Definition of pick up phrasal verb from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary

  

pick up

 phrasal verb
phrasal verb Driving
 
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Phrasal Verbs
  1. 1to get better, stronger, etc.; to improve Trade usually picks up in the spring. The wind is picking up now. Sales have picked up 14% this year. related noun pickup
  2. 2(informal) to start again; to continue Let's pick up where we left off yesterday.
  3. 3(informal, especially North American English) to put things away and make things neat, especially for somebody else All I seem to do is cook, wash and pick up after the kids.

pick up

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pick something up

 
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to answer a phone The phone rang and rang and nobody picked up.
  1. 1  to go somewhere in your car and collect somebody who is waiting for you synonym collect I'll pick you up at five. See related entries: Driving
  2. 2to allow somebody to get into your vehicle and take them somewhere The bus picks up passengers outside the airport. See related entries: Driving
  3. 3to rescue somebody from the sea or from a dangerous place, especially one that is difficult to reach A lifeboat picked up survivors. The stranded climbers were picked up by a rescue helicopter.
  4. 4(informal, often disapproving) to start talking to somebody you do not know because you want to have a sexual relationship with them He goes to clubs to pick up girls. related noun pickup
  5. 5(informal) (of the police) to arrest somebody He was picked up by police and taken to the station for questioning.
  6. 6to make somebody feel better Try this—it will pick you up. related noun pick-me-up

pick up somebody

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pick up something

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pick somebody up

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pick something up

 
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 to take hold of somebody/something and lift them/it up She went over to the crying child and picked her up.
  1. 1  to get information or a skill by chance rather than by making a deliberate effort to pick up bad habits Here's a tip I picked up from my mother. She picked up Spanish when she was living in Mexico. Where did you pick up that idea?
  2. 2to identify or recognize something Scientists can now pick up early signs of the disease.
  3. 3  to collect something from a place I picked up my coat from the cleaners. related noun pickup
  4. 4  to receive an electronic signal, sound or picture We were able to pick up the BBC World Service. The survivors were rescued after their sounds were picked up by a television crew's microphone.
  5. 5(informal) to buy something, especially cheaply or by chance We managed to pick up a few bargains at the auction.
  6. 6(informal) to get or obtain something I seem to have picked up a terrible cold from somewhere. I picked up £30 in tips today.
  7. 7to find and follow a route to pick up the scent of an animal We can pick up the motorway in a few miles.
  8. 8to return to an earlier subject or situation in order to continue it synonym take up He picks up this theme again in later chapters of the book. She left the band in 2006 to pick up her career as a solo performer.
  9. 9to notice something that is not very obvious; to see something that you are looking for I picked up the faint sound of a car in the distance.
  10. 10(especially North American English) to put things away neatly Will you pick up all your toys?
  11. 11(North American English) to put things away and make a room neat to pick up a room
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: pick up