pick·​up | \ ˈpik-ˌəp How to pronounce pickup (audio) \
plural pickups

Definition of pickup

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1 : one that is picked up: such as
a : a hitchhiker who is given a ride
b : a temporary chance acquaintance
c : a player acquired from another team
2 : the act or process of picking up: such as
a : a revival of business activity
c : the act or technique of making the acquaintance of a previously unknown person especially for amorous purposes
d : the act of collecting someone or something to be carried or transported away Is your order for pickup or delivery? We'll call your name when your food is ready for pickup. … please have your party call you for pickup after they have retrieved their luggage.— Rebecca Turco
3 : the conversion of mechanical movements into electrical impulses in the reproduction of sound also : a device (as on an electric guitar) for making such conversion
4a : the reception of sound or an image into a radio or television transmitting apparatus for conversion into electrical signals
b : a device (such as a microphone or a television camera) for converting sound or the image of a scene into electrical signals
5 or pickup truck : a light truck having an enclosed cab and an open body with low sides and tailgate
6 : a pickup game playing pickup



Definition of pickup (Entry 2 of 3)

: utilizing or comprising local or available personnel especially without formal organization a pickup basketball game a pickup band

pick up

picked up; picking up; picks up

Definition of pick up (Entry 3 of 3)

transitive verb

1a : to take hold of and lift up
b : to gather together : collect picked up all the pieces
c : to clean up : tidy
2 : to take (passengers or freight) into a vehicle
3a : to acquire casually or by chance picked up a valuable antique at an auction
b : to acquire by study or experience : learn picking up a great deal of knowledge in the process— Robert Schleicher
c : to obtain especially by payment : buy picked up some groceries
d : to acquire (a player) especially from another team through a trade or by financial recompense
e : to accept for the purpose of paying offered to pick up the tab
f : to come down with : catch picked up a cold
g : gain, earn picked up a few yards on the last play picked up her first victory
4a : to enter informally into conversation or companionship with (a previously unknown person) had a brief affair with a girl he picked up in a bar
b : to take into custody the police picked up the fugitive
5a : to catch sight of : perceive picked up the harbor lights
b : to come to and follow picked up the outlaw's trail
c : to bring within range of sight or hearing pick up distant radio signals
d : understand, catch didn't pick up the hint
6a : revive
b : increase
7 : to resume after a break : continue pick up the discussion tomorrow
8 : to assume responsibility for guarding (an opponent) in an athletic contest
9 : to provide needed support or assistance to (someone who has faltered or failed, such as a teammate who has made an error) in a collaborative effort … Burns allowed only five hits and did not issue a walk. She also picked up her teammates after several fielding errors.— John Knebels We have faith. We don't panic. Even in all these one-run ballgames, we have trust in each other that we're going to pull it out. We pick each other up. On days we're not pitching it great, our offense gets going and vice versa.— Marco Gonzales

intransitive verb

1 : to recover or increase speed, vigor, or activity : improve after the strike, business picked up the wind began to pick up
2 : to put things in order was always picking up after her
3 : to pack up one's belongings couldn't just pick up and leave
pick up on
b : to become aware of : notice
2 : to adopt as one's own : take up

Synonyms & Antonyms for pickup

Synonyms: Verb

Antonyms: Verb

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Examples of pickup in a Sentence

Noun The fee pays for garbage pickup. The school bus was late for its afternoon pickup. The truck is scheduled to make a pickup today. Adjective He plays with pickup bands at nightclubs. What's the pickup scene like in this city? Verb he has a knack for picking up a language in a few weeks pick up all of your things because we have to be off this beach before dark See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Ben’s Kosher Deli will offer special dinner packages for pickup or delivery, available by calling 800-344-2367. Rod Stafford Hagwood, Sun Sentinel, 20 Sep. 2022 The meal is available for pickup or delivery from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sept. 25-26. Samantha Nelson, Chicago Tribune, 19 Sep. 2022 The samples will be put into storage for pickup and return to Earth. Lee Roop | Lroop@al.com, al, 16 Sep. 2022 Your race swag will be available for pickup or will be mailed to you. Tony Roberts, Baltimore Sun, 14 Sep. 2022 Online orders are being taken for drive-thru pickup of pumpkin spice or latte cream puffs during Harvest Fair at State Fair Park, Sept. 23 to 25. Elaine Rewolinski, Journal Sentinel, 12 Sep. 2022 One such project, beginning back in December of 2020, was MrBeast Burger: a virtual restaurant where customers could order up some grub online for pickup or delivery. Blaine Callahan, Hartford Courant, 6 Sep. 2022 The police website instructs the public to contact the department to confirm if a report is ready for pickup seven days after a request is made. Colleen Shalby, Los Angeles Times, 1 Sep. 2022 Most major retailers don’t charge for curbside pickup as long as customers meet an order minimum, generally at least $30 to $35. Jaclyn Peiser, Washington Post, 28 Aug. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective The move will keep the jobs of about 1,500 hourly and salaried workers at the Toledo plant, which now makes four transmissions used in pickup trucks and many other GM internal combustion vehicles. Tom Krisher, ajc, 23 Sep. 2022 According to a preliminary investigation, a black Acura RDX struck the side of a backhoe that was being escorted by two pickup trucks from the Maryland Department of Transportation Maryland Transit Administration. Baltimore Sun, 16 Sep. 2022 The three men pursued Mr. Arbery in two pickup trucks, and Travis McMichael fatally shot him. Joseph De Avila, WSJ, 8 Aug. 2022 Is there anything similar that fits inside a pickup cab? Wes Siler, Outside Online, 3 Aug. 2022 Put your garbage out the night before your regular pickup day to insure collection during the early shifts. oregonlive, 27 July 2022 Rather than engaging with Gabby, a bunch of these knuckleheads decide that now would be a great time to play a little pickup football. Kristen Baldwin, EW.com, 26 July 2022 Drivers of bigger vehicles such as pickup trucks and SUVs are more likely to hit pedestrians while making turns than drivers of cars, according to a new study. CBS News, 17 Mar. 2022 Drivers of bigger vehicles such as pickup trucks and SUVs are more likely to hit pedestrians while making turns than drivers of cars, according to a new study. Tom Krisher, ajc, 17 Mar. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Keep scrolling for more colors, then head to Amazon to pick up the Xieerduo Crewneck Sweatshirt. Isabel Garcia, Peoplemag, 14 Sep. 2022 Lindell sent his private plane last year to pick up Peters in Colorado and take her to his symposium, according to an email Peters wrote. Emma Brown, Washington Post, 14 Sep. 2022 His mom, Linda Studzinski, brother Curt Studzinski, uncle Al Petrofsky, aunt Kathy Petrofsky, cousin James Stephen and friend Diane Hill came to the hotels most nights in various combinations to pick up gear and leave fresh clothes and drinks. Erik S. Hanley, Journal Sentinel, 13 Sep. 2022 District officials said students at Heights High School will be dismissed early and school buses are in route to pick up students who normally ride buses. Ariana Garcia, Chron, 13 Sep. 2022 He was awarded an honorary Oscar from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in 2010 but didn’t travel to California to pick up the award. Nick Kostov, WSJ, 13 Sep. 2022 Sonny Perdue stopped by the Georgia capitol on Friday on the morning of his 50th wedding anniversary to pick up some jewelry – his medallion of office — as he was officially invested as chancellor of the University System of Georgia wh ... Jeff Amy, ajc, 9 Sep. 2022 The man's family left Bullhead City Community Park because a storm was coming, but was heading back to pick up another family member, according to Bullhead City police. Angela Cordoba Perez, The Arizona Republic, 8 Sep. 2022 Ford scored four second-half rushing touchdowns in Brindlee Mountain’s 52-28 win over Asbury to pick up the Player of the Week award in Huntsville. al, 8 Sep. 2022 See More

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

First Known Use of pickup


1848, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1898, in the meaning defined above


14th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a

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Time Traveler for pickup

Time Traveler

The first known use of pickup was in the 14th century

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Dictionary Entries Near pickup

pick tree


pick up

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Statistics for pickup

Last Updated

24 Sep 2022

Cite this Entry

“Pickup.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/pickup. Accessed 27 Sep. 2022.

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More Definitions for pickup


pick·​up | \ ˈpik-ˌəp How to pronounce pickup (audio) \

Kids Definition of pickup

: a light truck with an open body and low sides

More from Merriam-Webster on pickup

Nglish: Translation of pickup for Spanish Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about pickup


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