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

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Synonyms for pickoff

Synonyms: Verb

block, intercept, interdict

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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

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 Lyons took second on a pickoff attempt on Adams and both runners scored on senior Trey Sweeney's double to right field which bounced just over first base before rolling into foul territory. Nate Bryan, The Courier-Journal, "Eighth-ranked St. X beats Highlands, 10-6 for its eighth state title," 16 June 2018 Tate Shaw broke out of a frigid 0-for-17 slump with a second-inning single to advance D.J. Petrinsky to third base, and the catcher scored soon after when Schneider's pickoff attempt sailed past first baseman Christian Sanchez. Nick Moyle, Houston Chronicle, "UT beats Texas Southern to set up meeting with Texas A&M," 1 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.

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First Known Use of pickoff


1911, in the meaning defined above


1810, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Statistics for pickoff

Last Updated

12 Sep 2018

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Time Traveler for pickoff

The first known use of pickoff was in 1810

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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

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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).


occurring twice a year or every two years

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