plural noun

pick·​ings ˈpi-kiŋz How to pronounce pickings (audio) -kənz How to pronounce pickings (audio)
: something that is picked or picked up: such as
: gleanable or eatable fragments : scraps
: yield or return for effort expended
easy pickings
slim pickings

Examples of pickings in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The pickings are slimmer here, with nine Wolverines making the NFL in the kicking game — three punters and six kickers, though Jake Moody and Brad Robbins should increase both totals in 2023. Ryan Ford, Detroit Free Press, 6 Feb. 2023 On offense, especially at the skill positions, free agency was mostly slim pickings. Ben Volin, BostonGlobe.com, 9 Apr. 2022 But those many decades living without predators ruined their flight response, and the horses became easy pickings for mountain lions and other predators. Ryan Fonsecastaff Writer, Los Angeles Times, 28 Nov. 2022 Gardens and parks are easy pickings for rats: verdant spaces with fencing that’s easy to squeeze through or nonexistent. Joe Fox, Washington Post, 28 Oct. 2022 In a previous episode, Aurora routinely makes her way to Olivia's closet to borrow a cardigan, only to be presented with a padlocked wardrobe — a consequence of their sartorial pickings. Michelle Lee, Peoplemag, 25 Nov. 2022 The years of easy pickings for scammers may be over. Pete Lord, Forbes, 2 Aug. 2022 Talent is being signed up at such speed and scale that slim pickings remain for indie producers to put their best packages forward, let along bring equity partners along for the ride. Angus Finney, Variety, 1 Nov. 2022 There are free agents still out there, but the pickings are slim at this point. Jeff Miller, Los Angeles Times, 29 Sep. 2022

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'pickings.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1642, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of pickings was in 1642

Dictionary Entries Near pickings

Cite this Entry

“Pickings.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/pickings. Accessed 21 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition


noun plural
pick·​ings ˈpik-iŋz How to pronounce pickings (audio)
: something available or left over
especially : eatable remains
: yield or return for the effort put forth
easy pickings
slim pickings

More from Merriam-Webster on pickings

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!