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

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
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 : a light truck having an enclosed cab and an open body with low sides and tailgate

called also pickup truck

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
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

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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
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun White’s pickup truck, a gray Ford F-150, was covered in dust in the public parking area of the DeSoto Town Center parking garage, according to WFAA. Joelle Goldstein, PEOPLE.com, "Navy Vet Was Dead Almost 3 Years Before His Body Was Discovered by Chance in His Texas Apartment," 21 Nov. 2019 General Motors is recalling over 640,000 pickup trucks worldwide because a high-tech seat belt can set a vehicle's carpeting on fire. CBS News, "General Motors recalls 640,000 pickups because seat belts can cause fires," 21 Nov. 2019 Scott Bennett said one bison was killed by the collision with the pickup truck and another had a broken leg and was euthanized. USA TODAY, "Bei Bei goes bye-bye, human compost company, Confederate statue whisked away: News from around our 50 states," 21 Nov. 2019 The driver of the pickup truck, Vestle Ridenour, 83, of Morrow, was pronounced dead at the scene, the release states. Jennifer Edwards Baker, Cincinnati.com, "1 dead, 1 seriously hurt in Warren County wrong-way crash," 19 Nov. 2019 Then, on this road northeast of Geyserville, a pickup truck emerged out of the dust and smoke. Taylor Kate Brown, SFChronicle.com, "Bay Briefing: Oakland police and racial bias — a new approach to curbing it," 18 Nov. 2019 In mid-September, the Trump administration acted to revoke California’s decades-old ability to set air pollution standards for cars, pickup trucks and SUVs that go beyond those required by the federal government. BostonGlobe.com, "In mid-September, the Trump administration acted to revoke California’s decades-old ability to set air pollution standards for cars, pickup trucks and SUVs that go beyond those required by the federal government. California’s authority to set such standards dates back to the Clean Air Act of 1970.," 16 Nov. 2019 The young islander approached Cheryl, who was standing by the back of her pickup truck. Andrea Sachs, Houston Chronicle, "In the Bahamas, a hard-hit island beckons again," 15 Nov. 2019 The Washington County Sheriff’s Office said the driver, an Aloha resident who hasn’t been publicly identified, crashed a yellow 2001 BMW convertible into the pickup truck on Southwest Roy Rogers Road near Elsner Road. oregonlive, "Driver dies after crashing convertible into truck near Sherwood, deputies say," 12 Nov. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective There are plenty of questions about whether pickup truck buyers will have any interest in the latest Tesla. Matt Mcfarland, CNN, "Tesla's Cybertruck has become the butt of every internet joke," 22 Nov. 2019 Last night’s reveal of the angular, faceted, clipped, cropped, and generally otherworldly pickup truck in Los Angeles startled those in attendance, the media, and the Twitterverse. Eric Adams, Popular Mechanics, "9 Things You Need To Know About Tesla's Incredibly Weird and Possibly Genius Cybertruck," 22 Nov. 2019 Tacoma is the most popular midsize pickup truck on the market, selling almost 250,000 vehicles a year. Randy Diamond, ExpressNews.com, "Toyota’s $391 million expansion the first major renovation of San Antonio plant in nine years," 17 Sep. 2019 My mom wasn’t preppy like the other mothers at camp pickup day, who wore ponytails and matchy outfits. Devorah Heitner, Longreads, "What’s Happening to My Body?," 13 Sep. 2019 Ford’s best-selling F150 pickup truck, for instance, is reckoned to have around 150m lines of code. The Economist, "A connected world will be a playground for hackers," 12 Sep. 2019 The two companies announced plans in January to collaborate on developing commercial vans and medium-sized pickup trucks while exploring electric and autonomous vehicles together. Tom Krisher, chicagotribune.com, "Volkswagen to invest $2.6 billion in Ford robocar firm as part of electric vehicle tie-up," 12 July 2019 The two companies announced plans in January to collaborate on developing commercial vans and medium-sized pickup trucks while exploring electric and autonomous vehicles together. Washington Post, "VW, Ford broaden alliance to autonomous, electric vehicles," 12 July 2019 Back in January, the two car makers announced plans to share technology and platforms, starting with new commercial vehicles like vans and medium-sized pickup trucks. Jonathan M. Gitlin, Ars Technica, "Volkswagen will share electric car platform with Ford, says Reuters," 5 July 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Jameson Williams, wide receiver: Who better to pick up where Olave left off than another speedy receiver? Nathan Baird, cleveland, "Which Ohio State football sub could join Chris Olave’s Michigan-killer legacy today?," 30 Nov. 2019 At both Nordstrom and Macy’s, lines to pick up online orders were shorter, in many cases, than lines in other parts of the store. Lisa Schencker, chicagotribune.com, "Earlier deals, online shopping shrink Black Friday crowds, but consumers still spending," 29 Nov. 2019 Continue south on Main Street to pick up pillows and fine linens at Laurie Holladay Interiors, or dream about decorating your own Virginia country estate with 19th-century furnishings at Annette La Velle Antiques. Susan O'keefe, National Geographic, "How to see the Virginia Piedmont? Just follow Thomas Jefferson," 29 Nov. 2019 Authorities say Feliciano was using different addresses throughout Rhode Island to pick up packages of cash. BostonGlobe.com, "You're using a browser set to private or incognito mode.," 29 Nov. 2019 In June, Liverpool were celebrating picking up their sixth Champions League trophy in Madrid. Dominic Rech, CNN, "Could Red Bull Salzburg and Erling Braut Håland knock out defending champion Liverpool?," 28 Nov. 2019 Here are a few storylines to watch as the Cardinals look to pick up their seventh win of the season. Lucas Aulbach, The Courier-Journal, "You won't need a TV remote to watch Louisville basketball take on Western Kentucky," 27 Nov. 2019 Airport officials were advising anyone who had to pick up an arriving passenger Thursday to use the lot near the airport Sky Train at 44th and Washington streets to avoid crowded roads leading into the airport. Arizona Republic, azcentral, "Arizona weather, travel updates: Snowstorm could shut freeways up north," 27 Nov. 2019 Chinese giant Didi Chuxing came under scrutiny in May 2018, when state media reported a driver used his father's account to pick up and kill a woman in the central Chinese city of Zhengzhou. Amy Thomson And Nate Lanxon, courant.com, "Uber’s London ban marks global backlash for ride-hailing giants," 27 Nov. 2019

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.

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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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Statistics for pickup

Last Updated

25 Nov 2019

Cite this Entry

“Pickup.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/pickup?pronunciation&lang=en_us&dir=p&file=pickup01. Accessed 6 December 2019.

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More Definitions for pickup


How to pronounce pick up (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of pickup

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a small truck that has an open back with low sides
: the act of going somewhere to get a person or thing that you will then take to another place
: an increase in activity



English Language Learners Definition of pickup (Entry 2 of 2)

: organized informally with people who are available or nearby at the time
: of or relating to the act of trying to meet strangers in order to have brief sexual relationships with them


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

Kids Definition of pickup

: a light truck with an open body and low sides

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More from Merriam-Webster on pickup

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with pickup

Spanish Central: Translation of pickup

Nglish: Translation of pickup for Spanish Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about pickup

Comments on pickup

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very cautious or careful

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