Meaning of “pick sb/sth up” in the English Dictionary

"pick sb/sth up" in British English

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pick sb/sth up

phrasal verb with pick uk /pɪk/ us /pɪk/ verb


A2 to lift someone or something using your hands:

If she starts to cry, pick her up and give her a cuddle.
I picked up the kids' clothes that were lying on the floor.
I went to pick up the phone/receiver, but it had stopped ringing.

More examples

  • Keep your fingers away from the crab's claws when you pick it up.
  • I can't pick the kettle up - the handle's too hot.
  • Could you pick the phone up for me - my hands are wet.
  • The child reached down and picked up the kitten.
  • He picked up the baby and gently rocked her to sleep.


A2 to collect, or to go and get, someone or something:

When you're in town could you pick up the books I ordered?
Whose turn is it to pick the children up after school?
The crew of the sinking tanker were picked up (= saved from the sea) by helicopter.

More examples

  • Could you pick up my suit from the cleaner's for me, please?
  • I'll come and pick you up in the car if you like.
  • Drop by and pick up that book sometime.
  • I'll come back and pick you up in half an hour.
  • You can pay now or when you come back to pick up the paint.

(Definition of “pick sb/sth up” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

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