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 While pickup trucks were once body-on-frame tools of the trade defined by their max tow ratings and engine output, today's full-size pickups are often judged by their luxury-grade interiors and tech features. Eric Stafford, Car and Driver, 9 Sep. 2021 Fathers who worked weekends drove pickup trucks to industrial jobs at local automotive and concrete companies. Longreads, 9 Sep. 2021 It’s a problem other automakers also have wrestled with, increasing challenges for consumers trying to find and buy new cars, SUVs and pickup trucks. Matt Kempner, ajc, 7 Sep. 2021 Squeezed by the parts shortfall, General Motors and Ford have announced one- or two-week closures at multiple North American factories, some of which produce their hugely popular full-size pickup trucks. CBS News, 6 Sep. 2021 Much of New Orleans is under water, and emergency workers with their Ford F-150 Lightning electric pickup trucks need to rescue families and pets. Diana Furchtgott-roth, Forbes, 5 Sep. 2021 The global shortage of computer chips is getting worse, forcing automakers to temporarily close factories including those that build popular pickup trucks. Tom Krisher, Anchorage Daily News, 2 Sep. 2021 Nearby, newborn lambs totter around in their pen, and working dogs relax in cages on the beds of old pickup trucks. Antonia Hitchens, Town & Country, 29 Aug. 2021 And personal vehicles — cars, pickup trucks, SUVs and minivans — produced over half of the sector's emissions. Corbin Hiar, Scientific American, 25 Aug. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Which would then mean that in one of the GOP's best pickup opportunities in the country, the party would put forward a candidate who is an opposition researcher's dream -- not to mention someone who has never run for any office prior to 2022. Chris Cillizza, CNN, 24 Aug. 2021 The ridicule started on Maddie’s first day of first grade, when local news reporters in North Carolina showed up to interview parents in the pickup line about the new trans kid in school. Washington Post, 21 July 2021 This is largely the same squad that won its second consecutive World Cup in 2019, yet there are pickup squads that look more cohesive. Nancy Armour, USA TODAY, 21 July 2021 After schools shut in March 2020, many transformed their parking lots into pickup sites, and federal funding allowed schools to offer meals to anyone. BostonGlobe.com, 20 July 2021 The pickup opportunity for Democrats could sway the balance of the Senate and determine whether Republicans can more easily stifle President Joe Biden's legislative agenda. Bryan Anderson, Star Tribune, 7 July 2021 And Fox News has received video showing gunmen in pickup trucks, firing bullets in the streets of Kabul. Michael Ruiz, Fox News, 20 Aug. 2021 Taliban fighters with their long beards and long guns drove through the city in pickup trucks and hoisted their flag in victory. Washington Post, 17 Aug. 2021 To haul out their boats, Lefebvre reported, some groups were resorting to hooking up two pickup trucks, one behind the other. Elizabeth Kolbert, The New Yorker, 9 Aug. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Like last year, consumers who are still wary of the virus are expected to do much of their shopping online and pick up items at stores or curbside. Megan Cerullo, CBS News, 14 Sep. 2021 The Metropolitan Opera has a cavernous auditorium, but in the half hour before curtain, the line to pick up tickets snakes through a jammed lobby. Justin Davidson, Curbed, 14 Sep. 2021 That’s all to say the film could still become a box-office smash and pick up noms for sound and original song. Clayton Davis, Variety, 14 Sep. 2021 For more information about Maya Millete and other missing mom cases, subscribe now to PEOPLE or pick up the most recent issue, which released on newsstands Friday. Harriet Sokmensuer, PEOPLE.com, 13 Sep. 2021 To tackle large yards, a heavy-duty garden cart is crucial: There are more weeds and leaves to pick up and more moisture-conserving mulch and nutrient-rich compost to put down. Sanah Faroke, Better Homes & Gardens, 13 Sep. 2021 But Dan sometimes fishes solo at a mile and a quarter-long section of the North Branch by hiking back to his vehicle then driving to the pick up point. Bill May, baltimoresun.com/maryland/carroll, 12 Sep. 2021 These one-on-ones become safe spaces where students can pick up insights that are difficult to catch in a group setting. Will Fan, Forbes, 10 Sep. 2021 Use the touchscreen, grab the paper slip with your order number and pick up your sandwich at the counter between the jerky station and the bakery. Mary Colurso | Mcolurso@al.com, al, 10 Sep. 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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Learn More About pickup

Time Traveler for pickup

Time Traveler

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

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Dictionary Entries Near pickup

pick tree


pick up

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Statistics for pickup

Last Updated

12 Sep 2021

Cite this Entry

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

More from Merriam-Webster on pickup

Nglish: Translation of pickup for Spanish Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about pickup


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