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pick up

verb

Definition of pick up

  1. transitive verb
  2. 1 a :  to take hold of and lift up b :  to gather together :  collect <picked up all the pieces> c :  to clean up :  tidy

  3. 2 :  to take (passengers or freight) into a vehicle

  4. 3 a :  to acquire casually or by chance <picked up a valuable antique at an auction> b :  to acquire by study or experience :  learn <picking up a great deal of knowledge in the process — Robert Schleicher> c :  to obtain especially by payment :  buy <picked up some groceries> d :  to acquire (a player) especially from another team through a trade or by financial recompense e :  to accept for the purpose of paying <offered to pick up the tab> f :  to come down with :  catch <picked up a cold> g :  gain, earn <picked up a few yards on the last play> <picked up her first victory>

  5. 4 a :  to enter informally into conversation or companionship with (a previously unknown person) <had a brief affair with a girl he picked up in a bar> b :  to take into custody <the police picked up the fugitive>

  6. 5 a :  to catch sight of :  perceive <picked up the harbor lights> b :  to come to and follow <picked up the outlaw's trail> c :  to bring within range of sight or hearing <pick up distant radio signals> d :  understand, catch <didn't pick up the hint>

  7. 6 a :  revive b :  increase

  8. 7 :  to resume after a break :  continue <pick up the discussion tomorrow>

  9. 8 :  to assume responsibility for guarding (an opponent) in an athletic contest

  10. intransitive verb
  11. 1 :  to recover or increase speed, vigor, or activity :  improve <after the strike, business picked up> <the wind began to pick up>

  12. 2 :  to put things in order <was always picking up after her>

  13. 3 :  to pack up one's belongings <couldn't just pick up and leave>

pick up on

  1. 1 a :  understand, appreciate b :  to become aware of :  notice

  2. 2 :  to adopt as one's own :  take up



Examples of pick up in a sentence

  1. <he has a knack for picking up a language in a few weeks>

  2. <pick up all of your things because we have to be off this beach before dark>



14th Century

First Known Use of pick up

14th century



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