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
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

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Synonyms & Antonyms for pickup

Synonyms: Verb

get, learn, master

Antonyms: Verb


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Examples of pickup in a Sentence


The fee pays for garbage pickup. The school bus was late for its afternoon pickup. The truck is scheduled to make a pickup today.


He plays with pickup bands at nightclubs. What's the pickup scene like in this city?


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

His body was found lying next to his black pickup truck at the 8300 block of Highway 6 North, officials said. Michelle Iracheta, Houston Chronicle, "Road rage victim found lying in middle of northwest Harris County street identified," 30 Aug. 2019 Glastonbury police are searching for a silver Ford F-150 pickup truck and driver that struck a woman riding a bicycle early Wednesday morning on the New London Turnpike. Zach Murdock, courant.com, "Glastonbury police searching for silver Ford F-150 involved in early morning hit-and-run," 28 Aug. 2019 In 2017, when the previous mission’s spacecraft landed, the Air Force released some of the few public images of the X-37B. The photos showed the secret vehicle guided by a particular land-propulsion system — a white Chevrolet pickup. Alex Horton, Washington Post, "A secretive space drone just broke its own orbit record, and almost no one knows what it’s doing," 27 Aug. 2019 The driver of a southbound Chevrolet pickup truck failed to yield to northbound traffic while making a left turn onto Oakwood Avenue, said Huntsville police Lt. Ashley Remkus | Aremkus@al.com, al, "Police: Pickup driver at fault in crash involving Huntsville city bus, dump truck," 27 Aug. 2019 Video shows a black pickup truck swerving toward protesters blocking the prison employee parking lot. Edward Fitzpatrick, BostonGlobe.com, "R.I. attorney general has interviewed more than 30 witnesses in Wyatt Detention Facility probe," 21 Aug. 2019 The suspect vehicle is described as a dark-colored pickup truck with a crew cab. Kieran Nicholson, The Denver Post, "Young teenage girl, walking home from school, escapes abduction attempt in Broomfield," 19 Aug. 2019 Two weeks later, Bowen climbed behind the wheel of a Border Patrol pickup truck and used it to strike a Guatemalan migrant in a dusty parking lot in southern Arizona. A.c. Thompson, ProPublica, "“Dirtbag,” “Savages,” “Subhuman”: A Border Agent’s Hateful Career and the Crime That Finally Ended It," 16 Aug. 2019 Bowman was driving a 2004 Ford F-150 pickup truck that, according to a preliminary report, struck the rear of a Honda CRV, then ran off the road and through a fence and trees before coming to rest on Old Frederick Road, according to the release. Jon Kelvey, baltimoresun.com/maryland/carroll, "Maryland State Police investigating after man dies in crash on I-70 near Mount Airy," 12 Aug. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

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 The Pennsylvania retailer, growing in the Baltimore area, has rapidly expanded from four stores with curbside pickup two years ago to 177 with delivery and curbside service. Lorraine Mirabella, baltimoresun.com, "Go to the supermarket? Increasing numbers of Baltimore-area shoppers buy their groceries online instead.," 15 Aug. 2019 The company also announced exclusive partnerships with Disney, Hilton, and AEG Worldwide venues to provide riders special offers and dedicated pickup spots. Fortune, "Lyft’s Shares Jump 5% On Smaller-Than-Expected Losses," 7 Aug. 2019 Police found the man’s pickup truck in the parking lot of the Pearl Road bar. Brian Lisik, cleveland.com, "Police investigate break-in at Willow Lake Campground: Brunswick Hills Township Police Blotter," 26 July 2019 Twenty-year-old Cody Legebokoff, whose pickup truck was first pulled over on that routine stop, was now a suspect in the murder of Loren Leslie. Peter Van Sant, CBS News, ""48 Hours" explores the mysteries and murders along the "highway of tears"," 29 May 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

It was shared by a friend on Twitter and then picked up by local news outlets. Dakin Andone, CNN, "Teachers and parents prepare students for a new school year after a deadly summer," 24 Aug. 2019 The iconic Jedi Knight role of Obi-Wan Kenobi was established by Alec Guinness in 1977’s Star Wars, then picked up by McGregor in 1999’s The Phantom Menace. James Hibberd, EW.com, "Disney confirms Obi-Wan Kenobi series, reveals new details," 24 Aug. 2019 Two teens were picked up by their boss and driven from the area after a resident reported seeing two people going door to door, soliciting without a permit. Chuck Fieldman, chicagotribune.com, "Clarendon Hills police blotter: baby formula, Red Bull stolen from Jewel-Osco," 23 Aug. 2019 Root made his comments on Newsmax TV, which were picked up by Trump Wednesday morning. oregonlive.com, "‘I am the chosen one’: Trump again plays on messianic claims as he embraces ‘King of Israel’ title," 21 Aug. 2019 Those who jumped overboard were eventually picked up by Italian ships. Colleen Barry, BostonGlobe.com, "Italian prosecutor orders migrant rescue ship evacuated," 20 Aug. 2019 Oliphant was picked up by police last Friday, and the victim identified him in a six-person line-up, the complaint said. Sarah Horner, Twin Cities, "Man who met woman on light rail raped her at knifepoint by railroad tracks in St. Paul, charges say," 20 Aug. 2019 Since then, the story has been picked up by news outlets around the country, from The Root.com to Fox News, and the world, including the Daily Mail in London. Michael K. Mcintyre, cleveland.com, "Carl Allamby update: Mechanic-turned-doctor becomes international sensation," 18 Aug. 2019 She and Singh are Sikhs, and their story was picked up by another newspaper that focuses on people of Indian descent who are living in other countries, Khalsa said. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Couple launches food truck to bring meals, compassion to homeless," 18 Aug. 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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Statistics for pickup

Last Updated

2 Sep 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for pickup

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

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More Definitions for pickup



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

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


concealment of treason or felony

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