The DICT Development Group
1 definition found
for To pick at
From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48 :
Pick \Pick\ (p[i^]k), v. t. [imp. & p. p. Picked (p[i^]kt); p.
pr. & vb. n. Picking.] [OE. picken, pikken, to prick, peck;
akin to Icel. pikka, Sw. picka, Dan. pikke, D. pikken, G.
picken, F. piquer, W. pigo. Cf. Peck, v., Pike, Pitch
1. To throw; to pitch. [Obs.]
As high as I could pick my lance. --Shak.
2. To peck at, as a bird with its beak; to strike at with
anything pointed; to act upon with a pointed instrument;
to pierce; to prick, as with a pin.
3. To separate or open by means of a sharp point or points;
as, to pick matted wool, cotton, oakum, etc.
4. To open (a lock) as by a wire.
5. To pull apart or away, especially with the fingers; to
pluck; to gather, as fruit from a tree, flowers from the
stalk, feathers from a fowl, etc.
6. To remove something from with a pointed instrument, with
the fingers, or with the teeth; as, to pick the teeth; to
pick a bone; to pick a goose; to pick a pocket.
Did you pick Master Slender's purse? --Shak.
He picks clean teeth, and, busy as he seems
With an old tavern quill, is hungry yet. --Cowper.
7. To choose; to select; to separate as choice or desirable;
to cull; as, to pick one's company; to pick one's way; --
often with out. "One man picked out of ten thousand."
8. To take up; esp., to gather from here and there; to
collect; to bring together; as, to pick rags; -- often
with up; as, to pick up a ball or stones; to pick up
9. To trim. [Obs.] --Chaucer.
To pick at, to tease or vex by pertinacious annoyance.
To pick a bone with. See under Bone.
To pick a thank, to curry favor. [Obs.] --Robynson (More's
To pick off.
(a) To pluck; to remove by picking.
(b) To shoot or bring down, one by one; as, sharpshooters
pick off the enemy.
To pick out.
(a) To mark out; to variegate; as, to pick out any dark
stuff with lines or spots of bright colors.
(b) To select from a number or quantity.
To pick to pieces, to pull apart piece by piece; hence
[Colloq.], to analyze; esp., to criticize in detail.
To pick a quarrel, to give occasion of quarrel
To pick up.
(a) To take up, as with the fingers.
(b) To get by repeated efforts; to gather here and there;
as, to pick up a livelihood; to pick up news.
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