Definition of pickup in English:


Syllabification: pick·up
Pronunciation: /ˈpikˌəp


  • 1 (also pickup truck) A small truck with an enclosed cab and open back.
    More example sentences
    • Leading her back to the pickup, he opened the passenger door.
    • They won't transport well in the back of an open pickup.
    • Five days later, I saw the first bumper sticker, slapped on a shiny new Japanese pickup driven by an aging weekend hippie.
  • 2An act of collecting a person or goods, especially in a vehicle: curbside pickup [as modifier]: travel by bus from your local pickup point to your hotel
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    • The object is to go around collecting pickups within increasingly difficult time limits.
    • That is, he can schedule, by the hour, equipment delivery and pickups at a project that best fits construction schedules.
    • Back then, messenger companies would lump all the pickups and deliveries together on one invoice.
  • 3The reception of signals, especially interference or noise, by electrical apparatus.
    More example sentences
    • I get no discernible hum pickup over that length.
    • I finally allowed my eyes to close as the sounds of the ocean picked up through an underwater microphone that emitted its pickup through speakers in the room.
    • We demonstrated that the remaining imbalance was dominated by the pickup loops.
  • 4 informal A casual encounter with someone, with a view to having sexual intercourse.
    More example sentences
    • What's the worst pickup line you've ever heard?
    • He liked betting with friends in regards of who of them came up with the best pickup line, or about who of them gathered more telephone numbers in one night out.
    • Spike and Bob have challenged listeners to call in and give Lauren their best pickup lines.
  • 4.1A person encountered with a view to having sexual intercourse.
    More example sentences
    • There's no doubt exactly what's on Mitchum's mind, whether he's eyeing up a pickup in a bar or breaking an egg in his fist and smearing the yolk over the mother's shoulders and neck.
    • How do I explain to my children that Dad was nothing more than a pickup in a bar?
    • It seems that she should use a better strategy for finding a husband than some pickup in a bar.
  • 5An improvement in an economic indicator: signs of a pickup in demand
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    • A pickup in the economy, a rise in interest rates to improve fixed income returns, and a recovery in the stock market should make everything better.
    • Fed officials in recent speeches have said they don't expect a pickup in the economy before next year.
    • If long-term rates rise with a pickup in the economy and increasing demand for capital, the bonds will lose value.
  • 6A device that produces an electrical signal in response to some other kind of signal or change, in particular.
    More example sentences
    • Contact rates have not been affected when a message can be delivered to a live pickup or answering device.
    • They were more like microphones than modern day pickups with a fixed anode and charged, stretched diaphragm.
    • I'll need to get a pickup to play electric, and I'll probably try and somehow combine it with my Dictaphone and laptop.
  • 6.1The cartridge of a record player, carrying the stylus.
    More example sentences
    • That noise is only apparent when you play 78s on an electrical pickup, which amplifies the scratch along with the music.
    • Use a good quality turntable to play the LP. The pickup cartridge should be properly aligned and the stylus should be in good condition and clean.
    • The pickup is where it all starts, and can be a difficult purchase, especially when you realise that the things have, relatively speaking, a limited lifespan compared with the other components in a system.
  • 6.2A device on a musical instrument, particularly an electric guitar, that converts string vibrations into electrical signals for amplification.
    More example sentences
    • Recording a five-string Fender bass with active pickups, I switched the impedance to 47k.
    • So, the noise of the toy gets amplified by your guitar pickup?
    • The guitarist wanted to track the sound of the guitar's piezo bridge pickup and the acoustic sound simultaneously.
  • 7 Music A series of introductory notes leading into the opening part of a tune.
    More example sentences
    • Many popular songs have a few preliminary "pickup" notes leading to the opening bar and its downbeat.
    • At the beginning of a song, you might have an incomplete bar called a pickup bar that leads in to the first full bar of the song.
    • However, if the pickup bar is counted as measure 1, the main structural point is correctly placed at bar 56.
  • 8 Fishing A semicircular loop of metal for guiding the line back onto the spool as it is reeled in.
    More example sentences
    • Pressing a button on the rear of the fishing reel disengages the line pickup thus allowing the line to fly off of the spool.
    • This closed-face spinning reel has a cup-shaped pickup head provided with notches for winding fishing line onto a normally stationary spool upon rotation of the pickup head about the spool.
    • The dual pickup pins collect the superline every time, even from the first crank of the handle.


North American informal Back to top  
  • Informal and spontaneous: six players had started a full-court pickup basketball game
    More example sentences
    • Even when you get in an informal pickup game, work on your skills.
    • There's also a large recreation area where I watched a placid game of pickup basketball.
    • He survived a motorcycle crash earlier this year - he wasn't wearing a helmet - only to severely dislocate his right wrist in a pickup basketball game.

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