pick·​off | \ ˈpik-ˌȯf How to pronounce pickoff (audio) \

Definition of pickoff

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a baseball play in which a base runner is picked off

pick off

picked off; picking off; picks off

Definition of pick off (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to shoot or bring down especially one by one
2 : to put out (a base runner who is off base) with a quick throw (as from the pitcher or catcher)
3 : intercept picked off a pass

Synonyms for pickoff

Synonyms: Verb

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Examples of pickoff in a Sentence

Noun He made a pickoff throw to third base. Verb picked off more passes than any other player in the division
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Without the benefit of as many pickoff throws, Syndergaard will need to improve his timing to the plate. Andy Kostka, Baltimore Sun, 18 Sep. 2022 The bigger bases, along with the limited number of pickoff moves for pitchers, could lead to more aggressive baserunning, but Friedl cautioned it’s not a sure thing. The Enquirer, 10 Sep. 2022 They are allowed to step off or attempt a pickoff throw a third time, but will be charged a balk if no out is recorded. Bob Nightengale, USA TODAY, 9 Sep. 2022 Rojas led off the eighth with a two-strike bunt single — the second in the majors by a position player since 2016 — and distracted reliever Dominic Leone (3-1) at first base, drawing several pickoff throws. John Marshall, The Arizona Republic, 5 July 2022 If a third pickoff attempt is unsuccessful, the runner advances one base. Kent Somers, The Arizona Republic, 15 Sep. 2022 Kershaw fired a pickoff throw to first that caught Ohtani off the bag. Beth Harris, Baltimore Sun, 20 July 2022 The meeting Tuesday between Ohtani and Kershaw consisted of a single pitch and a pickoff throw delivered three pitches into the next at-bat. Dylan Hernández, Los Angeles Times, 19 July 2022 Kershaw fired a pickoff throw to first that caught Ohtani off the bag. Beth Harris, The Arizona Republic, 19 July 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'pickoff.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of pickoff


1911, in the meaning defined above


1810, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Learn More About pickoff

Time Traveler for pickoff

Time Traveler

The first known use of pickoff was in 1810

See more words from the same year

Dictionary Entries Near pickoff



pick off

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for pickoff

Last Updated

2 Oct 2022

Cite this Entry

“Pickoff.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/pickoff. Accessed 2 Oct. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon


Test Your Vocabulary

Odd Habits and Quirks

  • image1926873504
  • Which of the following best describes an easily irritated person?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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