un·​pick | \ ˌən-ˈpik How to pronounce unpick (audio) \
unpicked; unpicking; unpicks

Definition of unpick

transitive verb

: to undo by taking out stitches unpick sewing/embroidery/knitting

Examples of unpick in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The European Union stepped up its attack on U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s attempt to unpick the Brexit divorce deal, warning that the bloc won’t cave into pressure as negotiations over a trade accord reach a critical final few weeks. Ian Wishart, Bloomberg.com, "EU Tells Boris Johnson to ‘Stop Playing Around’ With Brexit Deal," 22 Sep. 2020 Legions of academics, not to mention government officials and researchers in think-tanks, are devoted to unpicking these problems. The Economist, "Economists are rethinking the numbers on inequality," 28 Nov. 2019 Deals come undone The investment firm that agreed to buy Victoria’s Secret in February wants to back out, the highest-profile example to date of a buyer trying to unpick a deal because of the pandemic. New York Times, "Victoria’s Secret and Sycamore Partners Play ‘Let’s Break a Deal’," 23 Apr. 2020 In her new book Going Dark: The Secret Social Lives Of Extremists, Julia Ebner unpicks how extremist far-right groups are using technology to spread their ideologies. Vicky Spratt, refinery29.com, "Why Are Members Of The Alt-Right Sending Me Pictures Of Empty Egg Boxes?," 5 Mar. 2020 Tactical discipline was key to the second period, as both managers aimed to tighten up at the back and use their nouse and creative players to unpick the opposing defensive locks. SI.com, "Napoli 2-2 Atalanta: Report, Ratings & Reaction as Carlo Ancelotti Sees Red After More VAR Drama," 30 Oct. 2019 London has become so closely tied to this continental union that unpicking these will be a complex process. Alexander Smith, NBC News, "E.U. allows Brexit extension giving U.K. more time to negotiate divorce," 28 Oct. 2019 Brexit has been a major story in Britain since before the June 2016 referendum, as the country tries to unpick the legal and economic ties that have bound it to the EU for over 40 years. Danica Kirka, The Seattle Times, "Brexhaustion: Long, grinding Brexit is stressing people out," 12 Apr. 2019 Her example reminds me of Alexander the Great, slicing through the knot with a sword instead of messing about trying to unpick it. Steff Yotka, Vogue, "Kim, Kate, Juergen, Pam, and More Cheer on Vivienne Westwood as She Receives an Honor from the Fashion Awards," 5 Dec. 2018

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

See More

First Known Use of unpick

circa 1775, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about unpick

Time Traveler for unpick

Time Traveler

The first known use of unpick was circa 1775

See more words from the same year

Statistics for unpick

Last Updated

30 Sep 2020

Cite this Entry

“Unpick.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/unpick. Accessed 29 Nov. 2020.

Comments on unpick

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


Test Your Vocabulary

A Thanksgiving Word Quiz

  • a traditional thanksgiving dinner
  • November comes from a word for which of the following numbers?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Syn City

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!