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 Why 2021 truck is different:Redesigned Ford F-150 pickup revealed CEC, which is owned by private equity firm Apollo Global Management, posted revenue of $913 million and a net loss of $29 million in 2019, according to a court filing. Nathan Bomey, USA TODAY, "Chuck E. Cheese parent company to close 34 locations permanently: Is your location on the store closings list?," 26 June 2020 As with that pickup, the ’21 F-150’s body is made of aluminum. Mark Phelan, Detroit Free Press, "2021 Ford F-150 features and tech aim to delight owners and stump the competition," 26 June 2020 As the pickup wars have heated up in recent years, the tailgate has become the latest battleground. Colin Beresford, Car and Driver, "2021 Ford F-150’s New Tailgate Is Construction Site Ready," 26 June 2020 Nouvelle's indoor space is completely shut down, with the front doors turned into an order and pickup station. Dahlia Ghabour, The Courier-Journal, "What changes are Kentucky bars making to prepare for Monday's grand reopening?," 26 June 2020 The popular bakery’s other locations remain open for online ordering and in-car pickup. Luke Money, Los Angeles Times, "Porto’s Bakery closes Downey shop after employees test positive for coronavirus," 26 June 2020 But the push toward pickup is a reminder that despite big investment in last-mile services in the logistics sector, the costs and complications remain daunting for many businesses. Paul Page, WSJ, "Today’s Logistics Report: Picking up the Last Mile; Charging for Inventory; Wine Imports Corked," 26 June 2020 That problem will soon be solved for shoppers across the country as the retailer expands its in-store and curbside pickup program. Jessica Bennett, Better Homes & Gardens, "Target Will Now Offer Fresh and Frozen Groceries for Curbside Pickup," 25 June 2020 The library will also continue to offer a curbside pickup program during the COVID-19 pandemic. Jon Arnold, Dallas News, "Newly renovated McKinney library opens to visitors," 25 June 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective And in fact, for pickup trucks—ie trucks that came from the factory with a load bed rather than some other configuration—the class 2b-class 3 rule only kicks in during 2027. Jonathan M. Gitlin, Ars Technica, "California set to ban all heavy diesel trucks and vans by 2045," 26 June 2020 Social distancing measures will be in place, including a pickup window for food and drinks, Climaco said. oregonlive, "Oregon’s mobile piña colada king is opening a new cocktail bar in Northeast Portland," 25 June 2020 Ford has dominated pickup sales since the beginning of time. Phoebe Wall Howard, Detroit Free Press, "Pickup truck love has America addicted, willing to sacrifice alcohol and coffee and ...," 22 June 2020 For Andrews, that's not enough to compensate for the company's history of insuring slave ships and hosting a pickup point for the return of runaway slaves in London. NBC News, "Critics question reparation offers from British corporations with slave trade ties," 19 June 2020 That failure to evolve left openings for the likes of Carvana, which sells used cars online with a seven-day return policy and delivers them or offers a pickup location. Gabrielle Coppola, Bloomberg.com, "Americans Return to Car Dealers, Thwarting Expected Shift Online," 14 June 2020 Starbucks opened two pickup locations in New York and Toronto over the last seven months. Dee-ann Durbin, BostonGlobe.com, "Starbucks takes $3 billion hit to revenue during pandemic," 10 June 2020 But the days when the best college, high school and even Indiana Pacers would play pickup games at Ben Davis or Meadowood Park in Speedway – well, those days are gone. Kyle Neddenriep, Indianapolis Star, "Outdoor pickup basketball games revived ... at least for a little while," 7 June 2020 At a time in our nation’s history in which the dogs and hoses were out in other parts of the country, Popovich and his friends mingled with African-Americans on the pickup blacktops of Gary. Jeff Mcdonald, ExpressNews.com, "Issues of race hang heavy on Spurs’ Gregg Popovich," 6 June 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Enemies are red and items your character might want to pick up are yellow. Mike Snider, USA TODAY, "Video game 'The Last of Us Part II' advances accessibility options for disabled gamers," 1 July 2020 When guests go to pick up their meals, the host can direct households to go together, one household at a time, to space out the line, Jacob Shully said. Carol Deptolla, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Socializing on the Fourth of July? What event pros know to make your party safer," 30 June 2020 As air travel begins to pick up amid the coronavirus pandemic, airlines are focusing on ways to keep their employees and customers safe and healthy. Fox News, "New York's JFK becomes first airport to have on-site coronavirus testing for employees," 30 June 2020 Sales of existing homes are likely to pick up in coming months, however. Washington Post, "US home prices increase 4% in April," 30 June 2020 Some Texas business leaders told the Dallas Fed that activity is starting to pick up. Madison Iszler, ExpressNews.com, "Survey: Activity in Texas service industry picks up in June," 30 June 2020 Never try to pick up or re-light fireworks that have not ignited fully. Sarah Brookbank, The Enquirer, "Study: Ohio and Indiana are among the states that use the most fireworks," 30 June 2020 Those who left belongings at the scene will be able to pick up their items later today at 600 Meriwether Avenue. Lucas Aulbach, The Courier-Journal, "Louisville police clear tent city at Jefferson Square Park following fatal shooting," 28 June 2020 Graduates will be able to pick up graduation packets from their schools a week before graduation. Savannah Mehrtens, Houston Chronicle, "Humble ISD outlines outdoor graduation at Turner Stadium between July 20-25," 26 June 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

1 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Pickup.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/pickup. Accessed 8 Jul. 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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More from Merriam-Webster on pickup

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for 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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