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Pick (?), v. t. [imp. & p. p. Picked (?); p. pr. & vb. n. Picking.] [OE. picken, pikken, to prick, peck; akin to Icel. pikka, Sw. picka, Dan. pikke, D. pikken, G. picken, F. piquer, W. pigo. Cf. Peck, v., Pike, Pitch to throw.]


To throw; to pitch.


As high as I could pick my lance. Shak.


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.


To separate or open by means of a sharp point or points; as, to pick matted wool, cotton, oakum, etc.


To open (a lock) as by a wire.


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.


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.


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."



To take up; esp., 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.


To trim.



To pick at, to tease or vex by pertinacious annoyance. -- To pick a bone with. See under Bone. -- To pick a thank, to curry favor. [Obs.] Robynson (More's Utopia). -- To pick off. (a) To pluck; to remove by picking. (b) To shoot or bring down, one by one; as, sharpshooters pick off the enemy. -- To pick out. (a) To mark out; to variegate; as, to pick out any dark stuff with lines or spots of bright colors. (b) To select from a number or quantity. -- To pick to pieces, to pull apart piece by piece; hence [Colloq.], to analyze; esp., to criticize in detail. -- To pick a quarrel, to give occasion of quarrel intentionally. -- To pick up. (a) To take up, as with the fingers. (b) To get by repeated efforts; to gather here and there; as, to pick up a livelihood; to pick up news.<-- (c) to acquire (an infectious disease); as, to pick up a cold on the airplane. (d) To meet (a person) and induce to accompany one; as, to pick up a date at the mall. [See several other defs in MW10] -->


© Webster 1913.

Pick (?), v. i.


To eat slowly, sparingly, or by morsels; to nibble.

<-- = to pick at -->

Why stand'st thou picking? Is thy palate sore? Dryden.


To do anything nicely or carefully, or by attending to small things; to select something with care.


To steal; to pilfer.

"To keep my hands from picking and stealing."

Book of Com. Prayer.

To pick up, to improve by degrees; as, he is picking up in health or business. [Colloq. U.S.]<-- or, to increase gradually, as the car picked up speed rolling downhill -->


© Webster 1913.

Pick, n. [F. pic a pickax, a pick. See Pick, and cf. Pike.]


A sharp-pointed tool for picking; -- often used in composition; as, a toothpick; a picklock.

2. Mining & Mech.

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.

<-- used for digging -->


A pike or spike; the sharp point fixed in the center of a buckler.

[Obs.] "Take down my buckler . . . and grind the pick on 't."

Beau. & Fl.


Choice; right of selection; as, to have one's pick.

France and Russia have the pick of our stables. Ld. Lytton.


That which would be picked or chosen first; the best; as, the pick of the flock.

6. Print.

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. Painting

That which is picked in, as with a pointed pencil, to correct an unevenness in a picture.

8. Weaving

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 Arch., 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.


© Webster 1913.