I. verb Etymology: Middle English piken, partly from Old English *pīcian (akin to Middle Dutch picken to prick); partly from Middle French piquer to prick — more at pike Date: 14th century transitive verb 1. to pierce, penetrate, or break up with a pointed instrument <
picked the hard clay
2. a. to remove bit by bit <
pick meat from bones
b. to remove covering or adhering matter from <
pick the bones
3. a. to gather by plucking <
pick apples
b. choose, select <
tried to pick the shortest route
she picked out the most expensive dress
c. to make (one's way) slowly and carefully <
picked his way through the rubble
4. a. pilfer, rob <
pick pockets
b. to obtain useful information from by questioning — used in such phrases as pick the brains of 5. provoke <
pick a quarrel
6. a. to dig into ; probe <
picking his teeth
b. to pluck (as a guitar) with a pick or with the fingers c. to loosen or pull apart with a sharp point <
pick wool
7. to unlock with a device (as a wire) other than the key <
pick a lock
intransitive verb 1. to use or work with a pick 2. to gather or harvest something by plucking 3. pilfer — used in the phrase picking and stealing 4. to eat sparingly or mincingly <
picking listlessly at his dinner
II. noun Date: 15th century 1. a blow or stroke with a pointed instrument 2. a. the act or privilege of choosing or selecting ; choice <
take your pick
b. the best or choicest one <
the pick of the herd
c. one that is picked <
his pick for vice president
3. the portion of a crop gathered at one time <
the first pick of peaches
4. a screen in basketball III. noun Etymology: Middle English pik Date: 14th century 1. a heavy wooden-handled iron or steel tool pointed at one or both ends — compare mattock 2. a. toothpick b. picklock c. a small thin piece (as of plastic or metal) used to pluck the strings of a stringed instrument 3. one of the points on the forepart of the blade of a skate used in figure skating 4. a comb with long widely spaced teeth used to give height to a hair style IV. transitive verb Etymology: Middle English pykken to pitch (a tent); akin to Middle English picchen to pitch Date: 1523 1. chiefly dialect to throw or thrust with effort ; hurl 2. to throw (a shuttle) across the loom V. noun Date: 1627 1. dialect England a. the act of pitching or throwing b. something thrown 2. a. a throw of the shuttle b. a filling thread

New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.

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