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

get, learn, master

Antonyms: Verb


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Examples of pickup in a Sentence


The fee pays for garbage pickup. The school bus was late for its afternoon pickup. The truck is scheduled to make a pickup today.


He plays with pickup bands at nightclubs. What's the pickup scene like in this city?


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

Barron was found at the nearby Sunoco gasoline station, seated in the driver’s seat of a 2011 Chevrolet pickup. Jesse Leavenworth, courant.com, "Manchester police make arrest after man hit and killed by pickup truck," 15 July 2019 The sole shot went through the side of the pickup into the bed and did not strike or injure anyone, according to information from Loveland Police Lt. Pamela Johnson, The Denver Post, "Loveland police looking for man who fired shot from stolen gun in road rage incident," 14 July 2019 Noonan says some of the pickups also ferried antique chairs from the inn to the church. Maria Puente, USA TODAY, "When JFK Jr. and Carolyn got married: Never before seen tapes on TV for first time," 14 July 2019 Cash or check can be made out to the specific produce stand at time of pickup. cleveland.com, "Historic Sally’s West Shore Pub coming down: Short Takes on Avon, Avon Lake and North Ridgeville," 12 July 2019 Households are much more indebted, so easier policy might not prompt much of a pickup in spending. Nathaniel Taplin, WSJ, "Deflation Stalks Chinese Industry Again," 10 July 2019 The motel guest called police, who looked at surveillance video and determined the body had been in the back of the pickup when the driver pulled into the parking lot. Loyd Brumfield, Dallas News, "Man finds body in bed of his pickup at Red Bird motel, Dallas police say," 10 July 2019 The only other Valley city without any form of free curbside pickup is Mesa. Jen Fifield, azcentral, "Want bulk trash pickup? You'll have to pay in these 2 metro Phoenix cities," 8 July 2019 Rite-Aid’s stock surged as high as 34% Thursday following Amazon’s announcement of in-store pickup of Amazon orders in 100 U.S. Rite-Aid stores. Kevin Kelleher, Fortune, "Amazon Counter Turns Rivals' Storefronts—Starting With Rite-Aid—Into Package Pickup Centers," 27 June 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Reminders from the city regarding trash pickup: • Recyclable and rubbish materials will be picked up on the same day each week, except when a holiday falls on or before the regular pickup day. Linda Gandee/special To Cleveland.com, cleveland.com, "Westlake residents to receive new trash, recyclable carts," 16 July 2019 Oregon State Police said Eric Santos, 18, was a passenger in a Saturn Ion that collided with a Ford F250 pickup truck on Highway 211 in Clackamas County. oregonlive.com, "18-year-old man dies in Clackamas County crash Thursday," 11 July 2019 Carts need to be at the curb by 7 a.m. on pickup day, according to the SWDA. Leada Gore | Lgore@al.com, al.com, "53,000 new recycling carts being delivered across Madison County; How to recycle your old blue bin," 10 July 2019 In Tennessee, beverage companies agreed to pay a small tax in order to fund litter pickup efforts, education programs and handouts promoting recycling. Michael Corkery, New York Times, "Beverage Companies Embrace Recycling, Until It Costs Them," 4 July 2019 Just before dusk, the first pickup trucks roll past the checkpoint and array themselves across the desert on the outskirts of Agadez, Niger. Robert Draper, National Geographic, "Surrounded by chaos, Niger is a nation on the edge," 17 June 2019 The company wants to focus mainly on its commercial van and pickup truck businesses on the continent, where Ford made a pretax loss of $398 million last year. Keith Naughton, Fortune, "Ford Will Shutter U.K. Engine Plant, Extending String of Closures Across Europe," 6 June 2019 Waste Management will not provide garbage, recycling or compostables pickup Thursday for customers in all of King County and most of Snohomish. Heidi Groover, The Seattle Times, "Risk of power outages in Puget Sound after Canadian pipeline explosion cuts off natural-gas supply," 10 Oct. 2018 Last year, pickup buyers paid more than $44,000 on average for a full-size model, 61% higher than a decade earlier, according to research firm J.D. Power. Mike Colias, WSJ, "Prices of Pickup Trucks Charge Into Luxury-Car Territory," 11 Feb. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Orlando City picked up four yellow cards by the final whistle and striker Dom Dwyer earned a red card ejection in stoppage after throwing an elbow. Julia Poe, Pro Soccer USA, "Orlando City grinds out 1-0 win despite stagnant night against Columbus," 14 July 2019 Springer picked up his head to watch Elvis Andrus race home and seal the Rangers' 9-8 walkoff win. Hunter Atkins, Houston Chronicle, "Rangers rally past Astros to walkoff win," 13 July 2019 Claude Lemieux picked up a loose puck behind the net, took it out front and tucked a backhander just under the bar and over the shoulder of Mike Liut. Mike Anthony, courant.com, "Mike Anthony: Dave Babych and Whalers who produced our memories return home for annual Hartford reunion," 13 July 2019 Gordon picked up the Patriots’ offense with remarkable speed last season, catching 40 passes for 720 yards and three touchdowns in 11 games before his missteps. Jim Mcbride, BostonGlobe.com, "With #WinWithWynnWednesday, Isaiah Wynn a study in the power of positive thinking," 13 July 2019 Algeria right back Youcef Atal picked up a shoulder injury in their the quarter-final clash with Ivory Coast and is a doubt for the game. SI.com, "Algeria vs Nigeria: Where to Watch, Live Stream, Kick Off Time & Team News," 12 July 2019 The fourth-year Cup Series driver picked up his first win at Chicagoland two weeks ago and was 14th in early practice. Jason Hoffman, Cincinnati.com, "Here's why it's almost impossible to play catch-up at Kentucky Speedway's Quaker State 400," 12 July 2019 His mother picked up the card and immediately asked me to leave. Dear Abby, oregonlive.com, "Dear Abby: Attempt at adult ‘humor’ doesn’t go over well at 18-year-old’s Oregon birthday party," 11 July 2019 And in 2018, Democrats picked up the governor's seat and two House districts. Keitha Paleski, CBS News, "2020 Daily Trail Markers: Biden lays out foreign policy agenda," 11 July 2019

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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Statistics for pickup

Last Updated

22 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for pickup

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

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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

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with pickup

Spanish Central: Translation of pickup

Nglish: Translation of pickup for Spanish Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about pickup

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