Definition for PICK

PICK, v.t. [Sax. pycan; D. pikken; G. picken; Dan. pikker; Sw. picka; W. pigaw, to pick or peck; Sp. picar; Fr. piquer; Gr. πεκω or πεικω; L. pecto. The verb may be radical, (see Class Bg, No. 61, 62, 65,) or derived from the use of the beak or any pointed instrument. It belongs to a numerous family of words, at least if connected with beak, pike, &c.]

  1. To pull off or pluck with the fingers something that grows or adheres to another thing; to separate by the hand, as fruit from trees; as, to pick apples or oranges; to pick strawberries.
  2. To pull off or separate with the teeth, beak or claws; as, to pick flesh from a bone; hence,
  3. To clean by the teeth, fingers or claws, or by a small instrument, by separating something that adheres; as, to pick a bone, to pick the ears.
  4. To take up; to cause or seek industriously; as, to pick a quarrel.
  5. To separate or pull asunder; to pull into small parcels by the fingers; to separate locks for loosening and cleaning; as, to pick wool.
  6. To pierce; to strike with a pointed instrument; as, to pick an apple with a pin. – Bacon.
  7. To strike with the bill or beak; to puncture. In this sense, we generally use peck.
  8. To steal by taking out with the fingers or hands; as, to pick the pocket. – South.
  9. To open by a pointed instrument; as, to pick a lock.
  10. To select; to cull; to separate particular things from others; as, to pick the best men from a company. In this sense, the word is often followed by out. To pick off, to separate by the fingers or by a small pointed instrument. To pick out, to select; to separate individuals from numbers. To pick up, to take up with the fingers or beak; also, to take particular things here and there; to gather; to glean. To pick a hole in one's coat, to find fault.

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