pick apart


Also found in: Thesaurus, Medical, Legal, Financial, Idioms, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.

pick 1

 (pĭk)
v. picked, pick·ing, picks
v.tr.
1. To select from a group: The best swimmer was picked.
2.
a. To gather in; harvest: They were picking cotton.
b. To gather the harvest from: picked the field in one day.
3.
a. To remove the outer covering of; pluck: pick a chicken clean of feathers.
b. To tear off bit by bit: pick meat from the bones.
4. To remove extraneous matter from (the teeth, for example).
5. To poke and pull at (something) with the fingers.
6. To break up, separate, or detach by means of a sharp pointed instrument.
7. To pierce or make (a hole) with a sharp pointed instrument.
8. To take up (food) with the beak; peck: The parrot picked its seed.
9. To steal the contents of: My pocket was picked.
10. To open (a lock) without the use of a key.
11. To provoke: pick a fight.
12. Music
a. To pluck (an instrument's strings).
b. To play (an instrument) by plucking its strings.
c. To play (a tune) in this manner: picked a melody out on the guitar.
v.intr.
1. To decide with care or forethought.
2. To work with a pick.
3. To find fault or make petty criticisms; carp: He's always picking about something.
4. To be harvested or gathered: The ripe apples picked easily.
n.
1. The act of picking, especially with a sharp pointed instrument.
2. The act of selecting or choosing; choice: got first pick of the desserts.
3. Something selected as the most desirable; the best or choicest part: the pick of the crop.
4. The amount or quantity of a crop that is picked by hand.
5. Sports An interception of a pass.
6. Basketball A screen.
Phrasal Verbs:
pick apart
To refute or find flaws in by close examination: The lawyer picked the testimony apart.
pick at
1. To pluck or pull at, especially with the fingers.
2. To eat sparingly or without appetite: The child just picked at the food.
3. Informal To nag: Don't pick at me.
pick off
1. To shoot after singling out: The hunter picked the ducks off one by one.
2. Baseball To put out (a base runner standing off base) by making a quick throw to a fielder. Used especially of a pitcher or catcher.
3. Sports To intercept (a pass), as in football.
pick on
To tease or bully.
pick out
1. To choose or select: picked out a nice watch.
2. To discern from the surroundings; distinguish: picked out their cousins from the crowd.
pick over
To sort out or examine item by item: picked over the grapes before buying them.
pick up
1. To take up (something) with a hand or other body part or with an instrument: Could you pick up that book? The dog picked up the bone in its mouth.
2. To collect or gather: picked up some pebbles.
3. To tidy up; clean: picked up the bedroom.
4. To take on (passengers or freight, for example): The bus picks up commuters at five stops.
5. Informal
a. To acquire casually or by accident: picked up a new coat on sale.
b. To acquire (knowledge) by learning or experience: picked up French quickly.
c. To claim: picked up her car at the repair shop.
d. To buy: picked up some milk at the store.
e. To accept (a bill or charge) in order to pay it: Let me pick up the tab.
f. To come down with (a disease): picked up a virus at school.
g. To gain: picked up five yards on that play.
6. Informal To take into custody: The agents picked up six smugglers.
7. Slang To make casual acquaintance with, usually in anticipation of sexual relations.
8.
a. To come upon and follow: The dog picked up the scent.
b. To come upon and observe: picked up two submarines on sonar.
c. To receive, detect, or register: Did the microphone pick up that sound?
9. To continue after a break: Let's pick up the discussion after lunch.
10. Informal To improve in condition or activity: Sales picked up last fall.
11. Informal
a. To prepare a sudden departure: She just picked up and left.
b. In golf, to grab one's ball from the ground while it is in play, indicating that one has given up.
Idioms:
pick and choose
To select with great care.
pick holes in
To seek and discover flaws or a flaw in: picked holes in the argument.
pick nits
To find fault in a petty way; nitpick.
pick (one's) way
To find passage and make careful progress through it: picked her way down the slope.
pick (someone) to pieces
To criticize sharply.
pick up on Informal
1. To take into the mind and understand, typically with speed: is quick to pick up on new computer skills.
2. To notice: picked up on my roommate's bad mood and left him alone.

[Middle English piken, to prick, from Old English *pīcian, to prick, and from Old French piquer, to pierce (from Vulgar Latin *piccāre; see pique).]

pick′er n.

pick 2

 (pĭk)
n.
1. A tool for breaking hard surfaces, consisting of a curved bar sharpened at both ends and fitted to a long handle.
2.
a. Something, such as an ice pick, toothpick, or picklock, used for picking.
b. A long-toothed comb, usually designed for use on curly hair.
c. A pointed projection on the front of the blade of a figure skate.
3. Music A plectrum.

[Middle English pik, variant of pike, sharp point; see pike5.]

pick 3

 (pĭk)
n.
1. A weft thread in weaving.
2. A passage or throw of the shuttle in a loom.
tr.v. picked, pick·ing, picks
To throw (a shuttle) across a loom.

[Dialectal, from pick, to pitch, thrust, variant of pitch.]
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Verb1.pick apart - find fault with; express criticism of; point out real or perceived flaws; "The paper criticized the new movie"; "Don't knock the food--it's free"
censure, reprimand, criminate - rebuke formally
savage, pillory, crucify, blast - criticize harshly or violently; "The press savaged the new President"; "The critics crucified the author for plagiarizing a famous passage"
reprove, admonish - take to task; "He admonished the child for his bad behavior"
call on the carpet, chew out, chew up, chide, dress down, have words, bawl out, berate, rebuke, reproof, scold, take to task, call down, lambast, lambaste, lecture, reprimand, remonstrate, trounce, jaw, rag - censure severely or angrily; "The mother scolded the child for entering a stranger's car"; "The deputy ragged the Prime Minister"; "The customer dressed down the waiter for bringing cold soup"
reprehend - express strong disapproval of
deplore - express strong disapproval of; "We deplore the government's treatment of political prisoners"
belabor, belabour - attack verbally with harsh criticism; "She was belabored by her fellow students"
come down - criticize or reprimand harshly; "The critics came down hard on the new play"
denounce - speak out against; "He denounced the Nazis"
find fault, blame, pick - harass with constant criticism; "Don't always pick on your little brother"
disparage, belittle, pick at - express a negative opinion of; "She disparaged her student's efforts"
nitpick - be overly critical; criticize minor details
lash out, attack, snipe, assail, assault, round - attack in speech or writing; "The editors of the left-leaning paper attacked the new House Speaker"
comment, point out, remark, notice - make or write a comment on; "he commented the paper of his colleague"
harsh on - criticize harshly; "the teacher keeps harshing on the same kid"
References in periodicals archive ?
He has the ability to pick apart defences with a single pass and sees things other players don't.
I can pick apart the race 100 different ways, but just getting in the water and racing was something I was looking forward to.
It's as though he was saying "You people are always looking to pick apart things that happen on the pitch, aren't you?
The senior Conservative attempted to pick apart the case for Scotland becoming a state in its own right during a speech to an invited audience in Edinburgh, which included consular representatives from other nations.
But they gave up hope of finding any more survivors a week ago and are now using heavy machinery to pick apart the ruins and uncover the bodies buried inside, CNN reported.
The Call Me Maybe singer added that her mother also has a passion for music: "My mom is the type of woman to sit me down and make me listen to an entire Leonard Cohen record and pick apart the lyrics and try to figure out what it all means.