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

Number of outs made by Derek Dietrich at second base this season, not including pickoffs, caught stealing or force outs. Matthew Defranks, Sun-Sentinel.com, "A Closer Look: Milwaukee Brewers 8, Miami Marlins 4," 11 July 2018 His first mistake – a leadoff walk to Muncy in the second – was even erased via a pickoff, Lauer’s major league-leading ninth this year. Jeff Sanders, sandiegouniontribune.com, "Eric Lauer keeps rolling in win over Dodgers," 10 July 2018 But his pickoff, technically a caught stealing, thwarted a potential rally that could have padded the Rangers' lead. Jeff Wilson, star-telegram, "Rangers don't back Fister in 2-1 loss to Mariners," 28 May 2018 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

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

14 Feb 2019

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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

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

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Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with pickoff

Comments on pickoff

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irregularly rounded

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