pick apart

pick

1 [pik]
verb (used with object)
1.
to choose or select from among a group: to pick a contestant from the audience.
2.
to seek and find occasion for; provoke: to pick a fight.
3.
to attempt to find; seek out: to pick flaws in an argument.
4.
to steal the contents of: Her pocket was picked yesterday.
5.
to open (a lock) with a device other than the key, as a sharp instrument or wire, especially for the purpose of burglary.
6.
to pierce, indent, dig into, or break up (something) with a pointed instrument: to pick rock; to pick ore.
7.
to form (a hole) by such action: to pick a hole in asphalt.
8.
to use a pointed instrument, the fingers, the teeth, the beak, etc., on (a thing), in order to remove or loosen something, as a small part or adhering matter: to pick one's teeth.
9.
to prepare for use by removing a covering piece by piece, as feathers, hulls, or other parts: to pick a fowl.
10.
to detach or remove piece by piece with the fingers: She picked the meat from the bones.
11.
to pluck or gather one by one: to pick flowers.
12.
(of birds or other animals) to take up (small bits of food) with the bill or teeth.
13.
to eat daintily or in small morsels.
14.
to separate, pull apart, or pull to pieces: to pick fibers.
15.
Music.
a.
to pluck (the strings of an instrument).
b.
to play (a stringed instrument) by plucking with the fingers.
verb (used without object)
16.
to strike with or use a pick or other pointed instrument on something.
17.
(of birds or other animals) to take up small bits of food with the bill or teeth: The hens were busily picking about in their coop.
18.
to select carefully or fastidiously.
19.
to pilfer; steal.
20.
to pluck or gather fruit, flowers, etc.
21.
Basketball. to execute a pick.
noun
22.
the act of choosing or selecting; choice; selection: to take one's pick.
23.
a person or thing that is selected: He is our pick for president.
24.
the choicest or most desirable part, example, or examples: This horse is the pick of the stable.
25.
the right of selection: He gave me my pick of the litter.
26.
the quantity of a crop picked, as from trees, bushes, etc., at a particular time: The pick was poor this season.
27.
Printing.
a.
a speck of dirt, hardened ink, or extra metal on set type or a plate.
b.
a small area removed from the surface of a coated paper by ink that adheres to the form.
28.
a stroke with something pointed: The rock shattered at the first pick of the ax.
29.
Basketball. an offensive maneuver in which a player moves into a position between a defender and a teammate with the ball so as to prevent the defender from interfering with the shot.
Verb phrases
30.
pick at,
a.
to find fault with unnecessarily or persistently; nag.
b.
to eat sparingly or daintily: As he was ill, he only picked at his food.
c.
to grasp at; touch; handle: The baby loved to pick at her mother's glasses.
31.
pick off,
a.
to remove by pulling or plucking off.
b.
to single out and shoot: The hunter picked off a duck rising from the marsh.
c.
Baseball. to put out (a base runner) in a pick-off play.
32.
pick on,
a.
Informal. to criticize or blame; tease; harass.
b.
to single out; choose: The professor always picks on me to translate long passages.
33.
pick out,
a.
to choose; designate: to pick out one's successor.
b.
to distinguish from that which surrounds or accompanies; recognize: to pick out a well-known face in a crowd.
c.
to discern (sense or meaning); discriminate.
d.
to play (a melody) by ear; work out note by note.
e.
to extract by picking.
34.
pick over, to examine (an assortment of items) in order to make a selection: Eager shoppers were picking over the shirts on the bargain tables.
35.
pick up,
a.
to lift or take up: to pick up a stone.
b.
to collect, especially in an orderly manner: Pick up the tools when you're finished.
c.
to recover (one's courage, health, etc.); regain.
d.
to gain by occasional opportunity; obtain casually: to pick up a livelihood.
e.
to learn, as by experience: I've picked up a few Japanese phrases.
f.
to claim: to pick up one's bags at an airport.
g.
to take (a person or thing) into a car or ship, etc., or along with one.
h.
to bring into range of reception, observation, etc.: to pick up Rome on one's radio.
i.
to accelerate; gain (speed).
j.
to put in good order; tidy: to pick up a room.
k.
to make progress; improve: Business is beginning to pick up.
l.
to catch or contract, as a disease.
m.
Informal. to become acquainted with informally or casually, often in hope of a sexual relationship: Let's pick up some dates tonight.
n.
to resume or continue after being left off: Let's pick up the discussion in our next meeting.
o.
Informal. to take into custody; arrest: They picked him up for vagrancy.
p.
Informal. to obtain; find; purchase: She picked up some nice shoes on sale.
q.
Slang. to steal: to pick up jewels and silver.
r.
to accept, as in order to pay: to pick up the check.
36.
pick up on, Informal.
a.
become aware or cognizant of; be perceptive about; notice: to pick up on the hostess's hostility.
b.
to pay special attention to; keep an eye on: to pick up on a troubled student.
Idioms
37.
pick and choose, to be very careful or particular in choosing: With such a limited supply of fresh fruit, you won't be able to pick and choose.
38.
pick apart, to criticize severely or in great detail: They picked her apart the moment she left the room.
39.
pick it up, Informal. to move, work, etc., at a faster rate.
40.
pick one's way/steps, to walk with care and deliberation: She picked her way across the muddy field.
41.
pick someone's brains. brain ( def 12 ).

Origin:
1250–1300; v. Middle English pyken, pikken, pekken, cognate with Dutch pikken, German picken, Old Norse pikka to pick; akin to peck2, pike5; (noun) derivative of the v.

pickable, adjective
unpickable, adjective


4. rob, pilfer. 12. reap, collect.


1. See choose.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source Link To pick apart
Collins
World English Dictionary
pick1 (pɪk)
 
vb (when intr, foll by at)
1.  to choose (something) deliberately or carefully, from or as if from a group or number; select
2.  to pluck or gather (fruit, berries, or crops) from (a tree, bush, field, etc): to pick hops; to pick a whole bush
3.  (tr) to clean or prepare (fruit, poultry, etc) by removing the indigestible parts
4.  (tr) to remove loose particles from (the teeth, the nose, etc)
5.  (esp of birds) to nibble or gather (corn, etc)
6.  to nibble (at) fussily or without appetite
7.  to separate (strands, fibres, etc), as in weaving
8.  (tr) to provoke (an argument, fight, etc) deliberately
9.  (tr) to steal (money or valuables) from (a person's pocket)
10.  (tr) to open (a lock) with an instrument other than a key
11.  to pluck the strings of (a guitar, banjo, etc)
12.  (tr) to make (one's way) carefully on foot: they picked their way through the rubble
13.  pick and choose to select fastidiously, fussily, etc
14.  pick someone's brains to obtain information or ideas from someone
 
n
15.  freedom or right of selection (esp in the phrase take one's pick)
16.  a person, thing, etc, that is chosen first or preferred: the pick of the bunch
17.  the act of picking
18.  the amount of a crop picked at one period or from one area
19.  printing a speck of dirt or paper fibre or a blob of ink on the surface of set type or a printing plate
 
[C15: from earlier piken to pick, influenced by French piquer to pierce; compare Middle Low German picken, Dutch pikken]
 
'pickable1
 
adj

pick2 (pɪk)
 
n
1.  a tool with a handle carrying a long steel head curved and tapering to a point at one or both ends, used for loosening soil, breaking rocks, etc
2.  any of various tools used for picking, such as an ice pick or toothpick
3.  a plectrum
 
vb
4.  (tr) to pierce, dig, or break up (a hard surface) with a pick
5.  (tr) to form (a hole) in this way
 
[C14: perhaps variant of pike²]

pick3 ((in weaving) pɪk)
 
vb
1.  (tr) to cast (a shuttle)
 
n
2.  one casting of a shuttle
3.  a weft or filling thread
 
[C14: variant of pitch1]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
Cite This Source
Etymonline
Word Origin & History

pick
O.E. *pician "to prick," merged with O.N. pikka "to prick, peck," common Gmc. (cf. M.Du. picken, Ger. picken "to pick, peck"), from PIE *pik-/*pek-, an imitative base. The meaning "to choose, select, pick out" emerged late 14c., from earlier meaning "to pluck with the fingers" (early 14c.). To pick a
quarrel, etc. is from mid-15c.; to pick at "find fault with" is from c.1670. Pick on "single out for adverse attention" is from late 14c.; to pick (someone) up "make someone's acquaintance aggressively for sexual purposes" is first recorded 1690s. Pick off "shoot one by one" is recorded from 1810; baseball sense of "to put out a runner on base" is from 1939. Pickpocket is from 1591 (earlier pick-purse, late 14c.). Pick-me-up "stimulating alcoholic drink" is attested from 1867. Picky first recorded 1867.

pick
c.1300, pyk "pikestaff," variant of pike (2). Pic "pickaxe" is attested from mid-14c. Sense of "plectrum for a guitar, lute, etc." is from 1895; as a type of basketball block it is attested from 1951. Meaning "choicest part or example" is first recorded 1760, from pick (v.).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
American Heritage
Idioms & Phrases

pick apart

Also, pick holes in or pick to pieces. Find flaws in something by close examination, criticize sharply, as in The lawyer picked apart the testimony, or He found it easy to pick holes in their argument, or The new editor picked her manuscript to pieces. These expressions use pick in the sense of "pierce" or "poke," a usage dating from the 1300s; pick holes in dates from the mid-1600s, pick to pieces from the mid-1800s.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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