- 1[transitive] to choose someone or something from a group of people or things pick somebody/something Pick a number from one to twenty. She picked the best cake for herself. He picked his words carefully. Have I picked a bad time to talk to you? pick somebody/something to do something He has been picked to play in this week's game. see also handpicked Thesauruschooseselect pick decide opt go for somethingThese words all mean to decide which thing or person you want out of the ones that are available.choose to decide which thing or person you want out of the ones that are available:I can't decide—you choose.select [often passive] (formal) to choose a person or thing, usually carefully, from a group of people or things:He was selected for the team. a randomly selected sample of 23 schoolspick (somewhat informal) to choose a person or thing from a group of people or things:Pick a number between one and ten.choose, select, or pick?Choose is the most general of these words and the only one that can be used without an object. When you select something, you choose it carefully, unless you actually say that it is selected randomly/at random. Pick is a more informal word and often a less careful action, used especially when the choice being made is not very important.decide to choose between two or more possibilities:We're still trying to decide on a movie.opt to choose to take or not to take a particular course of action:After graduating, she opted for a career in music. After a lot of thought, I opted against buying a motorcycle.go for something (somewhat informal) to choose something:I think I'll go for the fruit salad.Patterns to choose/pick/decide between A and/or B to choose/select/pick A from B to opt/go for somebody/something to choose/decide/opt to do something to choose/select/pick somebody/something carefully/at random randomly chosen/selected/picked
- 2[transitive] pick something to take flowers, fruit, etc. from the plant or the tree where they are growing to pick grapes flowers freshly picked from the garden to go blackberry picking
- 3[transitive] to pull or remove something or small pieces of something from something else, especially with your fingers pick something + adv./prep. She picked bits of fluff from his sweater. He picked the nuts off the top of the cake. pick something to pick your nose (= put your finger inside your nose to remove dried mucus ) to pick your teeth (= use a small sharp piece of wood to remove pieces of food from your teeth) pick something + adj. The dogs picked the bones clean (= ate all the meat from the bones).
- 4 [intransitive, transitive] pick (something) = pluck Idioms
- 1(informal) to become gradually more powerful, active, etc. His election campaign is beginning to pick up steam.
- 2(of a vehicle) to increase speed gradually
- 1to choose a horse, etc. that you think is most likely to win a race
- 2(informal) to make a very good choice
verbjump to other results
NAmE//pɪk//Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they pick
he / she / it picks
past simple picked
-ing form picking
to be angry with someone about something and want to discuss it with them
have a bone to pick with somebody (informal)jump to other results
to choose only those things that you like or want very much You have to take any job you can get—you can't pick and choose.
pick and choosejump to other results
to ask someone a lot of questions about something because they know more about the subject than you do
pick somebody's brains (informal)jump to other results
to deliberately start a fight or an argument with someone He drank too much and was ready to pick a fight with anyone who crossed his path.
pick a fight/quarrel (with somebody)jump to other results
to find the weak points in something such as a plan, suggestion, etc. It was easy to pick holes in his arguments.
pick/poke/punch holes in somethingjump to other results
to open a lock without a key, using something such as a piece of wire The burglars must have picked the lock on the back door.
pick a lockjump to other results
to steal something from someone's pocket without them noticing The back pocket on a pair of jeans is the easiest one to pick. related noun pickpocket to criticize someone, or their work or ideas, very severely to criticize someone, or their work or ideas, very severely
pick somebody's pocketjump to other results
to pay for something The company picked up the tab for his hotel room.
pick up the bill, tab, etc. (for something) (informal)jump to other results
to return or to help someone return to a normal situation, particularly after a shock or a disaster You cannot live your children's lives for them; you can only be there to pick up the pieces when things go wrong.
pick up the piecesjump to other results
to go faster The train began to pick up speed.
pick up speedjump to other results
pick up steamjump to other results
to return to an earlier situation or way of life after an interruption
pick up the threadsjump to other results
to walk carefully, choosing the safest, driest, etc. place to put your feet She picked her way delicately over the rough ground.
pick your way (across, along, among, over, through something)jump to other results
pick a winnerjump to other results