hand·​pick | \ˈhan(d)-ˈpik \
handpicked; handpicking; handpicks

Definition of handpick 

transitive verb

1 : to pick by hand as opposed to a machine process

2 : to select personally or for personal ends

Keep scrolling for more

Examples of handpick in a Sentence

They run a farm where you can handpick fresh strawberries. a box of handpicked strawberries The executive handpicked her successor.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web

Whitaker served as Session’s chief of staff, which means Trump handpicked him for the role, rather than leaving Rod Rosenstein, the deputy attorney general and No. 2 at the Department of Justice, in charge. Jen Kirby, Vox, "A brief guide to the legal challenges against acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker," 21 Nov. 2018 Tattooed and lithe with short dark hair, Sanchez was among the newcomers handpicked by casting director Ashley Brokaw for a show that featured androgynous, gender fluid, and transgender models, many of whom had never walked before. Janelle Okwodu, Vogue, "How Spanish Model Miriam Sanchez Went From Studying Business to Walking Vuitton," 16 Nov. 2018 The land was cleared and prepared through the labor of nearly 2,000 German prisoners of war, some handpicked for their engineering and construction experience. Nate Berg, Curbed, "Can engineering save Louisiana’s coastline?," 7 Nov. 2018 Here are some fantastic products handpicked for your rainy-day spa treatments. Olivia Hall, The Seattle Times, "Stressful times call for an all-natural spa day," 15 Oct. 2018 But over the past decade, criminals have increasingly sought to co-opt local politics by trying to influence the electoral process, using violence to effectively handpick slates of candidates. New York Times, "Criminal Groups Seek to Decide Outcome in Many Mexican Races," 1 July 2018 When Mueller was appointed special counsel in May 2017 by Trump’s handpicked Deputy Attorney General, Republicans couldn’t stop praising him. Tessa Berenson, Time, "Donald Trump’s Campaign to Discredit the Russia Investigation May Be Working. It’s Also Damaging American Democracy," 7 June 2018 Kasich’s handpicked running mate in 2010 and 2014, Taylor is now running as a shrill pro-Trump conservative. Ed Kilgore, Daily Intelligencer, "What to Watch on 2018’s First Super Tuesday of Primaries," 7 May 2018 With the help of her engineer husband, De la Cruz first molds her forms on a 3-D printer, before passing them off to a downtown craftsman (and De la Cruz’s mentor), who uses local silver and coral that De la Cruz handpicks on the Mexican coast. Zoe Ruffner, Vogue, "This Mexico City Jewelry Designer Is Making Heirlooms, Not Instagram Bait," 30 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'handpick.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of handpick

1831, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about handpick

Statistics for handpick

Last Updated

10 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for handpick

The first known use of handpick was in 1831

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for handpick



English Language Learners Definition of handpick

: to pick (something, such as a fruit) by using your hand

: to choose (something or someone) carefully by yourself instead of letting someone else do it

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on handpick

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with handpick

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for handpick

Spanish Central: Translation of handpick

Nglish: Translation of handpick for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of handpick for Arabic Speakers

Comments on handpick

What made you want to look up handpick? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to make faulty or ineffective

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Find the Cousins

  • a-large-tree-with-many-branches
  • Which pair shares a common word ancestor?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

Dictionary Devil

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!