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pick

Definitions

  • Hop-picking in Kent
    Hop-picking in Kent
  • WordNet 3.6
    • v pick remove unwanted substances from, such as feathers or pits "Clean the turkey"
    • v pick remove in small bits "pick meat from a bone"
    • v pick select carefully from a group "She finally picked her successor","He picked his way carefully"
    • v pick harass with constant criticism "Don't always pick on your little brother"
    • v pick eat intermittently; take small bites of "He pieced at the sandwich all morning","She never eats a full meal--she just nibbles"
    • v pick hit lightly with a picking motion
    • v pick look for and gather "pick mushrooms","pick flowers"
    • v pick attack with or as if with a pickaxe of ice or rocky ground, for example "Pick open the ice"
    • v pick pull lightly but sharply with a plucking motion "he plucked the strings of his mandolin"
    • v pick provoke "pick a fight or a quarrel"
    • v pick pay for something "pick up the tab","pick up the burden of high-interest mortgages","foot the bill"
    • v pick pilfer or rob "pick pockets"
    • n pick the act of choosing or selecting "your choice of colors was unfortunate","you can take your pick"
    • n pick a basketball maneuver; obstructing an opponent with one's body "he was called for setting an illegal pick"
    • n pick a heavy iron tool with a wooden handle and a curved head that is pointed on both ends "they used picks and sledges to break the rocks"
    • n pick a thin sharp implement used for removing unwanted material "he used a pick to clean the dirt out of the cracks"
    • n pick a small thin device (of metal or plastic or ivory) used to pluck a stringed instrument
    • n pick the yarn woven across the warp yarn in weaving
    • n pick the person or thing chosen or selected "he was my pick for mayor"
    • n pick the best people or things in a group "the cream of England's young men were killed in the Great War"
    • n pick the quantity of a crop that is harvested "he sent the first picking of berries to the market","it was the biggest peach pick in years"
    • ***

Additional illustrations & photos:

John DeWitt about to pick up the ball John DeWitt about to pick up the ball
The boy picks up the bracelet dropped by the fallen maiden The boy picks up the bracelet dropped by the fallen maiden
Locality of Ankylosaurus skull in Edmonton formation in Red Deer River. The skull is in the rock just above the pick, about the center of the photograph Locality of Ankylosaurus skull in Edmonton formation in Red Deer River. The skull is in the rock just above the pick,...
Albert on ground picking up apples and putting them back into the basket Albert on ground picking up apples and putting them back into the basket
Girl picks up duckling from nest Girl picks up duckling from nest
A man on a donkey picks fruit from a tree A man on a donkey picks fruit from a tree

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: After being picked an orange cannot ripen
    • Pick (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 for digging ino the ground by quarrymen, roadmakers, etc.; also, a pointed hammer used for dressing millstones.
    • Pick (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.
    • Pick A pike or spike; the sharp point fixed in the center of a buckler. "Take down my buckler . . . and grind the pick on 't."
    • Pick A sharp-pointed tool for picking; -- often used in composition; as, a toothpick; a picklock.
    • Pick Choice; right of selection; as, to have one's pick; in cat breeding, the owner of a stud gets the pick of the litter. "France and Russia have the pick of our stables."
    • Pick (Painting) That which is picked in, as with a pointed pencil, to correct an unevenness in a picture.
    • Pick That which would be picked or chosen first; the best; as, the pick of the flock.
    • Pick (Weaving) The blow which drives the shuttle, -- the rate of speed of a loom being reckoned as so many picks per minute;
    • Pick 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."
    • Pick To do anything nicely or carefully, or by attending to small things; to select something with care.
    • Pick To eat slowly, sparingly, or by morsels; to nibble. "Why stand'st thou picking ? Is thy palate sore?"
    • Pick To open (a lock) as by a wire.
    • Pick 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.
    • Pick 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.
    • Pick 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?""He picks clean teeth, and, busy as he seems
      With an old tavern quill, is hungry yet."
    • Pick To separate or open by means of a sharp point or points; as, to pick matted wool, cotton, oakum, etc.
    • Pick To steal; to pilfer. "To keep my hands from picking and stealing."
    • Pick 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.
    • Pick To throw; to pitch. "As high as I could pick my lance."
    • Pick To trim.
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
  • Interesting fact: Slaves under the last emperors of China wore pigtails so they could be picked out quickly
    • pick To prick or pierce with some pointed instrument; strike with some pointed instrument; peck or peck at, as a bird with its bill; form with repeated strokes of something pointed; punch: as, to pick a millstone; to pick a thing full of holes; to pick a hole in something.
    • pick To open with a pointed instrument: said of a lock.
    • pick To remove clinging particles from, either by means of a pointed instrument, by plucking with the thumb and finger, or by stripping with the teeth: as, to pick one's teeth; to pick a thread from one's coat; to pick a bone.
    • pick To pluck; gather; break off; collect, as fruit or flowers growing: as, to pick strawberries.
    • pick To pluck with the fingers, as the strings of a guitar or banjo; play with the fingers; twitch; twang.
    • pick To filch or pilfer from; steal or snatch thievishly the contents of: as, to pick a pocket or a purse.
    • pick To separate and arrange in order, as a bird its feathers; preen; trim.
    • pick To separate; pull apart or loosen, as hair, fibers, etc.; pull to pieces; shred: sometimes with up: as, to pick horsehair; to pick oakum; to pick up codfish (in cookery).
    • pick To separate and select out of a number or quantity; choose or cull carefully or nicely: often with out: as, to pick (or pick out) the best.
    • pick To seek out by ingenuity or device; find out; discover.
    • pick To mark as with spots of color or other applications of ornament.
    • pick To take or get casually; obtain or procure as opportunity offers; acquire by chance or occasional opportunity; gather here and there, little by little, or bit by bit: as, to pick up a rare copy of Homer; to pick up information; to pick up acquaintance; to pick up a language or a livelihood.
    • pick To take (a person found or overtaken) into a vehicle or a vessel, or into one's company: as, to pick up a tired traveler; to pick up a shipwrecked crew.
    • pick See def. 8.
    • pick To strike with a pointed instrument; peck.
    • pick To take up morsels of food and eat them slowly; nibble.
    • pick To steal; pilfer.
    • n pick A pointed instrument of various kinds. A tool used for loosening and breaking up closely compacted soil and rock. It is ordinarily a bar of iron tipped with steel at both ends, about eighteen inches long, sometimes straight but more generally slightly curved, and having an eye in the middle to receive a handle or helve. The tips of the pick are usually sharpened to a point by a square taper; sometimes, however, to a chisel-edge. The tapering extremities of the pick possess the property of the wedge, so that this tool is really hammer and wedge in one. Its form allows it also to be advantageously used as a bent lever. The pick is known in England by the names pike, mandrel, slitter, mattock, and hack; the last two, however, belong properly to forms of the pick with only one point and that ending in a chisel-edge. The pick is largely employed by miners, especially by coal-miners.
    • n pick A fork.
    • n pick A four-tined eel-spear with a long handle.
    • n pick A pike or spike; the sharp point fixed in the center of a buckler.
    • n pick The diamond on a playing-card: so called from the point.
    • n pick An instrument for picking a lock; a pick-lock.
    • n pick The bar-tailed godwit, Limosa lapponica: from its habit of probing for food. Also prine.
    • n pick In weaving, the blow which drives the shuttle. It is delivered upon the end of the shuttle by the picker-head at the extremity of the picker-staff. The rate of a loom is said to be so many picks per minute.
    • n pick In painting, that which is picked in, either with a point or with a pointed pencil.
    • n pick In the harvesting of hops, cotton, coffee, berries, etc., in which the work is usually done by hand-picking, the quantity of the article which is picked or gathered, or which can be gathered or picked, in a specified time: as, the daily pick; the pick of last year.
    • n pick In printing, foul matter which collects on printing-types from the rollers or from the paper impressed; also, a bit of metal improperly attached to the face of stereotype or electrotype plates, which has to be removed by the finisher.
    • n pick The right of selection; first choice; hence, the choicest; the most desirable specimens or examples.
    • pick To pitch; throw.
    • n pick A dialectal form of pitch.
    • pick An obsolete form of peak.
    • n pick A pike or pickerel.
    • n pick One weft-thread in a piece of cloth.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: Every year 8,000 people injure themselves while using a tooth pick.
    • v.t Pick pik to prick with a sharp-pointed instrument: to peck, as a bird: to pierce: to open with a pointed instrument, as a lock: to pluck or gather, as flowers, &c.: to separate or pull apart: to clean with the teeth: to gather: to choose: to select: to call: to seek, as a quarrel: to steal
    • v.i Pick to do anything carefully: to eat by morsels
    • n Pick any sharp-pointed instrument, esp. for loosening and breaking up hard soil, &c.: a picklock: foul matter collecting on printing-types, &c.: right or opportunity of first choice
    • v.t Pick to gain favour by unworthy means
    • adj Pick gathered together by chance
    • ***

Quotations

  • John Pierpont Morgan
    John Pierpont Morgan
    “You can't pick cherries with your back to the tree.”
  • Jonathan Kozol
    Jonathan Kozol
    “Pick battles big enough to matter, but small enough to win.”
  • Pat Riley
    Pat%20Riley
    “Look for your choices, pick the best one, then go with it.”
  • Samuel Beckett
    Samuel%20Beckett
    “Personally I have no bone to pick with graveyards, I take the air there willingly, perhaps more willingly than elsewhere, when take the air I must.”
  • Mae West
    Mae%20West
    “Between two evils, I always pick the one I never tried before.”
  • Oscar Wilde
    Oscar%20Wilde
    “There are many things that we would throw away if we were not afraid that others might pick them up.”

Idioms

Bone to pick - If you have a bone to pick with someone, you are annoyed about something they have done and want to tell them how you feel.
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Cherry pick - If people cherry pick, they choose things that support their position, while ignoring things that contradict it.
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I've got a bone to pick with you - If somebody says this, they mean that they have some complaint to make against the person they are addressing.
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Pick someone's brains - If you pick someone's brains, you ask them for advice, suggestions and information about something they know about.
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Pick up the pace - To speed things up
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Pick up the tab - A person who pays for everyone picks up the tab.
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Pick-up game - (USA) A pick-up game is something unplanned where people respond to events as they happen.
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Schoolyard pick - When people take it in turns to choose a member of a team, it is a schoolyard pick.
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Etymology

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
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

Usage

In literature:

Then he began to pick out the necessary type and arrange it in the upper grove to spell his father's name.
"The Adventures of Bobby Orde" by Stewart Edward White
Before he may chase the thrower, he must therefore pick up his own duck and replace it should it have been knocked off.
"Games for the Playground, Home, School and Gymnasium" by Jessie H. Bancroft
Elsie Welcome got up from her machine and picked up her hat listlessly.
"Little Lost Sister" by Virginia Brooks
Can't you pick out something a little more like home-folks to be interested in?
"Across the Mesa" by Jarvis Hall
I can't go t' town t' pick out a new dress that is bought with money I get from th' eggs, even.
"The Wind Before the Dawn" by Dell H. Munger
Then he turned sharply, picked up rod and creel, and descended the stairs.
"A Young Man in a Hurry" by Robert W. Chambers
He wondered what she would do if he picked her up, carried her to bed, closed her eyes with his fingers.
"Eight Keys to Eden" by Mark Irvin Clifton
Bough picked this out too, working deftly with a needle.
"The Dop Doctor" by Clotilde Inez Mary Graves
Phil picked it up with the quick reach of a shortstop.
"Otherwise Phyllis" by Meredith Nicholson
If you cannot pick a mate better than that I'll do the picking for you.
"Slave Narratives: a Folk History of Slavery in the United States From Interviews with Former Slaves" by Work Projects Administration
They picked their way around the man-high wheels and into the hot and noisy restaurant.
"Deathworld" by Harry Harrison
The higher grades of coffee are often double-picked; that is, picked over twice.
"All About Coffee" by William H. Ukers
They'd have picked up anyone who tried to follow Tom.
"The Electronic Mind Reader" by John Blaine
A man or a woman cut off from their tribe can no more be happy than a flower after it is picked can continue to grow.
"Shaman" by Robert Shea
Wilson, picking this up, put it in his pocket with scarcely other thought than that it might get lost if left on the floor.
"The Web of the Golden Spider" by Frederick Orin Bartlett
Fortunately he knew enough to let his horse pick his own way.
"Out of the Depths" by Robert Ames Bennet
Here's a thousand dollars; they're yours for picking up and you take no risk.
"Partners of the Out-Trail" by Harold Bindloss
Pick my apples by hand; have light-weight men climb the trees and pick in meal sacks, then lay on tables.
"The Apple" by Various
Wait till they come to that little branch, then everybody pick his man and let him have it.
"Si Klegg, Book 2 (of 6)" by John McElroy
I scrambled around picking up what I could in the dark, and what I said wouldn't be passed by the Board of Censors.
"Over the Seas for Uncle Sam" by Elaine Sterne
***

In poetry:

They laid the pick-axe to the stones
And they moved them soon asunder.
They shovell'd away the hard-prest clay
And came to the coffin under.
"The Surgeon's Warning" by Robert Southey
"Nay, then thou art welcome," I said,
"All dreary and cold though it be,
E'en the Winter can bear me a flower,"
I picked it, and brought it to thee.
"Reply To Being Asked To Paint A Flower In Winter, With A Forget-Me-Not" by Caroline Fry
Some fowk ivverlastinly grummel,
At th' world an at th' fowk ther is in it;
If across owt 'at's pleasant they stummel,
They try to pick faults in a minnit.
"Be Happy" by John Hartley
I thought so too,
But what if this picked man, this chosen sage,
Were such a thorough Jew that he seeks out
For Christian children to bring up as Jews -
How then?
"Nathan The Wise - Act IV" by Gotthold Ephraim Lessing
And the King picked up a spear, and cried,
" What hast thou there ? by the waters of Styx,
Speak or I strike," and the boy replied,
" Sweet Sire, it is a crucifix." .
"The Ballad Of Saint Vitus" by Lord Alfred Douglas
They have whetted their teeth against the stones,
And now they pick the Bishop's bones:
They gnaw'd the flesh from every limb,
For they were sent to do judgment on him!
"God's Judgment on a Wicked Bishop" by Robert Southey

In news:

The NFL released the list of teams awarded compensatory picks on Monday afternoon, and the Seahawks were not one of 15 teams awarded 32 picks.
In the ensuing weeks, we'll pick five finalists and send a courier to pick up those dioramas to be photographed professionally and judged in person.
They didn't think anybody was worthy of a first-round pick where they were picking and they wanted to add picks.
How many times have you dropped food on the floor or spilled part of dinner on the table, quickly picked it up and eaten it anyway after telling yourself nothing is going to pick up germs in five seconds.
A four-person picking crew can have two on the ground or all four on the platform, but each pick into their own tube.
Residents who normally have garbage pick-up Monday will be picked up Tuesday, and so on through the subsequent days of the week.
Residents who normally have garbage pick-up on Monday will be picked up on Tuesday, and so on through the subsequent days of the week.
Who has two thumbs and can't get his friends' picks into his weekly picks blog.
BEDLAM PICKS — The Oklahoman 's Bedlam coverage team explains its picks for OSU vs OU.
In fact, part of the picking process this time of year includes picking them up off of the ground in the garden.
When I was younger I never actually got to go pick my own pumpkin, I really didn't even know that they had farms that you can go pick your own at – Guess what.
Not bad for guys who entered the league as a seventh-round pick (Ratliff by Dallas in 2005) and a fifth-round pick (Sensabaugh by Jacksonville in 2005).
I took a trip to Wegmans tonight to pick up some groceries and noticed pomegranates must be in season, because there are plenty – and at 2 for $5, I figured I'd pick a couple up.
Thrashman's Metal Pick Of The Week: Ringworm 's "Scars" Makes Me Want To Pick Up Change.
NFL draft 2012 top picks Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III won't be making the huge money of some of their top pick predecessors, like Sam Bradford and Matthew Stafford.
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In science:

Pick up any s < sw and some constant semisimple element Λ ∈ H[w ] of certain sw grade i ∈ E+ .
Solutions to WDVV from generalized Drinfeld-Sokolov hierarchies
Also set Gi := (Vi, Ei ), and let FRCG,i p,q be the probability measure on {0, 1}E corresponding to picking X ∈ {0, 1}E by letting X (Ei ) have distribution RCGi p,q and setting X (e) := 0 for all e ∈ E \ Ei .
Explicit isoperimetric constants and phase transitions in the random-cluster model
Pick a random edge configuration X ∈ {0, 1}E according to FRCG p,q .
Explicit isoperimetric constants and phase transitions in the random-cluster model
Next we want to pick out simple subalgebras.
Simple Conformal Algebras Generated by Jordan Algebras
The simplest model for disorder is to pick each interaction from a probability distribution, independently of all the others.
Computer Science in Physics
The precise value of the ground state energy will depend on the particular choice of the random interactions (remember they were picked from a distribution).
Computer Science in Physics
We obtain a random tiling by picking each tiling with equal probability.
Non-intersecting Paths, Random Tilings and Random Matrices
Then Nature is allowed to pick an outcome of the experiment, i.e., to answer to the question.
Quantum theory and the role of mind in nature
Therefore these surfaces, called Belyi surfaces, can be used to model a process of picking random Riemann surfaces, by picking a random graph with a random orientation.
On the Genus of a Random Riemann Surface
Also set Gi := (Vi, Ei ), and let FRCG,i p,q be the probability measure on {0, 1}E corresponding to picking X ∈ {0, 1}E by letting X (Ei ) have distribution RCGi p,q and setting X (e) := 0 for all e ∈ E \ Ei .
Coupling and Bernoullicity in random-cluster and Potts models
Pick a random edge configuration X ∈ {0, 1}E according to FRCG p,q .
Coupling and Bernoullicity in random-cluster and Potts models
Pick a random edge configuration X ∈ {0, 1}E according to the random-cluster measure WRCG p,q .
Coupling and Bernoullicity in random-cluster and Potts models
The memoryless learner algorithm consists of picking a concept Ri at random, and sticking by this choice, until it is proven wrong.
Mathematics of learning
At this point another concept is picked randomly, and the procedure repeats.
Mathematics of learning
To wit, one can always pick ak = k−1/α l(k), 0 < α ≤ 2, where l(k) is a slowly varying function (in the sense of Karamata).
Mathematics of learning
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