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
b : increase
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 The auto maker plans to roll out an electric version of its Chevy Silverado pickup truck, the latest in its efforts to convert its global lineup to electric vehicles. James Willhite, WSJ, "Beyond Meat, DraftKings, Carnival: What to Watch When the Stock Market Opens Today," 7 Apr. 2021 Michael Caleb Reed, 36, drove a dark-colored pickup truck through four counties, sometimes heading into opposing traffic, as police tailed him. Lila Seidman, Los Angeles Times, "Big rig driver says he crashed into murder suspect’s truck to stop dangerous police pursuit," 7 Apr. 2021 The 22-year-old Allen was a terrific pickup for GM Koby Altman. Terry Pluto, cleveland, "What happened with Andre Drummond and the Cavs? Terry Pluto," 26 Mar. 2021 Newcomer Patric Hornqvist has provided gritty scoring and former American Hockey League standout Carter Verhaeghe was a good pickup. Mike Brehm, USA TODAY, "NHL winners and losers from first half of season," 16 Mar. 2021 What really held these back was the call quality and voice pickup. Michael Andronico, CNN Underscored, "The best work from home earbuds and headphones," 12 Mar. 2021 Miller is the second graduate transfer pickup for Harsin since arriving at Auburn, with the Tigers also signing Northwestern edge-rusher Eku Leota earlier this month on National Signing Day. Tom Green | Tgreen@al.com, al, "West Virginia transfer cornerback Dreshun Miller commits to Auburn," 22 Feb. 2021 One player who has proven to be a key pickup is forward Nicolas Batum, who was bought out by the Hornets to create salary-cap space to sign Gordon Hayward. Globe Staff, BostonGlobe.com, "The only thing stopping Kevin Durant is the NBA’s confusing protocol rules," 13 Feb. 2021 The first out will be the GMC Hummer EV pickup due later this year, followed early next year by the Cadillac Lyriq SUV. Jamie L. Lareau, Detroit Free Press, "GM releases Super Bowl ad that features a Will Ferrell who hates Norway," 3 Feb. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective The ultra-loaded Edition 1 model will arrive first, finished in Moonshot Green Matte (pictured), starting at $105,595, to coincide with the release of the pickup version. Connor Hoffman, Car and Driver, "830-HP 2024 GMC Hummer EV SUV Is an Open-Roof Off-Roader," 5 Apr. 2021 Small vehicles that have pickup bodies but aren’t much more capable than a compact car are common in Latin America and Europe, where convenient size and low price are key selling points. Mark Phelan, Detroit Free Press, "2022 Ford Maverick pickup faces big challenges, potential big payoff," 3 Apr. 2021 As New York City works to get kids back in school, the school district has made students' meals available at pickup sites in the mornings. Anita Snow, Star Tribune, "US hunger crisis persists, especially for kids, older adults," 1 Apr. 2021 Do call ahead to schedule a pickup time for curbside service, which is available at 16 locations, including the Gates Mills and Richmond Heights branches. Maria Shine Stewart, cleveland, "Spring means training body and mind: Sun Messages," 29 Mar. 2021 The plan is to add 10 more cities by the end of the year and eventually offer a pickup location within 2.5 miles of every neighborhood in the Bay Area. Janelle Bitker, San Francisco Chronicle, "Can't drive to San Francisco? The city's restaurants are coming to you," 29 Mar. 2021 Pre-order available with pickup April 3 or April 4. Amy Drew Thompson, orlandosentinel.com, "Easter feasters: Check out these meals and deals around Orlando," 26 Mar. 2021 Order by March 31 for pickup April 2-3 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Open for dine-in. Audrey Eads, Dallas News, "50-plus D-FW restaurants offering Easter and Passover meal specials," 24 Mar. 2021 For now at least, orders, tied to pickup times, can be made only online, beginning at 10 a.m. Wednesday through Sunday. Washington Post, "At Lucky Danger, two talented chefs just want to have fun with their American Chinese food," 19 Mar. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Off-campus students are not allowed on campus, except for COVID testing, health services visits, or to pick up food from the dining hall. BostonGlobe.com, "COVID outbreak prompts Holy Cross to suspend in-person activities," 9 Apr. 2021 Another couple of women, dressed in their Easter finery, walked across the street from the flea market to pick up some food. Michelle L. Quinn, chicagotribune.com, "Easter food giveaway finds people in their finest embracing spiritual renewal," 5 Apr. 2021 The jury also heard from Christopher Belfrey, who had come to Cup Foods to pick up food and was sitting in a car directly behind the one Floyd was driving. Washington Post, "Derek Chauvin defends restraint of George Floyd in newly disclosed body-cam video, saying he was ‘probably on something’," 31 Mar. 2021 Dobnak did end up relaxing, playing video games with his roommate, catcher Mitch Garver, before walking to pick up some food. Star Tribune, "Day off before loss to Braves benefits some Twins, but not all," 19 Mar. 2021 They were designed by Alexandra Byrne, a master of the period-drama genre whose work on Shekhar Kapur’s gloriously extravagant Elizabeth films saw her pick up both a nomination for the 1998 original and a win for the sequel in 2007. Liam Hess, Vogue, "What This Year’s Costume Nominations Say About the Oscars in 2021," 17 Mar. 2021 On Tuesdays, dozens of immigrants line up outside the building with shopping carts and grocery bags to pick up food and supplies. Priscilla Alvarez, CNN, "She came to the US seeking asylum. Now, she's helping support hundreds of undocumented families," 10 Mar. 2021 The team shares responsibilities and rotates their roles, and then local organizations, like the Greater Baybrook Alliance and CASA of Baltimore, pick up the food. Priya Krishna, Southern Living, "Stories of Southern Resiliency," 9 Mar. 2021 The Indian School Road restaurant will have curbside pickup and a walk-upwindow where people can pick up food . Priscilla Totiyapungprasert, The Arizona Republic, "This beloved Phoenix taco shop is moving. Here's why it became 'nearly impossible' stay," 5 Mar. 2021

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

9 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Pickup.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/pickup. Accessed 13 Apr. 2021.

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More Definitions for pickup



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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More from Merriam-Webster on pickup

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for pickup

Nglish: Translation of pickup for Spanish Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about pickup

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