Definition of pickup in US English:

pickup

noun

  • 1A small truck with an enclosed cab and open back.

    • ‘The next vehicle was a pickup with an older man in it.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘John found himself inside their family's pickup.’
    • ‘They may be work trucks, but pickups needn't be laborious to drive, the No.2 auto maker maintains.’
    • ‘The calf was then lowered over the side of the pickup to the ground.’
    • ‘When I first registered for the plate around 1993, it was installed on a rather beat-up 1986 Toyota pickup.’
    • ‘Commercial automobile insurance covers owned, leased, non-owned, and hired automobiles, such as vans, pickups, and buses used at your facility.’
    • ‘The lane is subjected to daily traffic from automobiles, loaded pickups, dump trucks, and tractor-trailer trucks.’
    • ‘Although the park is claimed to be off-limits to motorized vehicles, several city-owned trucks and pickups were seen driving around.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Suppose that you didn't know anything about fixing the car and your husband asked you to repair the transmission on the pickup.’
    • ‘While there were four-wheel-drive vehicles that predated the military Jeep, they were mostly highly specialized trucks and pickups.’
    • ‘They won't transport well in the back of an open pickup.’
    • ‘As I opened the rust plagued door to the pickup, I saw him close the door, retreating back into the house.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘A lot of momentum is going into crossover vehicles and four-door pickups.’
    • ‘As for ranch trucks, the Sonoma pickup, with a trailer-towing maximum of 6,000 pounds, offers a small-truck alternative.’
    • ‘I leaned against the door on the passenger side of the pickup, as far away from him as I could get.’
    • ‘Some of these accessories are acquired to prevent damage to the bed or sides of a pickup.’
    • ‘It sat in an open glade along with two other vehicles, a red pickup and a blue sedan.’
    • ‘Five days later, I saw the first bumper sticker, slapped on a shiny new Japanese pickup driven by an aging weekend hippie.’
    • ‘Leading her back to the pickup, he opened the passenger door.’
    • ‘There you'll most likely see examples from two very competitive North American segments - midsize cars and compact pickups.’
    • ‘Meanwhile, sales of high-polluting sport utility vehicles, pickup trucks and vans boom.’
    • ‘There are three offices, two processing centers, a fleet of yellow Farmer's Own delivery pickups, and six full-time staff.’
    • ‘The popularity of pickups as pleasure vehicles has led to the development of luxurious features and accessories, fueling sales growth.’
    • ‘In fact, Cadillac refuses to call its new vehicle a mere pickup.’
    • ‘It dominated the enormously profitable market for pickups and sport-utility vehicles.’
    • ‘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’.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘On the other hand, pickups and SUVs have become more capable as tow vehicles over the years.’
    • ‘Camels contended in the narrow streets with armored vehicles, pickups with oversized wheels, and late-model luxury cars.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘He bought a used Toyota pickup with money he'd saved.’
    • ‘These days, about half of those vehicles are SUVs, pickups and mini-vans.’
    pickup truck, utility truck, utility vehicle
    View synonyms
  • 2An act of collecting a person or goods, especially in a vehicle.

    as modifier ‘travel by bus from your local pickup point to your hotel’
    ‘curbside 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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘That is, he can schedule, by the hour, equipment delivery and pickups at a project that best fits construction schedules.’
    • ‘You're assuming I'm in favor of municipal trash 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.’
    • ‘Back then, messenger companies would lump all the pickups and deliveries together on one invoice.’
    • ‘Most dealers offer delivery and pickup of large equipment and, except for very large equipment, do not require an operator's license.’
    • ‘When they signaled for pickup, the crew chief talked the pilot down to a 30-foot hover and started hoisting.’
    • ‘Their driver then moves to the terminal for pickup.’
  • 3informal A casual encounter with someone, with a view to having sexual intercourse.

    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Tired of the cheesy pickup lines you hear while hitting the bar circuit?’
    • ‘Date rapes have occurred at every stage of involvement, ranging from a pickup in a bar to a first date to a steady relationship.’
    • ‘What's the worst pickup line you've ever heard?’
    1. 3.1 A person encountered with a view to having sexual intercourse.
      • ‘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 in an economic indicator.

    ‘signs of a pickup in demand’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Business is flat and no customers have said they see a pickup in business anytime soon.’
    • ‘After all, consumers can't possibly keep leading this recovery without a pickup in job growth, can they?’
    • ‘It is true that there has been a pickup in some of the indicators of capital goods spending.’
    • ‘She said this pointed to a pickup in the permanent IT recruitment market next year.’
    • ‘The October producer and consumer price indexes suggest at least a small dollar-related pickup in inflation outside of energy and food.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Shipping firms also benefited from a pickup in demand.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘But many analysts are concerned that growth could fade without a pickup in hiring.’
    • ‘With inventories so low, the coming pickup in demand will have to be met with a rise in production.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Despite a pickup in the retail and real-estate sectors, confidence in the economy remains stubbornly elusive.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘In the bad old days of the inflation-wracked 1970s and 1980s, any pickup in prices was something to be feared.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘If long-term rates rise with a pickup in the economy and increasing demand for capital, the bonds will lose value.’
    • ‘Fed officials in recent speeches have said they don't expect a pickup in the economy before next year.’
    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.

    • ‘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.’
    • ‘I'll need to get a pickup to play electric, and I'll probably try and somehow combine it with my Dictaphone and laptop.’
    • ‘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 net result is that whenever the stylus is in the groove of rotating record the pickup is subjected to an additional inward force.’
      • ‘The pickup uses a nude elliptical diamond stylus.’
      • ‘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.’
    2. 5.2 A device on a musical instrument, particularly an electric guitar, that converts string vibrations into electrical signals for amplification.
      • ‘We began to find new pickups and microphone systems for the cellos that allowed us to be loud without feedback.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
  • 6The reception of signals, especially interference or noise, by electrical apparatus.

    • ‘We demonstrated that the remaining imbalance was dominated by the pickup loops.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.

    • ‘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.’
    • ‘However, if the pickup bar is counted as measure 1, the main structural point is correctly placed at bar 56.’
    • ‘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.’
  • 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.’

adjective

North American
informal
  • Informal and spontaneous.

    ‘six players had started a full-court pickup basketball game’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Your gym time also transfers over into your other activities, such as pickup basketball, flag football, softball or mountain biking.’
    • ‘The boys and I have used them in our pickup games for years and hardly anyone gets injured.’
    • ‘A bunch of people from town played a pickup game.’
    • ‘He stayed away from basketball this summer, and only began running pickup games with teammates two weeks ago.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The coach looked down on a pickup basketball game and said, ‘See that little kid?’’
    • ‘Players are encouraged to play pickup basketball or racquetball.’
    • ‘Anyone can wander in and play a pickup game of touch football.’
    • ‘Your ego used to be the only thing that got bruised during pickup basketball games.’
    • ‘Even when you get in an informal pickup game, work on your skills.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘On occasion my dad would come and join us kids for a pickup game of baseball.’
    • ‘For the past ten years I have been a proud participant in the oldest established pickup basketball game in New York City.’
    • ‘There's also a large recreation area where I watched a placid game of pickup basketball.’
    • ‘Regular pickup games and leagues abound in our area.’
    • ‘At the new gym facilities, structured times have been setup for pickup games that involve various sports.’

Pronunciation

pickup

/ˈpikˌəp//ˈpɪkˌəp/