pick·​up | \ ˈpik-ˌəp How to pronounce pickup (audio) \

Definition of pickup

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1 : one that is picked up: such as
a : a hitchhiker who is given a ride
b : a temporary chance acquaintance
c : a player acquired from another team
2 : the act or process of picking up: such as
a : a revival of business activity
c : the act or technique of making the acquaintance of a previously unknown person especially for amorous purposes
3 : the conversion of mechanical movements into electrical impulses in the reproduction of sound also : a device (as on an electric guitar) for making such conversion
4a : the reception of sound or an image into a radio or television transmitting apparatus for conversion into electrical signals
b : a device (such as a microphone or a television camera) for converting sound or the image of a scene into electrical signals
5 : a light truck having an enclosed cab and an open body with low sides and tailgate

called also pickup truck

6 : a pickup game playing pickup



Definition of pickup (Entry 2 of 3)

: utilizing or comprising local or available personnel especially without formal organization a pickup basketball game a pickup band

pick up

picked up; picking up; picks up

Definition of pick up (Entry 3 of 3)

transitive verb

1a : to take hold of and lift up
b : to gather together : collect picked up all the pieces
c : to clean up : tidy
2 : to take (passengers or freight) into a vehicle
3a : 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
4a : 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
5a : 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
6a : revive
7 : to resume after a break : continue pick up the discussion tomorrow
8 : to assume responsibility for guarding (an opponent) in an athletic contest
9 : to provide needed support or assistance to (someone who has faltered or failed, such as a teammate who has made an error) in a collaborative effort … Burns allowed only five hits and did not issue a walk. She also picked up her teammates after several fielding errors.— John Knebels We have faith. We don't panic. Even in all these one-run ballgames, we have trust in each other that we're going to pull it out. We pick each other up. On days we're not pitching it great, our offense gets going and vice versa.— Marco Gonzales

intransitive verb

1 : to recover or increase speed, vigor, or activity : improve after the strike, business picked up the wind began to pick up
2 : to put things in order was always picking up after her
3 : to pack up one's belongings couldn't just pick up and leave
pick up on
b : to become aware of : notice
2 : to adopt as one's own : take up

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Synonyms & Antonyms for pickup

Synonyms: Verb

Antonyms: Verb

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Examples of pickup in a Sentence

Noun The fee pays for garbage pickup. The school bus was late for its afternoon pickup. The truck is scheduled to make a pickup today. Adjective He plays with pickup bands at nightclubs. What's the pickup scene like in this city? Verb he has a knack for picking up a language in a few weeks pick up all of your things because we have to be off this beach before dark
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Fair Street Police have issued an arrest warrant for a Strongsville man, 47, who borrowed but never returned a pickup truck belonging to a Fair Street resident. Bob Sandrick, cleveland, "Strongsville man disappears with friend’s truck; treatment center escapee lifts merchandise from Shell: Berea police blotter," 10 Jan. 2021 That’s when other deputies fired on the pickup truck and Falkner was killed. Carol Robinson | Crobinson@al.com, al, "Sister of woman fatally shot by Shelby County deputies: ‘They didn’t have to kill her’," 5 Jan. 2021 Pittsburgh police are searching for a white pickup truck after two explosions were reported in the city Sunday night, investigators said. Fox News, "Pittsburgh police searching for white pickup truck after explosions in city," 5 Jan. 2021 Woolen, who was later apprehended in neighboring Harrison County after allegedly stealing McWilliams' pickup truck, could face charges of capital murder and other crimes, Smith said. NBC News, "Pastor killed, two other people injured in Texas church shooting," 4 Jan. 2021 So, the two men took Bo Dukes' pickup truck and drove out of town onto a highway and pulled off on a dirt road leading to the pecan orchard that's owned by Bo Dukes' family. Peter Van Sant, CBS News, "Tara Grinstead murder: Did authorities miss leads that could have potentially solved the case over a decade ago?," 2 Jan. 2021 Toyota is pumping $391 million into its South Side pickup truck plant, and heavy-duty truck maker Navistar International held a ceremonial groundbreaking — virtually, of course — for its $250 million manufacturing facility in June. Greg Jefferson, ExpressNews.com, "Jefferson: ‘Germ-zapping robots’ are hot. So are new homes. But for other San Antonio industries, 2021 spells misery," 31 Dec. 2020 Foremost among many changes is the option of a full hybrid engine, the first ever offered in a full-size pickup truck. Dallas News, "Ford’s new F-150: America’s favorite pickup goes hybrid (in more ways than one)," 26 Dec. 2020 District Court Judge Fred Wilkins barred reporters from attending a plea hearing for Sandra Warren Brazee, a white woman accused of driving her pickup truck at two 12-year-old Black girls. From Usa Today Network And Wire Reports, USA TODAY, "Seaweed surplus, vaccine dose reductions, DC gets help: News from around our 50 states," 21 Dec. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Founder Henrik Fisker eventweeted an image of a pickup bed with name Alaska written on it. Peter Valdes-dapena, CNN, "Auto trends of 2020: Online buying, electric trucks and SUVs go off-road again," 29 Dec. 2020 What could the Los Angeles Lakers learn from practicing against a pickup squad? Washington Post, "G2 were the kings of ‘Valorant’ in Europe. What happened?," 28 Dec. 2020 The dinners will be pickup only between 4 and 8 p.m. Dec. 31 on Franklin Street outside of Coakley’s Pub. Randy Mcroberts, baltimoresun.com, "Duck Drop, fireworks still planned to ring in New Year’s in Havre de Grace," 24 Dec. 2020 This summer, the two of them battled through pickup games and one-on-one matches, Flanigan said. Giana Han, al, "Allen Flanigan can be Auburn’s game changer," 19 Dec. 2020 Fonz expects close to 100 muscle cars to fill the West End and invites people with pickup trucks to volunteer to collect trash and help take it to dump sites. Andre Toran, The Courier-Journal, "'Greatest cleanup in West End history': Louisville organizer spearheads holiday restoration," 24 Nov. 2020 The migrants said they were forced into pickup trucks and driven to the nearby Saudi border. Noha Elhennawy, Star Tribune, "Rights group: Houthis, Saudis killed Ethiopian migrants," 13 Aug. 2020 On this day, vehicles, mostly pickup trucks, were lined up to the end of the road and Solorio was still trying to figure out how to get food to volunteers too proud to ask. Diana Marcum, Los Angeles Times, "Amid a crushing pandemic, this party van is a lifeline for California farmworkers," 21 Dec. 2020 Rhonda Eysel’s Master Kleen Dry Cleaners, with pickup locations in Georgia and Alabama, cut operations of its cleaning plant from five days a week to three, to reduce utility costs. Olga Kharif And Yueqi Yang Bloomberg News, Star Tribune, "With office workers in sweatpants at home, dry cleaners feel the pinch," 6 Dec. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The group rents or borrows a truck to pick up the food. NBC News, "As Covid surges in Mississippi Delta, food banks and hospitals are stretched thin," 31 Dec. 2020 But because opponents have been forced to try to keep pace with Dallas’ offense lately, those teams ran the ball less in an attempt to pick up quicker scores and production through the air. John Owning, Dallas News, "4 key reasons for the Cowboys defense’s improvement during Dallas’ current win streak," 30 Dec. 2020 The government’s treatment of its own critics offers little hope that the inquiry will suddenly pick up steam. Los Angeles Times, "A Thai dissident was kidnapped. When police had no answers, his sister began to investigate," 29 Dec. 2020 With the game on the line Sunday against the Jets, Kevin Stefanski needed his offense to pick up one yard. Scott Patsko, cleveland, "Why a Baker Mayfield sneak is better than a Nick Chubb or Kareem Hunt run," 29 Dec. 2020 Burlingame Avenue was bustling as some shoppers waited in lines to pick up last-minute holiday items, while others were out for lunch and coffee. Chase Difeliciantonio, SFChronicle.com, "Last-minute Bay Area holiday shoppers face coronavirus risks," 23 Dec. 2020 So here, gathered together, are our reports on last-minute food gifts to pick up or make, recipes for entrees, side dishes and, of course, desserts, restaurants offering takeout and so much more. chicagotribune.com, "What to make, buy, eat and drink for Christmas," 22 Dec. 2020 Next year, there might be chances to pick up other independent names. Carol Ryan, WSJ, "Luxury Brands Will Go Shopping Again," 21 Dec. 2020 Scientists estimate that the canine sense of smell is more than 10,000 times greater than our own, giving them the ability to pick up scents as far as 12 miles away. Washington Post, "Traveling through the pandemic in the company of dogs," 18 Dec. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'pickup.' 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 pickup


1848, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1898, in the meaning defined above


14th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a

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Time Traveler for pickup

Time Traveler

The first known use of pickup was in the 14th century

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Statistics for pickup

Last Updated

15 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Pickup.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/pickup. Accessed 18 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for pickup


How to pronounce pick up (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of pickup

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a small truck that has an open back with low sides
: the act of going somewhere to get a person or thing that you will then take to another place
: an increase in activity



English Language Learners Definition of pickup (Entry 2 of 2)

: organized informally with people who are available or nearby at the time
: of or relating to the act of trying to meet strangers in order to have brief sexual relationships with them


pick·​up | \ ˈpik-ˌəp How to pronounce pickup (audio) \

Kids Definition of pickup

: a light truck with an open body and low sides

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