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pickup Line breaks: pick|up
Pronunciation: /ˈpɪkʌp/

Definition of pickup in English:


1 (also pickup truck) A small van or truck with low sides.
Example sentences
  • They may be work trucks, but pickups needn't be laborious to drive, the No.2 auto maker maintains.
  • The lane is subjected to daily traffic from automobiles, loaded pickups, dump trucks, and tractor-trailer trucks.
  • I leaned against the door on the passenger side of the pickup, as far away from him as I could get.
South African  bakkie
Australian/New Zealand informal ute
2An act of collecting a person or goods, especially in a vehicle: travel by coach from your local pickup point to your hotel
More example sentences
  • 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.
3 informal A casual encounter with a stranger with a view to having sexual intercourse: most people met through casual pickups
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.
3.1A person encountered with a view to having sexual intercourse: her flatmates are used to Susan’s rugged pickups
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.
4An improvement, especially in an economy: a pickup in demand
More example sentences
  • 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.
improvement, recovery, revival, upturn, upswing, rally, comeback, resurgence, renewal, reinvigoration, advancement, betterment;
a turn for the better
5A device that produces an electrical signal in response to some other kind of signal or change, in particular:
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.
5.1The cartridge of a record player, carrying the stylus.
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.
5.2A device on an electric guitar which converts string vibrations into electrical signals for amplification.
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.
6 [mass noun] The reception of signals, especially interference or noise, by electrical apparatus: this microphone helps reduce the pickup of background noise
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.
7 Music A series of introductory notes leading into the opening part of a tune.
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 on to the spool as it is reeled in.
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.


[attributive] North American informal Back to top  
Informal and spontaneous: a 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.

Words that rhyme with pickup

hiccup, stick-up
Definition of pickup in:
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