Definition of pick up in English:

pick up

phrasal verb

  • 1Become better; improve.

    ‘my luck's picked up’
    • ‘But it does not expect an improvement until trade starts picking up towards the end of the winter.’
    • ‘General sales need to pick up before the business improves.’
    • ‘Tourism started off a bit slow this year, but picked up as the summer progressed.’
    • ‘Consequently, the economy will not be able to pick up without the recovery of the banking industry.’
    • ‘He doesn't see improvement until job growth picks up.’
    • ‘We have trained for summer rugby and our performances have improved since the weather picked up.’
    • ‘Exports are expected to pick up, reflecting recovery in the eurozone economies, the country's main export market.’
    • ‘So if the input base of the economy is improving and working hours have been increasing then surely the rate of productivity improvement in Scotland must be picking up?’
    • ‘Managers often become sentimental about products, hoping that sales will pick up when the market improves.’
    • ‘As a result, if the economy is to improve, investment must pick up.’
    improve, get better, recover, mend, be on the road to recovery, rally, make a comeback, bounce back, perk up, look up, take a turn for the better, turn a corner, turn the corner, be given on a new lease of life, be take on a new lease of life, be on the mend, develop, make headway, progress, make progress, advance
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 Become stronger; increase.
      ‘the wind has picked up’
      • ‘The wind had picked up strength, thumping hard against the window every couple of minutes.’
      • ‘Even stronger winds are expected to pick up over the weekend.’
      • ‘Forecasters are predicting that the icy conditions will continue into next week with easterly winds picking up and a strong possibility of snow.’
      • ‘As the pace of the storm increased the wind picked up, driving down out of the hills and across the high grasslands.’
      • ‘I noticed the wind picking up and the lightening increasing, so I figured rain couldn't be far behind.’
      • ‘As if to prove his point, a slightly stronger wind picked up, blowing Caelyn's hair into her face.’
      • ‘A strong wind picks up almost knocking me off the branch, as well as making leaves whip at my face.’
      • ‘Treetops danced back and forth in the sky as the wind picked up in intensity, a sure sign of an impending storm.’
      • ‘That evening the blizzard picks up again, with strong winds blowing snow across the flat delta.’
      • ‘The dewy grasses fluttered around Ryan as a stronger wind picked up and ripped them from the hill.’
      get stronger, strengthen, become more powerful, blow up
      View synonyms
  • 2Answer a telephone call.

    ‘let the machine pick up and return the call later’
    • ‘Without another thought, she sprinted to answer it, just before the answering machine picked up.’
    • ‘But on the fifth ring, before the answering machine picked up, Tatiana answered.’
    • ‘It rings and rings, before eventually the answer phone picks up.’
    • ‘As he slowly reached for the phone, he stopped himself once the answer machine picked up.’
    • ‘I had my hands full, so I wasn't able to answer before the voicemail picked up.’
    • ‘Let the machine pick up the calls, and only answer if it's me or Denny.’
    • ‘Rowena set her pen down, pushed back her chair, and managed to answer before the machine picked up.’
    • ‘He dialed the number, but it only rang, no one answered and the answering machine didn't pick up.’
    • ‘Vacillating between wanting to answer, and not wanting to answer, she finally picked up before the machine did.’
    • ‘I wish she had let the answering machine pick up and answer.’