Definition of pick something up in English:

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pick something up

1Collect something that has been left elsewhere: Wanda came over to pick up her things
More example sentences
  • Anyway, they came to pick up her things that were stored in the basement this summer.
  • I was emailed to pick it up from another building.
  • His brother picked it up and delivered it to him within moments.
2Obtain, acquire, or learn something, especially in an informal way: he had picked up a little Russian from his father
More example sentences
  • Coming from a keyboard, having learned to read, once I picked it up and learned how to blow it, the music came quicker.
  • He picked it up quickly, learning by himself because he thought it was fun.
  • Posters around the village give details of the events and information where competition forms can be picked up.
secure, take/get possession of, acquire;
informal get hold of, get/lay one's hands on, get one's mitts on, bag, land, net
learn, get to know, acquire (a knowledge of), acquire skill in, become competent/proficient in, master;
informal get the hang of
hear, hear tell, find out, get to know, get wind of, be informed of, be told, learn, be made aware of, be given to understand;
glean, discern, become conscious/aware of, observe, notice, perceive
2.1Catch an illness or infection: I’ve picked up some kind of flu bug
More example sentences
  • Meningococcal meningitis vaccines is also required by the authorities as these infections can be picked up from fellow travellers (carriers).
  • For every patient and their family there is no acceptable level of MRSA but we all know that when people are in an acute hospital system, there is a chance that an infection can be picked up.
  • Once chlamydia has been successfully treated, it won't come back unless a new infection is picked up.
catch, contract, get, become infected with, become ill with, go/come down with
3Detect or receive a signal or sound, especially by means of electronic apparatus: we’ve picked up a distress signal the animals had picked up their scent and were following their trail
More example sentences
  • These signals are picked up by a handheld receiver.
  • The reflected sound waves are picked up by the crystal element and transformed back into electric signals.
  • One of its benefits will be anyone sending distress signals from land or sea will know immediately if their signal has been picked up.
receive, detect, get, hear
3.1 (also pick up on) Become aware of or sensitive to something: women are very quick to pick up emotional atmospheres
More example sentences
  • Body work performed on owners and pets works well because animals pick up on stress and often mimic their owners.
  • A lot of infections can be picked up very early.
  • Sufferers normally have a one-in-three chance of survival, depending on how early the symptoms are picked up.
4 (also pick up) Resume something: they picked up their friendship without the slightest difficulty
More example sentences
  • I didn't get a chance to finish it but I think I'll pick it up soon.
  • The two young men were acquainted with each other and picked up their friendship again Sunday.
  • They laughed about their shared affection for Martinis and picked up their friendship where they'd left off.
begin again, begin, take up, start again, start, resume, recommence, carry on, go on, continue
4.1 (also pick up on) Refer to or develop a point mentioned earlier: Dawson picked up her earlier remark
More example sentences
  • And given the scientist adherence to a kind of Creative Commons ethos, their developments could be picked up and expanded upon by anyone in those fields, but no one could actually own the development itself.
  • I think it's interesting what traditions are picked up on and what countries are referenced in that.
  • For when he did make an outrageous remark it was picked up on, and he was fired within hours.
5 informal Pay the bill for something: he never allowed her to pick up the cheque
More example sentences
  • Unlike the board, whose legal bills are picked up by the public, opponents of school closings often run out of money to continue their fights.
  • But the Council is £200,000 in the red, the executive committee heard yesterday, and if that is still the case next year the bill will be picked up by the authority.
  • In which event, any medical bills will be picked up by the taxpayer, not by the company.
6Find and take a particular road or route: they veered left and picked up the road which ran alongside the river
More example sentences
  • We then picked up the road again and followed it through to our next downhill, a rocky, fast, narrow trail which deposits the rider at great speed at the foot of Biggin Hill.
  • You can pick the road up in Saunces, at the top of town next to Viares Square, home of the Town Hall.
  • I'm already looking forward to returning in a few years to pick the road up where I've left off.
7North American Tidy a room or building.
Example sentences
  • So, instead of just verbally telling him, "Pick up your room," we write down: Put dirty clothes in laundry basket, Put magazines on shelf, Put LEGOs back in box.
  • We picked up the room, got dressed, and prepared Brandon's breakfast.
  • I set Lucie on the couch and picked up the room making it just as neat as it was when we left.
See parent entry: pick
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