When you pick something, you choose it, the way you pick apples in the fall or when you pick a partner to work with in biology class. But if you pick on someone, you bug them in a mean way.

Something you pick can be called a pick, like the "pick of the litter,” the best dog of the bunch. You can also use a pick to chop ice or play guitar. You can pick at something, like a loose thread, or pick something up, like your new puppy. You could pick on someone, but that's a good way to pick a fight, or provoke an argument. Pick is an old word related to “peck, sting, and pinch.”

Definitions of pick
  1. verb
    look for and gather
    pick mushrooms”
    pick flowers”
    synonyms: cull, pluck
    see moresee less
    pick or gather mushrooms
    pick or gather berries
    pick or gather blackberries
    type of:
    collect, garner, gather, pull together
    assemble or get together
  2. verb
    select carefully from a group
    “She finally picked her successor”
    “He picked his way carefully”
    see moresee less
    pick personally and very carefully
    type of:
    choose, pick out, select, take
    pick out, select, or choose from a number of alternatives
  3. noun
    the person or thing chosen or selected
    “he was my pick for mayor”
    synonyms: choice, selection
    see moresee less
    a formal expression
    favorite, favourite
    something regarded with special favor or liking
    doing as one pleases or chooses
    type of:
    deciding, decision making
    the cognitive process of reaching a decision
  4. noun
    the best people or things in a group
    synonyms: cream
    see moresee less
    type of:
    elite, elite group
    a group or class of persons enjoying superior intellectual or social or economic status
  5. noun
    the quantity of a crop that is harvested
    “he sent the first picking of berries to the market”
    “it was the biggest peach pick in years”
    synonyms: picking
    see moresee less
    type of:
    output, production, yield
    the quantity of something (as a commodity) that is created (usually within a given period of time)
  6. noun
    the act of choosing or selecting
    “you can take your pick
    synonyms: choice, option, selection
    see moresee less
    show 26 types...
    hide 26 types...
    the choice of actors to play particular roles in a play or movie
    coloration, colouration
    choice and use of colors (as by an artist)
    (statistics) the selection of a suitable sample for study
    conclusion, decision, determination
    the act of making up your mind about something
    volition, willing
    the act of making a choice
    the act of selecting someone or something; the exercise of deliberate choice
    ballot, balloting, vote, voting
    a choice that is made by counting the number of people in favor of each alternative
    random sampling
    the selection of a random sample; each element of the population has an equal chance of been selected
    proportional sampling, representative sampling, stratified sampling
    the population is divided into subpopulations (strata) and random samples are taken of each stratum
    an act of intending; a volition that you intend to carry out
    appointment, assignment, designation, naming
    the act of putting a person into a non-elective position
    (sports) the decision made by an umpire or referee
    the act of deciding to do something
    casting lots, drawing lots, sortition
    making a chance decision by using lots (straws or pebbles etc.) that are thrown or drawn
    a decision to do something or to behave in a certain manner
    co-optation, co-option
    the selection of a new member (usually by a vote of the existing membership)
    block vote
    a vote proportional in magnitude to the number of people that a delegate represents
    cumulative vote
    an election in which each person has as many votes as there are positions to be filled and they can all be cast for one candidate or can be distributed in any manner
    secret ballot
    a vote in which each person's choice is secret but the totaled votes are public
    split ticket
    a ballot cast by a voter who votes for candidates from more than one party
    straight ticket
    a ballot cast by a voter who votes for all the candidates of one party
    multiple voting
    the act of voting in more than one place by the same person at the same election (illegal in U.S.)
    casting vote
    the deciding vote cast by the presiding officer to resolve a tie
    a vote that blocks a decision
    a vote cast by writing in the name of a candidate who is not listed on the ballot
    the act of declining to vote for or against something
    type of:
    something done (usually as opposed to something said)
  7. verb
    remove in small bits
    pick meat from a bone”
    see moresee less
    type of:
    remove, take, take away, withdraw
    remove something concrete, as by lifting, pushing, or taking off, or remove something abstract
  8. verb
    eat intermittently; take small bites of
    synonyms: nibble, piece
    see moresee less
    type of:
    take in solid food
  9. verb
    remove unwanted substances from, such as feathers or pits
    synonyms: clean
    see moresee less
    type of:
    remove, take, take away, withdraw
    remove something concrete, as by lifting, pushing, or taking off, or remove something abstract
  10. noun
    a thin sharp implement used for removing unwanted material
    “he used a pick to clean the dirt out of the cracks”
    see moresee less
    ice pick, icepick
    pick consisting of a steel rod with a sharp point; used for breaking up blocks of ice
    pick consisting of a small strip of wood or plastic; used to pick food from between the teeth
    type of:
    hand tool
    a tool used with workers' hands
  11. noun
    a small thin device (of metal or plastic or ivory) used to pluck a stringed instrument
    synonyms: plectron, plectrum
    see moresee less
    guitar pick
    a plectrum used to pluck a guitar
    type of:
    an instrumentality invented for a particular purpose
  12. verb
    pull lightly but sharply with a plucking motion
    synonyms: pluck, plunk
    see moresee less
    pluck (strings of an instrument)
    type of:
    draw, force, pull
    cause to move by pulling
  13. verb
    hit lightly with a picking motion
    synonyms: beak, peck
    see moresee less
    type of:
    deliver a sharp blow, as with the hand, fist, or weapon
  14. noun
    a heavy iron tool with a wooden handle and a curved head that is pointed on both ends
    “they used picks and sledges to break the rocks”
    synonyms: pickax, pickaxe
    see moresee less
    a kind of pick that is used for digging; has a flat blade set at right angles to the handle
    type of:
    edge tool
    any cutting tool with a sharp cutting edge (as a chisel or knife or plane or gouge)
  15. verb
    attack with or as if with a pickaxe of ice or rocky ground, for example
    Pick open the ice”
    synonyms: break up
    see moresee less
    type of:
    cut or make a way through
  16. verb
    pick a fight or a quarrel”
    see moresee less
    type of:
    call forth, evoke, kick up, provoke
    evoke or provoke to appear or occur
  17. verb
    harass with constant criticism
    “Don't always pick on your little brother”
    synonyms: blame, find fault
    see moresee less
    type of:
    criticise, criticize, knock, pick apart
    find fault with; express criticism of; point out real or perceived flaws
  18. verb
    pilfer or rob
    pick pockets”
    see moresee less
    type of:
    take something away by force or without the consent of the owner
  19. verb
    pay for something
    pick up the tab”
    pick up the burden of high-interest mortgages”
    synonyms: foot
    see moresee less
    type of:
    give money, usually in exchange for goods or services
  20. noun
    the yarn woven across the warp yarn in weaving
    synonyms: filling, weft, woof
    see moresee less
    type of:
    thread, yarn
    a fine cord of twisted fibers (of cotton or silk or wool or nylon etc.) used in sewing and weaving
  21. noun
    a basketball maneuver; obstructing an opponent with one's body
    “he was called for setting an illegal pick
    see moresee less
    type of:
    basketball play
    a play executed by a basketball team
Word Family

Test prep from the experts

Boost your test score with programs developed by’s experts.

  • Proven methods: Learn faster, remember longer with our scientific approach.
  • Personalized plan: We customize your experience to maximize your learning.
  • Strategic studying: Focus on the words that are most crucial for success.


  • Number of words: 500+
  • Duration: 8 weeks or less
  • Time: 1 hour / week


  • Number of words: 500+
  • Duration: 10 weeks or less
  • Time: 1 hour / week


  • Number of words: 700+
  • Duration: 10 weeks
  • Time: 1 hour / week