pluck up

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pluck up

  1. (transitive) To remove by plucking from e.g. the ground.
    • 1885, Philip Schaff (editor), Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers: Series II/Volume VII/S. Cyril/Lecture 6
      Let none associate with the soul-destroying Manicheans, who by decoctions of chaff counterfeit the sad look of fasting, who speak evil of the Creator of meats, and greedily devour the daintiest, who teach that the man who plucks up this or that herb is changed into it. For if he who crops herbs or any vegetable is changed into the same, into how many will husbandmen and the tribe of gardeners be changed?
    • 1861, Charles Dickens, Great Expectations Chapter XVII
      “If I could have settled down,” I said to Biddy, plucking up the short grass within reach, much as I had once upon a time pulled my feelings out of my hair and kicked them into the brewery wall,
  2. (intransitive) to become more cheerful
    • 1901, George Bernard Shaw, Caesar and Cleopatra Act III
      CAESAR (taking the dates). My age! (He shakes his head and bites a date.) Yes, Rufio: I am an old man--worn out now--true, quite true. (He gives way to melancholy contemplation, and eats another date.) Achillas is still in his prime: Ptolemy is a boy. (He eats another date, and plucks up a little.) Well, every dog has his day; and I have had mine: I cannot complain. (With sudden cheerfulness) These dates are not bad, Rufio. (Britannus returns, greatly excited, with a leathern bag. Caesar is himself again in a moment.) What now?
  3. (transitive) To muster; summon positive emotion (especially courage)
    • 1868, Anthony Trollope, He Knew He Was Right XIII
      She knew that if she were to marry Mr Glascock and become Lady Peterborough, in due course she must stand a good deal by her own strength, and live without that comfortable leaning. Nevertheless, when she found herself alone with the man, she by no means knew whether she would refuse him or not. But she knew that she must pluck up courage for an important moment, and she collected herself, braced her muscles, as it were, for a fight, and threw her mind into an attitude of contest.
    • 1893, Edward Livermore Burlingame et al, Scribner's magazine: Volume 13
      Every ten minutes they consulted together as to who could pluck up the courage to ask some passer-by the time. The passers-by were all back street people.
  4. (sports, transitive) To sign; purchase a player.
    • 2011 January 31, Matt Kieltyka, “Ethan Gage off to Reading”, in Metro Canada[1]:
      As rumoured for some time, 18-year-old Ethan Gage was plucked up by English Championship club Reading FC Monday. Gage trained in Vancouver with the MLS club