pick out

Idioms & Phrases

pick out

  1. Choose, select, as in She picked out the best piece of fabric. [Early 1500s]

  2. Distinguish, discern from one's surroundings, as in They managed to pick out their mother from the crowd. [Mid-1500s]

  3. Identify the notes of a tune and play it on an instrument, as in When she was four she could pick out folk songs on the piano. [Late 1800s]

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