does not seem to have been widely picked up.
- 2019, Li Huang; James Lambert, “Another Arrow for the Quiver: A New Methodology for Multilingual Researchers”, in Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development, DOI:10.1080/01434632.2019.1596115, page 3:
- News of this notice from the university was picked up by local media and had the effect of raising the ire of some citizens who saw this as an attack on ‘Chinese heritage’[.]
- (intransitive) To improve, increase, or speed up.
- Prices seem to be picking up again. I was in bed sick this morning, but I'm picking up now.
- (intransitive) To restart or resume.
- Let's pick up where we left off yesterday.
- 2012 July 18, Scott Tobias, AV Club The Dark Knight Rises
- Picking up eight years after The Dark Knight left off, the film finds Gotham enjoying a tenuous peace based on Harvey Dent’s moral ideals rather than the ugly truth of his demise.
- (transitive) To learn, to grasp; to begin to understand; to realize.
- Synonym: learn
- It looks complicated, but you'll soon pick it up.
- (transitive) To receive (a radio signal or the like).
- With the new antenna, I can pick up stations all the way from Omaha.
- (transitive) To notice, detect or discern; to pick up on
- Did you pick up his nervousness?
- (transitive) To point out (a person's behaviour, habits, or actions) in a critical manner.
- She's always picking me up on my grammar.
- (transitive and intransitive with on) To meet and seduce somebody for romantic purposes, especially in a social situation.
- Synonym: hit on
- He was in the fabric store not to buy fabric but to pick up women. She could tell he intended to pick up on her. Did you pick up at the party last night?
- 2016 May 23, Ignatiy Vishnevetsky, “Apocalypse pits the strengths of the X-Men series against the weaknesses”, in The Onion AV Club:
- Xavier—first seen as an adult in First Class trying to pick up a woman in a bar—is impotent, at least metaphorically, and will eventually see all of his luxuriant hair fall out.
- (transitive or intransitive) To answer a telephone. See pick up the phone.
- I'm calling him, but he just isn't picking up!
- (intransitive, of a phone) To receive calls; to function correctly.
- I've tried his home number a couple times, but it isn't picking up.
- To pay for.
- The company will pick up lunch with customers for sales calls.
- To reduce the despondency of.
- To take control (physically) of something.
- 2010 December 29, Chris Whyatt, “Chelsea 1-0 Bolton”, in BBC:
- Bolton were then just inches from taking the lead, but the dangerous-looking Taylor drilled just wide after picking up a loose ball following Jose Bosingwa's poor attempted clearance.
- (soccer) To mark, to defend against an opposition player by following them closely.
- 2011 January 18, David Dulin, “Cardiff 0-2 Stoke”, in BBC:
- And soon after, no-one picked up Shotton who was free to power a 12-yard header over from another Pennant corner, before Pennant sent a free kick straight at Cardiff keeper Tom Heaton.
- To record; to notch up.
- 2011 September 28, Tom Rostance, “Arsenal 2-1 Olympiakos”, in BBC Sport:
- And the home side survived without any late scares to pick up the first win of their Group F campaign.
- (sports) To behave in a manner that results in a foul.
to lift; to grasp and raise
to improve, increase, or speed up
to clean up; restore to an organized state
to restart or resume
to collect an object, especially in passing
to collect a passenger
to learn, to grasp; to begin to understand
to receive (a signal)
to notice, detect or discern
to meet and seduce somebody for romantic purposes
to answer (a telephone), see pick up the phone
to pay for
to reduce the despondency of
- The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.
Translations to be checked
- (rare) Alternative form of
pickup — see pickup