Definition of pickup in English:



  • 1A small van or truck with low sides.

    • ‘These days, about half of those vehicles are SUVs, pickups and mini-vans.’
    • ‘Although the park is claimed to be off-limits to motorized vehicles, several city-owned trucks and pickups were seen driving around.’
    • ‘The popularity of pickups as pleasure vehicles has led to the development of luxurious features and accessories, fueling sales growth.’
    • ‘On the other hand, pickups and SUVs have become more capable as tow vehicles over the years.’
    • ‘The calf was then lowered over the side of the pickup to the ground.’
    • ‘The lane is subjected to daily traffic from automobiles, loaded pickups, dump trucks, and tractor-trailer trucks.’
    • ‘In photographs from the early twentieth century, field crews cluster around buckboard wagons or Model T Fords, replaced in more recent photos by weathered pickups and four-wheel-drive vehicles.’
    • ‘Some of these accessories are acquired to prevent damage to the bed or sides of a pickup.’
    • ‘While there were four-wheel-drive vehicles that predated the military Jeep, they were mostly highly specialized trucks and pickups.’
    • ‘It dominated the enormously profitable market for pickups and sport-utility vehicles.’
    • ‘He parked the pickup on the side of the street, and got out.’
    • ‘Nearby, police found a pickup truck on its side with 17 rocket launchers and a crude firing mechanism inside.’
    • ‘Camels contended in the narrow streets with armored vehicles, pickups with oversized wheels, and late-model luxury cars.’
    • ‘There you'll most likely see examples from two very competitive North American segments - midsize cars and compact pickups.’
    • ‘Commercial automobile insurance covers owned, leased, non-owned, and hired automobiles, such as vans, pickups, and buses used at your facility.’
    • ‘Meanwhile, sales of high-polluting sport utility vehicles, pickup trucks and vans boom.’
    • ‘They may be work trucks, but pickups needn't be laborious to drive, the No.2 auto maker maintains.’
    • ‘I leaned against the door on the passenger side of the pickup, as far away from him as I could get.’
    • ‘It had a neat yellow paint job and a black satellite dish bolted to its roof, and the driveway was packed with three late-model vehicles - two extended-cab pickups and a 30-foot motor home.’
    • ‘A lot of momentum is going into crossover vehicles and four-door pickups.’
    pickup truck, utility truck, utility vehicle
    View synonyms
  • 2An act of collecting a person or goods, especially in a vehicle.

    ‘travel by coach from your local pickup point to your hotel’
    • ‘Nevertheless, he disconnected, swam to the survivor, checked him for injuries, and signaled for pickup.’
    • ‘Their driver then moves to the terminal for pickup.’
    • ‘The Park Service provided all ground transportation, including pickup from the Airport, 30 miles away.’
    • ‘You're assuming I'm in favor of municipal trash pickup.’
    • ‘When they signaled for pickup, the crew chief talked the pilot down to a 30-foot hover and started hoisting.’
    • ‘It's best to take outgoing mail to the post office, especially if it contains checks or important documents, rather than leaving it outside your front door for pickup.’
    • ‘According to Judy's story, the trash pickup netted 90-100 bags of trash.’
    • ‘Carpets cleaned and rolled and pre-positioned for easy pickup stood beside stacks and mounds of linens and bedding and pillows and a host of other household goods.’
    • ‘Never leave mail for pickup at home or at the office; take your outgoing correspondence directly to the post office or drop it in a USPS mailbox.’
    • ‘Most dealers offer delivery and pickup of large equipment and, except for very large equipment, do not require an operator's license.’
    • ‘The object is to go around collecting pickups within increasingly difficult time limits.’
    • ‘I realized today that if I lived in a house instead of a condo and had weekly trash and recycling pickups to worry about, I probably wouldn't let the newspapers and plastic bottles pile up in bags for weeks without taking them downstairs.’
    • ‘Unionized truckers have also refused to cross to make deliveries or pickups.’
    • ‘We inflated our AIRSAVE flotation vests, jumped in the balmy 64-degree water and awaited pickup.’
    • ‘That is, he can schedule, by the hour, equipment delivery and pickups at a project that best fits construction schedules.’
    • ‘It was leading edge in Canada and it included a team of flying doctors who traveled with the aircraft, making pickups throughout the province, bringing the patients to the tertiary care centers in Winnipeg.’
    • ‘Customers will purchase the mailers from frame shops and use them to ship damaged photos or certificates via the shipping company's drop box or home pickup.’
    • ‘When the bags are full, or sooner if it takes a long time to fill one, they should be securely closed and stored for pickup by the hazardous waste disposal company.’
    • ‘Back then, messenger companies would lump all the pickups and deliveries together on one invoice.’
    • ‘We decided that in the future, when a truck returned from a pickup, we would put all the boxes in a temporary holding area marked by a cone.’
  • 3informal A casual encounter with a stranger with a view to having sexual intercourse.

    ‘most people met through casual pickups’
    • ‘Spike and Bob have challenged listeners to call in and give Lauren their best pickup lines.’
    • ‘Tired of the cheesy pickup lines you hear while hitting the bar circuit?’
    • ‘What's the worst pickup line you've ever heard?’
    • ‘Date rapes have occurred at every stage of involvement, ranging from a pickup in a bar to a first date to a steady relationship.’
    • ‘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.’
    1. 3.1A person encountered with a view to having sexual intercourse.
      ‘her flatmates are used to Susan's rugged pickups’
      • ‘How do I explain to my children that Dad was nothing more than a pickup in a bar?’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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’
    • ‘The October producer and consumer price indexes suggest at least a small dollar-related pickup in inflation outside of energy and food.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Still, the lack of a pickup in buying has eroded profits and forced the computer makers to eliminate thousands of jobs this year.’
    • ‘It is true that there has been a pickup in some of the indicators of capital goods spending.’
    • ‘If long-term rates rise with a pickup in the economy and increasing demand for capital, the bonds will lose value.’
    • ‘But many analysts are concerned that growth could fade without a pickup in hiring.’
    • ‘Shareholders say they've heard that before, and they're looking for help in figuring out when the shares will rise ahead of a pickup in sales.’
    • ‘Despite a pickup in the retail and real-estate sectors, confidence in the economy remains stubbornly elusive.’
    • ‘Fed officials in recent speeches have said they don't expect a pickup in the economy before next year.’
    • ‘Likewise, a pickup in retail sales is likely to trigger hiring at store chains, where 19,000 jobs were lost in the third-quarter.’
    • ‘In the bad old days of the inflation-wracked 1970s and 1980s, any pickup in prices was something to be feared.’
    • ‘There could also be a pickup in credit off-take in the second half of the fiscal, which should improve the bank's core earnings.’
    • ‘She said this pointed to a pickup in the permanent IT recruitment market next year.’
    • ‘After all, consumers can't possibly keep leading this recovery without a pickup in job growth, can they?’
    • ‘Business is flat and no customers have said they see a pickup in business anytime soon.’
    • ‘More broadly, our results show no clear or necessary relationship between a pickup in jobs lost to trade and weakness in the U.S. labor market.’
    • ‘Moreover, they are not overly worried about a pickup in inflation, even if the recovery arrives earlier and turns out to be stronger than they expect.’
    • ‘Shipping firms also benefited from a pickup in demand.’
    • ‘State higher-education construction, as well as other categories, will benefit from a pickup in state general-fund revenues.’
    • ‘With inventories so low, the coming pickup in demand will have to be met with a rise in production.’
    improvement, recovery, revival, upturn, upswing, rally, comeback, resurgence, renewal, reinvigoration, advancement, betterment
    View synonyms
  • 5A device that produces an electrical signal in response to some other kind of signal or change, in particular.

    • ‘I'll need to get a pickup to play electric, and I'll probably try and somehow combine it with my Dictaphone and laptop.’
    • ‘The music they had heard in the stands came softly through their acoustic pickups and into their helmets.’
    • ‘They were more like microphones than modern day pickups with a fixed anode and charged, stretched diaphragm.’
    • ‘Contact rates have not been affected when a message can be delivered to a live pickup or answering device.’
    1. 5.1The cartridge of a record player, carrying the stylus.
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘That noise is only apparent when you play 78s on an electrical pickup, which amplifies the scratch along with the music.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The pickup uses a nude elliptical diamond stylus.’
      • ‘The net result is that whenever the stylus is in the groove of rotating record the pickup is subjected to an additional inward force.’
    2. 5.2A device on an electric guitar which converts string vibrations into electrical signals for amplification.
      • ‘The guitarist wanted to track the sound of the guitar's piezo bridge pickup and the acoustic sound simultaneously.’
      • ‘So, the noise of the toy gets amplified by your guitar pickup?’
      • ‘Recording a five-string Fender bass with active pickups, I switched the impedance to 47k.’
      • ‘The quarter inch plug which runs from the amplifier to the guitar is electrically wired to the pickups.’
      • ‘We began to find new pickups and microphone systems for the cellos that allowed us to be loud without feedback.’
  • 6[mass noun] The reception of signals, especially interference or noise, by electrical apparatus.

    ‘this microphone helps reduce the pickup of background noise’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘I get no discernible hum pickup over that length.’
    • ‘We demonstrated that the remaining imbalance was dominated by the pickup loops.’
    • ‘With this set-up it is shown even with much larger background noise and pickup noises, white noise level can be easily measured in seconds.’
  • 7Music
    A series of introductory notes leading into the opening part of a tune.

    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Many popular songs have a few preliminary "pickup" notes leading to the opening bar and its downbeat.’
    • ‘There are different techniques for counting pickup notes but if a pickup note is used at the beginning of a piece of music, the last measure much be an incomplete measure to make up for it.’
    • ‘Every once in a while, usually for pickup notes, the tempo is either faster or slower than the rest of the piece.’
    • ‘However, if the pickup bar is counted as measure 1, the main structural point is correctly placed at bar 56.’
  • 8Fishing
    A semicircular loop of metal for guiding the line back on to the spool as it is reeled in.

    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Pressing a button on the rear of the fishing reel disengages the line pickup thus allowing the line to fly off of the spool.’


North American
  • [attributive] Informal and spontaneous.

    ‘a pickup basketball game’
    • ‘He stayed away from basketball this summer, and only began running pickup games with teammates two weeks ago.’
    • ‘At the new gym facilities, structured times have been setup for pickup games that involve various sports.’
    • ‘Frequently, everyone ends the day with a game of pickup basketball or a communal lounge around the pool.’
    • ‘Anyone can wander in and play a pickup game of touch football.’
    • ‘Kids who used to play pickup basketball at city courts now show up at community centers and summer leagues for structured games sponsored by public and private groups.’
    • ‘Regular pickup games and leagues abound in our area.’
    • ‘There's also a large recreation area where I watched a placid game of pickup basketball.’
    • ‘Players are encouraged to play pickup basketball or racquetball.’
    • ‘At the end of the film, however, the hot violence of the city street will congeal and give way to a pickup basketball game: Violence, in turn, gives way to sport.’
    • ‘Your gym time also transfers over into your other activities, such as pickup basketball, flag football, softball or mountain biking.’
    • ‘Although I played at least ten years of organized ball, some of my favorite memories involve pickup games with my brothers and the kids from the neighborhood.’
    • ‘The boys and I have used them in our pickup games for years and hardly anyone gets injured.’
    • ‘Even when you get in an informal pickup game, work on your skills.’
    • ‘The coach looked down on a pickup basketball game and said, ‘See that little kid?’’
    • ‘For the past ten years I have been a proud participant in the oldest established pickup basketball game in New York City.’
    • ‘A bunch of people from town played a pickup game.’
    • ‘On occasion my dad would come and join us kids for a pickup game of baseball.’
    • ‘Your ego used to be the only thing that got bruised during pickup basketball games.’
    • ‘That summer, determined to prove that coach wrong, he rose at 6 a.m. to work on his skills, and then spent all day playing pickup games.’
    • ‘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.’