pick·​up | \ ˈpik-ˌəp How to pronounce pickup (audio) \
plural pickups

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
d : the act of collecting someone or something to be carried or transported away Is your order for pickup or delivery? We'll call your name when your food is ready for pickup. … please have your party call you for pickup after they have retrieved their luggage.— Rebecca Turco
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 or pickup truck : a light truck having an enclosed cab and an open body with low sides and tailgate
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

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 See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun On July 13, 2014, authorities found the body of Conrad Roy III, 18, in his pickup truck parked outside a Kmart in Fairhaven, Massachusetts. Greg Hanlon, Peoplemag, 3 Aug. 2022 Joseph Nichols, a 62-year-old motorcyclist from LaGrange, Kentucky, died Sunday night in a collision with a pickup truck pulling a trailer on Ky. 1694, otherwise known as Gum Street. Eleanor Mccrary, The Courier-Journal, 2 Aug. 2022 The blaze torched trees along California Highway 96, and the scorched remains of a pickup truck sat in a lane of the highway. Noah Berger, BostonGlobe.com, 1 Aug. 2022 The blaze torched trees along California Highway 96, and the scorched remains of a pickup truck sat in a lane of the highway. Noah Berger, ajc, 31 July 2022 The blaze torched trees along California Highway 96, and the scorched remains of a pickup truck sat in a lane of the highway. Bradford Betz, Fox News, 31 July 2022 Police arrested a Porter Township woman Wednesday afternoon after they were called to her residence about a verbal disturbance and arrived to find her driving past them with a man clinging to the hood of a pickup truck. Chicago Tribune, 28 July 2022 Well, who knew a story about a pickup truck could be so interesting. Laura Johnston, cleveland, 26 July 2022 Or a pickup truck, because of its political connotations. Mark Oppenheimer, WSJ, 23 July 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Travis McMichael was one of three men convicted of murder in the racist killing of Ahmaud Arbery, a 25-year-old Black man who was jogging when he was pursued by three White men in pickup trucks and gunned down. Graham Kates, CBS News, 5 Aug. 2022 Three crew members were in the CareFlight helicopter on the way to an accident involving two pickup trucks that occurred about 4:15 a.m. in Milford Township, according to the Butler County Sheriff’s Office. From Usa Today Network And Wire Reports, USA TODAY, 27 July 2022 David Oyelowo is set to star in a dramedy series that is nearing a pickup order at Apple, Variety has learned exclusively. Joe Otterson, Variety, 27 June 2022 While most need to be shipped, some have pickup options to get your dad's gift safely to him even quicker. Brittany Vincent, SELF, 14 June 2022 Chef Craig Baker is developing dishes for Room Service on Wheels, a delivery- and pickup restaurant opening in Fishers this summer. Staff Reports, The Indianapolis Star, 23 May 2022 The previous map drawn by Democrats had given them several pickup opportunities, even as the state lost one congressional district overall because of relatively stagnant population growth. Grace Segers, The New Republic, 23 May 2022 While defending a majority of the seats up for grabs this year, Republicans only need a one-seat net gain and see strong pickup opportunities in Arizona, Georgia, Nevada and New Hampshire. Paul Steinhauser, Fox News, 20 May 2022 People interested in ordering the peaches can place a pre-order on their website and set up a pickup date and time to grab them at their nearest location. Tandra Smith | Tsmith@al.com, al, 7 May 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Overall sales growth could also pick up a bit versus historical levels, given the long-term monetization prospects of the streaming business. Trefis Team, Forbes, 9 Aug. 2022 In the afternoon people from the neighborhood drop in to pick up food. New York Times, 6 Aug. 2022 Could European or American wildlife pick up the disease briefly and then overcome it? Wired, 5 Aug. 2022 Growing up in the Bronx while attending an elite, predominantly white school on the Upper East Side, Lundie still didn’t pick up on the specific kinds of knowledge needed to solve crosswords until a dedicated solver of a boyfriend taught her. Matt Hartman, The New Republic, 5 Aug. 2022 So to pick up the series and be like, 'Oh, this is where this comes from,' was really interesting for me. Christian Holub, EW.com, 4 Aug. 2022 His handler, Maria (Sandra Bullock), issues his orders through an earpiece: pick up weapons from a station locker, board the Shinkansen to Kyoto, steal a stranger’s briefcase, and exit at the first station. Amy Nicholson, WSJ, 4 Aug. 2022 Head to Amazon to pick up the Newchoice Sleeveless Blouse before the deal ends. Isabel Garcia, Peoplemag, 3 Aug. 2022 While supplies last, parents can pick up a free bike helmet for children younger than 18 at the Independence Police Department. Carol Kovach, cleveland, 2 Aug. 2022 See More

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.

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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Dictionary Entries Near pickup

pick tree


pick up

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Statistics for pickup

Last Updated

7 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Pickup.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/pickup. Accessed 13 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for pickup


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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