pick·​off | \ˈpik-ˌȯf \

Definition of pickoff 

(Entry 1 of 2)

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

pick 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

block, intercept, interdict

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Examples of pickoff in a Sentence


He made a pickoff throw to third base.


picked off more passes than any other player in the division

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Topeka Seaman High School unleashed the sneakiest of pickoff moves in its Kansas 5A quarterfinal baseball game against Blue Valley Southwest on Thursday. Andrew Joseph, For The Win, "High school pitcher fools runner with a brilliantly coordinated fake pickoff play," 24 May 2018 Oswego committed five errors in the inning, two coming on errant pickoff throws. Paul Johnson, Aurora Beacon-News, "Jason Crafton better than fair, but ‘fluky’ second inning dooms Oswego in summer baseball regional semifinals," 11 July 2018 New York had a baserunner in every inning against the right-hander, who was aided by a pickoff and a double play to escape innings. Matthew Defranks, Sun-Sentinel.com, "Marlins' future on display as Sandy Alcantara, Lewis Brinson lead Miami past Mets," 30 June 2018 Unnecessary throws, ground balls that rolled under gloves and pickoffs that went astray, hindered the work of the pitchers. Robert Avery, Houston Chronicle, "Scrimmage tells Mustang all-stars the real deal is nearing," 6 June 2018 Fister's solid work was spoiled by two pickoffs at second base and a bobble by Rougned Odor on a potential double-play grounder. Jeff Wilson, star-telegram, "Rangers don't back Fister in 2-1 loss to Mariners," 28 May 2018 After that, Verlander caught Anderson with a pickoff at second base. Scott Gleeson, USA TODAY, "Justin Verlander got offended by Tim Anderson in the latest unwritten rules spat," 21 Apr. 2018 Extra innings: Yoan Moncada left the game in the fifth inning after bruising his right knee in a collision with Paulo Orlando on a pickoff attempt at second base. chicagotribune.com, "From the hospital to the mound, new father Reynaldo Lopez stays in control," 14 July 2018 Givens got out of the seventh with no further damage before allowing a pair of hits and a run on his own throwing error on a pickoff attempt. Jon Meoli, baltimoresun.com, "Mark Trumbo, Chris Davis supply big swings as Orioles hold on for 7-5 win over Braves," 23 June 2018

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

Statistics for pickoff

Last Updated

7 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for pickoff

The first known use of pickoff was in 1810

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for pickoff



English Language Learners Definition of pickoff

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

More from Merriam-Webster on pickoff

See words that rhyme with pickoff

Comments on pickoff

What made you want to look up pickoff? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


full of whispering sounds

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Difficult Vocab Quiz

  • the-education-of-achilles-eugne-delacroix
  • Which is a synonym of discomfit?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

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