pick off

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Related to pick off: pick up

pick 1

v. picked, pick·ing, picks
1. To select from a group: The best swimmer was picked.
a. To gather in; harvest: They were picking cotton.
b. To gather the harvest from: picked the field in one day.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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

1. A tool for breaking hard surfaces, consisting of a curved bar sharpened at both ends and fitted to a long handle.
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

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.]

pick off

(Military) (tr, adverb) to aim at and shoot one by one
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Verb1.pick off - shoot one by one
pip, shoot - kill by firing a missile
2.pick off - pull or pull out sharplypick off - pull or pull out sharply; "pluck the flowers off the bush"
draw, pull, force - cause to move by pulling; "draw a wagon"; "pull a sled"
draw off, draw away, pull off - remove by drawing or pulling; "She placed the tray down and drew off the cloth"; "draw away the cloth that is covering the cheese"
tweeze - pluck with tweezers; "tweeze facial hair"


1. To make a choice from a number of alternatives.Also used with out:
choose, cull, elect, opt (for), select, single (out).
2. To collect ripe crops:
phrasal verb
pick off
To wound or kill with a firearm:
gun (down), shoot.
Slang: plug.
phrasal verb
pick on
To scold or find fault with constantly:
Informal: henpeck.
phrasal verb
pick out
To perceive and fix the identity of, especially with difficulty:
phrasal verb
pick up
1. To move (something) to a higher position:
2. To collect (something) bit by bit:
3. Informal. To come into possession of:
Informal: land.
4. Informal. To gain knowledge or mastery of by study:
5. Informal. To take into custody as a prisoner:
Informal: nab.
Slang: bust, collar, pinch, run in.
6. To begin or go on after an interruption:
1. The superlative or most preferable part of something:
Idioms: cream of the crop, flower of the flock, pick of the bunch.
2. One that is selected:
يَقْتُل أعداءَه واحِدا واحِدا
egyenként lelõ
skjóta niîur einn af öîrum
teker teker vurmak/avlamak

w>pick off

vt sep
(= remove) fluff etcwegzupfen; (= pluck) fruitpflücken; nail polishabschälen; the crew were picked off by helicopterdie Mannschaft wurde von einem Hubschrauber aufgenommen
(= shoot)abschießen, abknallen (inf)


(pik) verb
1. to choose or select. Pick the one you like best.
2. to take (flowers from a plant, fruit from a tree etc), usually by hand. The little girl sat on the grass and picked flowers.
3. to lift (someone or something). He picked up the child.
4. to unlock (a lock) with a tool other than a key. When she found that she had lost her key, she picked the lock with a hair-pin.
1. whatever or whichever a person wants or chooses. Take your pick of these prizes.
2. the best one(s) from or the best part of something. These grapes are the pick of the bunch.
ˈpickpocket noun
a person who steals from people's pockets. He kept his wallet in his hand because he knew there would be pickpockets in the crowd.
ˈpick-up noun
1. a type of small lorry or van.
2. the part of a record-player that holds the stylus.
pick and choose
to select or choose very carefully. When I'm buying apples, I like to pick and choose (the ones I want).
pick at
to eat very little of (something). He was not very hungry, and just picked at the food on his plate.
pick someone's brains
to ask (a person) questions in order to get ideas, information etc from him which one can use oneself. You might be able to help me with this problem – can I come and pick your brains for a minute!
pick holes in
to criticize or find faults in (an argument, theory etc). He sounded very convincing, but I'm sure one could pick holes in what he said.
pick off
to shoot (especially people in a group) one by one. He picked off the enemy soldiers.
pick on
1. to choose (someone) to do a usually difficult or unpleasant job. Why do they always pick on me to do the washing-up?
2. to speak to or treat (a person) angrily or critically. Don't pick on me – it wasn't my fault.
pick out
1. to choose or select. She picked out one dress that she particularly liked.
2. to see or recognize (a person, thing etc). He must be among those people getting off the train, but I can't pick him out.
3. to play (a piece of music), especially slowly and with difficulty, especially by ear, without music in front of one. I don't really play the piano, but I can pick out a tune on one with one finger.
pick someone's pocket
to steal something from a person's pocket. My wallet has gone – someone has picked my pocket!
pick a quarrel/fight with (someone)
to start a quarrel, argument or fight with (someone) on purpose. He was angry because I beat him in the race, and he tried to pick a fight with me afterwards.
pick up
1. to learn gradually, without formal teaching. I never studied Italian – I just picked it up when I was in Italy.
2. to let (someone) into a car, train etc in order to take him somewhere. I picked him up at the station and drove him home.
3. to get (something) by chance. I picked up a bargain at the shops today.
4. to right (oneself) after a fall etc; to stand up. He fell over and picked himself up again.
5. to collect (something) from somewhere. I ordered some meat from the butcher – I'll pick it up on my way home tonight.
6. (of radio, radar etc) to receive signals. We picked up a foreign broadcast last night.
7. to find; to catch. We lost his trail but picked it up again later; The police picked up the criminal.
pick up speed
to go faster; to accelerate. The car picked up speed as it ran down the hill.
pick one's way
to walk carefully (around or between something one wishes to avoid touching etc). She picked her way between the puddles.
References in classic literature ?
If I durst," said the captain, "I'd stop and pick off another man.
For example, a proportion of them, always the best marksmen, direct their fire entirely upon the wireless finding and sighting apparatus of the big guns of an attacking naval force; another detail attends to the smaller guns in the same way; others pick off the gunners; still others the officers; while certain other quotas concentrate their attention upon the other members of the crew, upon the upper works, and upon the steering gear and propellers.
They attempt, also, together with the Chimango, to pick off the scabs from the sore backs of horses and mules.