Dictionary > Pick


1. To throw; to pitch. As high as I could pick my lance. (Shak)
2. To peck at, as a bird with its beak; to strike at with anything pointed; to act upon with a pointed instrument; to pierce; to prick, as with a pin.
3. To separate or open by means of a sharp point or points; as, to pick matted wool, cotton, oakum, etc.
4. To open (a lock) as by a wire.
5. To pull apart or away, especially with the fingers; to pluck; to gather, as fruit from a tree, flowers from the stalk, feathers from a fowl, etc.
6. To remove something from with a pointed instrument, with the fingers, or with the teeth; as, to pick the teeth; to pick a bone; to pick a goose; to pick a pocket. Did you pick master Slender’s purse? (Shak) He picks clean teeth, and, busy as he seems With an old tavern quill, is hungry yet. (Cowper)
7. To choose; to select; to separate as choice or desirable; to cull; as, to pick one’s company; to pick one’s way; often with out. One man picked out of ten thousand.
8. To take up; especially, to gather from here and there; to collect; to bring together; as, to pick rags; often with up; as, to pick up a ball or stones; to pick up information.
9. To trim. To pick at, to tease or vex by pertinacious annoyance. To pick a bone with. See Bone. To pick a thank, to curry favor. To pick off. To pluck; to remove by picking. To shoot or bring down, one by one; as, sharpshooters pick off the enemy. To pick out. To mark out; to variegate; as, to pick out any dark stuff with lines or spots of bright colours. To select from a number or quantity. To pick to pieces, to pull apart piece by piece; hence, to analyze; especially, to criticize in detail. To pick a quarrel, to give occasion of quarrel intentionally. To pick up. To take up, as with the fingers. To get by repeated efforts; to gather here and there; as, to pick up a livelihood; to pick up news.
Origin: OE. Picken, pikken, to prick, peck; akin to Icel. Pikka, Sw. Picka, Dan. Pikke, D. Pikken, G. Picken, F. Piquer, W. Pigo. Cf. Peck, Pike, Pitch to throw.
1. A sharppointed tool for picking; often used in composition; as, a toothpick; a picklock.
2. (Science: chemical) A heavy iron tool, curved and sometimes pointed at both ends, wielded by means of a wooden handle inserted in the middle, used by quarrymen, roadmakers, etc.; also, a pointed hammer used for dressing millstones.
3. A pike or spike; the sharp point fixed in the center of a buckler. Take down my buckler . . . And grind the pick on ‘t.
4. Choice; right of selection; as, to have one’s pick. France and Russia have the pick of our stables. (ld. Lytton)
5. That which would be picked or chosen first; the best; as, the pick of the flock.
6. A particle of ink or paper imbedded in the hollow of a letter, filling up its face, and occasioning a spot on a printed sheet.
7. That which is picked in, as with a pointed pencil, to correct an unevenness in a picture.
8. The blow which drives the shuttle, the
rate of speed of a loom being reckoned as so many picks per minute; hence, in describing the fineness of a fabric, a weft thread; as, so many picks to an inch. Pick dressing, in cut stonework, a facing made by a pointed tool, leaving the surface in little pits or depressions. Pick hammer, a pick with one end sharp and the other blunt, used by miners.
Origin: F. Pic a pickax, a pick. See Pick, and cf. Pike.