pick·​off | \ ˈpik-ˌȯf How to pronounce pickoff (audio) \

Definition of pickoff

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a baseball play in which a base runner is picked off

pick off

picked off; picking off; picks off

Definition of pick off (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to shoot or bring down especially one by one
2 : to put out (a base runner who is off base) with a quick throw (as from the pitcher or catcher)
3 : intercept picked off a pass

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Synonyms for pickoff

Synonyms: Verb

block, intercept, interdict

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Examples of pickoff in a Sentence


He made a pickoff throw to third base.


picked off more passes than any other player in the division

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Atlantic League announce 4 new rules: Pitcher required to step off the rubber in order to attempt a pickoff. 1 foul bunt is permitted with 2 strikes before strikeout is called. Khadrice Rollins, SI.com, "Atlantic League Player Makes History in First Successful Steal of First Base," 14 July 2019 The pickoff and failure to execute a two-strike bunt in the third inning reminded everybody why the Sox only have nine victories. David Haugh, chicagotribune.com, "Willson Contreras' huge day exposes big-as-ever gap between Cubs and White Sox," 11 May 2018 Fancy footwork Indians rookie RHP Zach Plesac leads the majors with five pickoffs in 48 innings, the most recent Tuesday on Tigers OF Victor Reyes. Brian Dulik, Detroit Free Press, "Detroit Tigers suffer 17 strikeouts in loss at Cleveland, 7-2," 17 July 2019 Ramirez threw a pickoff throw to Pujols at first base. Chandler Rome, Houston Chronicle, "Things get testy as Astros fall to Angels," 17 July 2019 In the next inning, Dylan Moore boldly took off for the plate from third on Suarez’s pickoff move to first base only to be thrown out by Albert Pujols. Maria Torres, latimes.com, "Rookie Matt Thaiss caps Angels’ sweep with home run heroics," 14 July 2019 Shaun Anderson helped the Brewers score their first two runs, by walking Thames to set up one and making an errant pickoff throw to aid another. Henry Schulman, SFChronicle.com, "Giants overcome Will Smith’s first blown save, beat Brewers on Buster Posey’s grand slam," 12 July 2019 The additional time was due to throws to first base (all 11,194 of them), which added an average of 25 seconds between pitches on those occasions when the pitcher made a pickoff throw. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Time to put major league pitchers on the clock? Not so fast," 10 July 2019 When catcher Tucker Barnhart tried to sneak a pickoff throw to third base, the ball sailed into left field. Bobby Nightengale, Cincinnati.com, "Jay Bruce homers in home debut with Philadelphia Phillies, hands Cincinnati Reds 4-2 loss," 8 June 2019

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

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First Known Use of pickoff


1911, in the meaning defined above


1810, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Statistics for pickoff

Last Updated

15 Aug 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for pickoff

The first known use of pickoff was in 1810

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English Language Learners Definition of pickoff

US, baseball : a play in which a runner who is close to a base is tagged out when the pitcher or catcher quickly throws the ball to that base

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Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with pickoff

Comments on pickoff

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


a period when something is suspended

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