Definition of pickup in English:



  • 1A small van or truck with low sides.

    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The calf was then lowered over the side of the pickup to the ground.’
    • ‘The driver of the pickup, who walked away from the wreck of his vehicle, was also taken to hospital, where he received 12 stitches to his forehead.’
    • ‘The lane is subjected to daily traffic from automobiles, loaded pickups, dump trucks, and tractor-trailer trucks.’
    • ‘The popularity of pickups as pleasure vehicles has led to the development of luxurious features and accessories, fueling sales growth.’
    • ‘There are three offices, two processing centers, a fleet of yellow Farmer's Own delivery pickups, and six full-time staff.’
    • ‘These days, about half of those vehicles are SUVs, pickups and mini-vans.’
    • ‘When I first registered for the plate around 1993, it was installed on a rather beat-up 1986 Toyota pickup.’
    • ‘There you'll most likely see examples from two very competitive North American segments - midsize cars and compact pickups.’
    • ‘In fact, Cadillac refuses to call its new vehicle a mere pickup.’
    • ‘Some of these accessories are acquired to prevent damage to the bed or sides of a pickup.’
    • ‘I leaned against the door on the passenger side of the pickup, as far away from him as I could get.’
    • ‘We are not transported around in plush vehicles, in fact we usually find ourselves in a Suburban or Ford pickup that has been running for at least 30 years.’
    • ‘While there were four-wheel-drive vehicles that predated the military Jeep, they were mostly highly specialized trucks and pickups.’
    • ‘Interestingly enough, pickup trucks had a very high rate of driver fatalities; small and large pickups had a rate that was surpassed only by ‘mini cars’.’
    • ‘Meanwhile, sales of high-polluting sport utility vehicles, pickup trucks and vans boom.’
    • ‘John found himself inside their family's pickup.’
    • ‘As I opened the rust plagued door to the pickup, I saw him close the door, retreating back into the house.’
    • ‘Camels contended in the narrow streets with armored vehicles, pickups with oversized wheels, and late-model luxury cars.’
    • ‘It dominated the enormously profitable market for pickups and sport-utility vehicles.’
    • ‘The problem was that the truck was a standard pickup, and was in no way large enough to incorporate all of our stuff.’
    • ‘Jeff watched as Jami ran down the walkway and opened the door to his pickup.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘They may be work trucks, but pickups needn't be laborious to drive, the No.2 auto maker maintains.’
    • ‘As for ranch trucks, the Sonoma pickup, with a trailer-towing maximum of 6,000 pounds, offers a small-truck alternative.’
    • ‘Leading her back to the pickup, he opened the passenger door.’
    • ‘The next vehicle was a pickup with an older man in it.’
    • ‘A lot of momentum is going into crossover vehicles and four-door pickups.’
    • ‘On the other hand, pickups and SUVs have become more capable as tow vehicles over the years.’
    • ‘He bought a used Toyota pickup with money he'd saved.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The truck is a late-model pickup with a tree painted on its door.’
    • ‘Although the park is claimed to be off-limits to motorized vehicles, several city-owned trucks and pickups were seen driving around.’
    • ‘Five days later, I saw the first bumper sticker, slapped on a shiny new Japanese pickup driven by an aging weekend hippie.’
    • ‘Commercial automobile insurance covers owned, leased, non-owned, and hired automobiles, such as vans, pickups, and buses used at your facility.’
    • ‘It sat in an open glade along with two other vehicles, a red pickup and a blue sedan.’
    • ‘Suppose that you didn't know anything about fixing the car and your husband asked you to repair the transmission on the pickup.’
    • ‘They won't transport well in the back of an open pickup.’
    • ‘I constantly see uncovered loads on the road, work trucks filled with construction material or debris, as well as regular pickups filled with people's personal stuff.’
    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’
    • ‘The Park Service provided all ground transportation, including pickup from the Airport, 30 miles away.’
    • ‘Nevertheless, he disconnected, swam to the survivor, checked him for injuries, and signaled for pickup.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘According to Judy's story, the trash pickup netted 90-100 bags of trash.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘We inflated our AIRSAVE flotation vests, jumped in the balmy 64-degree water and awaited pickup.’
    • ‘Unionized truckers have also refused to cross to make deliveries or pickups.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The object is to go around collecting pickups within increasingly difficult time limits.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘You're assuming I'm in favor of municipal trash pickup.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Most dealers offer delivery and pickup of large equipment and, except for very large equipment, do not require an operator's license.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Their driver then moves to the terminal for pickup.’
  • 3informal A casual encounter with a stranger with a view to having sexual intercourse.

    ‘most people met through casual pickups’
    • ‘Date rapes have occurred at every stage of involvement, ranging from a pickup in a bar to a first date to a steady relationship.’
    • ‘Tired of the cheesy pickup lines you hear while hitting the bar circuit?’
    • ‘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.’
    1. 3.1 A person encountered with a view to having sexual intercourse.
      ‘her flatmates are used to Susan's rugged pickups’
      • ‘It seems that she should use a better strategy for finding a husband than some pickup in a bar.’
      • ‘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.’
  • 4An improvement, especially in an economy.

    ‘a pickup in demand’
    • ‘Fed officials in recent speeches have said they don't expect a pickup in the economy before next year.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Likewise, a pickup in retail sales is likely to trigger hiring at store chains, where 19,000 jobs were lost in the third-quarter.’
    • ‘State higher-education construction, as well as other categories, will benefit from a pickup in state general-fund revenues.’
    • ‘If long-term rates rise with a pickup in the economy and increasing demand for capital, the bonds will lose value.’
    • ‘After all, consumers can't possibly keep leading this recovery without a pickup in job growth, can they?’
    • ‘She said this pointed to a pickup in the permanent IT recruitment market next year.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘In the bad old days of the inflation-wracked 1970s and 1980s, any pickup in prices was something to be feared.’
    • ‘Business is flat and no customers have said they see a pickup in business anytime soon.’
    • ‘But many analysts are concerned that growth could fade without a pickup in hiring.’
    • ‘The October producer and consumer price indexes suggest at least a small dollar-related pickup in inflation outside of energy and food.’
    • ‘It is true that there has been a pickup in some of the indicators of capital goods spending.’
    • ‘Despite a pickup in the retail and real-estate sectors, confidence in the economy remains stubbornly elusive.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Still, the lack of a pickup in buying has eroded profits and forced the computer makers to eliminate thousands of jobs this year.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘With inventories so low, the coming pickup in demand will have to be met with a rise in production.’
    • ‘Shipping firms also benefited from a pickup in demand.’
    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.

    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The music they had heard in the stands came softly through their acoustic pickups and into their helmets.’
    • ‘Contact rates have not been affected when a message can be delivered to a live pickup or answering device.’
    1. 5.1 The 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.’
      • ‘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 net result is that whenever the stylus is in the groove of rotating record the pickup is subjected to an additional inward force.’
      • ‘That noise is only apparent when you play 78s on an electrical pickup, which amplifies the scratch along with the music.’
      • ‘The pickup uses a nude elliptical diamond stylus.’
    2. 5.2 A device on an electric guitar which converts string vibrations into electrical signals for amplification.
      • ‘Recording a five-string Fender bass with active pickups, I switched the impedance to 47k.’
      • ‘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?’
      • ‘We began to find new pickups and microphone systems for the cellos that allowed us to be loud without feedback.’
      • ‘The quarter inch plug which runs from the amplifier to the guitar is electrically wired to the pickups.’
  • 6mass 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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘I get no discernible hum pickup over that length.’
  • 7Music
    A series of introductory notes leading into the opening part of a tune.

    • ‘However, if the pickup bar is counted as measure 1, the main structural point is correctly placed at bar 56.’
    • ‘Every once in a while, usually for pickup notes, the tempo is either faster or slower than the rest of the piece.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
  • 8Fishing
    A semicircular loop of metal for guiding the line back on to the spool as it is reeled in.

    • ‘Pressing a button on the rear of the fishing reel disengages the line pickup thus allowing the line to fly off of the spool.’
    • ‘The dual pickup pins collect the superline every time, even from the first crank of the handle.’
    • ‘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.’


North American
  • attributive Informal and spontaneous.

    ‘a pickup basketball game’
    • ‘The boys and I have used them in our pickup games for years and hardly anyone gets injured.’
    • ‘On occasion my dad would come and join us kids for a pickup game of baseball.’
    • ‘The coach looked down on a pickup basketball game and said, ‘See that little kid?’’
    • ‘A bunch of people from town played a pickup game.’
    • ‘Players are encouraged to play pickup basketball or racquetball.’
    • ‘At the new gym facilities, structured times have been setup for pickup games that involve various sports.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘He stayed away from basketball this summer, and only began running pickup games with teammates two weeks ago.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Frequently, everyone ends the day with a game of pickup basketball or a communal lounge around the pool.’
    • ‘Regular pickup games and leagues abound in our area.’
    • ‘For the past ten years I have been a proud participant in the oldest established pickup basketball game in New York City.’
    • ‘Even when you get in an informal pickup game, work on your skills.’
    • ‘Your ego used to be the only thing that got bruised during pickup basketball games.’
    • ‘Anyone can wander in and play a pickup game of touch football.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’