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

Keep scrolling for more

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 Wells, known for his control in his rise through the minors, walked Baddoo to open his outing then advanced him to second with a throwing error on a pickoff attempt. Nathan Ruiz, baltimoresun.com, 30 July 2021 With runners on first and third, Quintana threw away a pickoff attempt, allowing Elvis Andrus to score. Ethan Sears, Los Angeles Times, 29 July 2021 Robbie Grossman jammed a finger while sliding into first base on a pickoff attempt in Wednesday’s game against Texas. Dana Gauruder, Detroit Free Press, 9 July 2021 Lopez advanced to second on an errant pickoff attempt and to third on a wild pitch. Bobby Nightengale, The Enquirer, 2 July 2021 Moments later, shortstop Dominic Carnes flashed his glove, alerting pitcher Tyler Sileo for a pickoff attempt at second base. Eric Sondheimer Columnist, Los Angeles Times, 16 June 2021 The offense kept churning in the second as Bradley Zimmer beat out an infield single, took second on Dunn’s errant pickoff throw and came around to score on singles by Amed Rosario and Jose Ramirez for a 4-0 lead. Paul Hoynes, cleveland, 11 June 2021 Hampson later scored when Miley made an errant pickoff throw to first base. Bobby Nightengale, The Enquirer, 15 May 2021 Blackmon advanced to second on an errant pickoff throw from Reyes before Garrett Hampson lined out to end the inning. David Solomon, Star Tribune, 8 May 2021

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.

See More

First Known Use of pickoff


1911, in the meaning defined above


1810, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

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

3 Aug 2021

Cite this Entry

“Pickoff.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/pickoff. Accessed 3 Aug. 2021.

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

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for pickoff



English Language Learners Definition of pickoff

US, baseball : a play in which a runner who is close to a base is tagged out when the pitcher or catcher quickly throws the ball to that base


Test Your Vocabulary

Farm Idioms Quiz

  • cow coming home
  • What does 'poke' refer to in the expression 'pig in a poke'?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

 AlphaBear 2

Spell words. Make bears.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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