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 Separately in August, an asteroid the size of a pickup truck flew within 2,000 miles of Earth, the closest ever recorded. Chris Ciaccia, Fox News, "'Potentially hazardous' asteroid wider than two football fields set to fly past Earth next week," 8 Sep. 2020 Troopers arrived at North Kenansville Road and Bavar Road at 3:55 p.m. after a car crashed into a pickup truck that was pulling a trailer, Lt. Kim Montes said in a statement. Cristóbal Reyes, orlandosentinel.com, "4 dead in southern Osceola crash, FHP says," 5 Sep. 2020 Jackson jumped in his pickup truck and fled to a brick house down the street. Washington Post, "Louisiana suffered ‘tremendous devastation’ at height of Hurricane Laura’s power," 28 Aug. 2020 Officers had been watching the home of a big time West Baltimore drug dealer and found the cocaine in a pickup truck parked nearby. Tim Prudente, baltimoresun.com, "More fallout from Gun Trace Task Force scandal; another officer pleads guilty to federal crimes," 26 Aug. 2020 The murders Mitchell and Johnny Orsinger, a minor at the time, stabbed Slim 33 times after getting a ride in her pickup truck, according to a summary from the Department of Justice. Lauren Castle, The Indianapolis Star, "Despite tribe's objections, Navajo man scheduled to be executed at Terre Haute," 26 Aug. 2020 In one of two videos released Monday, a man with a black hat can be seen exiting a pickup truck and grabbing a black garbage bag out of the back and placing it in garbage bin alongside the road. Madeline Holcombe And Brian Vitagliano, CNN, "Newly released videos show Fotis Dulos disposing of evidence the day his estranged wife disappeared, attorney says," 25 Aug. 2020 Police are looking for information about a pickup truck that witnesses described as a dark-colored Dodge Ram that struck the shed before continuing back down Union Street. Megan Jones, chicagotribune.com, "Police investigating damage at Aurora community garden as a potential hate crime," 21 Aug. 2020 Graduates yelled out of car windows and from the bed of a pickup truck. Charles Bethea, The New Yorker, "The Race to Investigate a Coronavirus Outbreak at a Georgia Prep School," 18 Aug. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective The Trump campaign sees a pickup opportunity in Minnesota, which the president narrowly lost in 2016, and remains hopeful about capturing New Hampshire. Ken Thomas, WSJ, "Trump, Biden Enter a Contentious Stage in the Presidential Race," 7 Sep. 2020 Video footage posted by a local radio reporter showed pickup trucks with pro-Trump and American flags attached to the vehicles. NBC News, "Los Angeles police respond to reported shooting near pro-Trump rally," 31 Aug. 2020 Saturday night, hundreds of Trump supporters riding in pickup trucks poured into the city to counter the protests, the New York Times reports. Cliff Pinckard, cleveland, "Trump, Portland mayor clash, exchange blame for violence in city," 31 Aug. 2020 Even Bobbi, who accompanied her husband to the pickup game, was surprised Olson wanted to gamble on the 6-foot-2, 160-pound sharpshooter. Connor Letourneau, SFChronicle.com, "How Lute Olson led Steve Kerr through some of his darkest moments," 28 Aug. 2020 Since the pandemic, Best Buy, Macy's, Kohl's, Old Navy and Signet Jewelers have added curbside service allowing consumers to pickup orders without leaving the car. Kelly Tyko, USA TODAY, "Curbside pickup drives sales at Target, Walmart, other stores amid COVID-19. Here's where to use the service," 19 Aug. 2020 Blue Oven had pickup locations at Findlay Market, Loveland Farmers' Market and Hilliard Farmers' Market. Briana Rice, The Enquirer, "Blue Oven Bakery owners say fire destroyed main production site, no one injured," 21 Aug. 2020 The makeshift family’s life has been stable until the arrival at a pickup game of Dr. Julio Fabricante, head of a local orphanage of two hundred children. Christian Lorentzen, Harper's Magazine, "Coetzee’s Radical Masterpiece," 18 Aug. 2020 Hill’s militia of 10, vastly outnumbered, was joined by other militias later in the morning, along with sympathizers who showed up in pickup trucks festooned with Confederate flags. al, "Stone Mountain: White, Black activists face off at Georgia Confederate monument," 16 Aug. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Students are quick to pick up that a sub hasn't a clue or doesn't like them. cleveland, "Dear Annie: Not all substitute teachers are created equal," 12 Sep. 2020 Federal relief money has paid for many of the test kits and the machine to process them, but the kits are going to run out if Congress doesn’t pass another relief package, Walker said, and the facilities will have to pick up the costs. Nate Carlisle, The Salt Lake Tribune, "Utah’s new nursing home goal: Keep the coronavirus outbreaks small," 12 Sep. 2020 Students are quick to pick up that a sub hasn’t a clue or doesn’t like them. Annie Lane, oregonlive, "Dear Annie: Retired teacher shares frustration of poor substitutes," 12 Sep. 2020 Barkevious Mingo, the sixth pick in the 2013 draft, was signed as a backup outside linebacker and figures to pick up considerable playing time. Brad Biggs, chicagotribune.com, "3 things we learned from the Bears, including Robert Quinn listed as doubtful for the season opener and Cole Kmet’s enthusiasm for his NFL debut," 11 Sep. 2020 When the men arrived to pick up the car, they were taken into custody. Christine Dempsey, courant.com, "Plymouth police: Man arrested after he tries to buy Corvette online with forged papers," 11 Sep. 2020 Whenever someone asks what compelled Hunter to pick up and move in August, in the middle of a global pandemic, from UConn to Indiana to work for his former player, Hunter tells it straight. Zach Osterman, The Indianapolis Star, "'Because of it being Indiana.' New assistant Kenya Hunter couldn't pass up IU basketball," 11 Sep. 2020 Participants are encouraged to pick up dinner from a chamber member restaurant. Laura Groch, San Diego Union-Tribune, "North County Business Briefs, Sept. 10," 10 Sep. 2020 Next up, Tropical Storm Paulette is facing wind shear but is continuing to jog west at 9 mph and is expected to pick up some speed later Wednesday, according to the 11 a.m. update. Joe Mario Pedersen, orlandosentinel.com, "Tropical Storm Rene returns, TS Paulette turns west as hurricane center eyes 2 more systems," 9 Sep. 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

11 Sep 2020

Cite this Entry

“Pickup.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/pickup. Accessed 20 Sep. 2020.

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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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