Etymology: Middle English piken, partly from Old English *pīcian (akin to Middle Dutch picken to prick); partly from Middle French piquer to prick — more at pike
Date: 14th century
1. to pierce, penetrate, or break up with a pointed instrument <picked the hard clay> 2. a. to remove bit by bit <pick meat from bones> b. to remove covering or adhering matter from <pick the bones> 3. a. to gather by plucking <pick apples> b. choose, select <tried to pick the shortest route> <she picked out the most expensive dress> c. to make (one's way) slowly and carefully <picked his way through the rubble> 4. a. pilfer, rob <pick pockets> b. to obtain useful information from by questioning — used in such phrases as pick the brains of 5. provoke <pick a quarrel> 6. a. to dig into ; probe <picking his teeth> b. to pluck (as a guitar) with a pick or with the fingers c. to loosen or pull apart with a sharp point <pick wool> 7. to unlock with a device (as a wire) other than the key <pick a lock> intransitive verb 1. to use or work with a pick 2. to gather or harvest something by plucking 3. pilfer — used in the phrase picking and stealing 4. to eat sparingly or mincingly <picking listlessly at his dinner> II. noun Date: 15th century 1. a blow or stroke with a pointed instrument 2. a. the act or privilege of choosing or selecting ; choice <take your pick> b. the best or choicest one <the pick of the herd> c. one that is picked <his pick for vice president> 3. the portion of a crop gathered at one time <the first pick of peaches> 4. a screen in basketball III. noun Etymology: Middle English pik Date: 14th century 1. a heavy wooden-handled iron or steel tool pointed at one or both ends — compare mattock 2. a. toothpick b. picklock c. a small thin piece (as of plastic or metal) used to pluck the strings of a stringed instrument 3. one of the points on the forepart of the blade of a skate used in figure skating 4. a comb with long widely spaced teeth used to give height to a hair style IV. transitive verb Etymology: Middle English pykken to pitch (a tent); akin to Middle English picchen to pitch Date: 1523 1. chiefly dialect to throw or thrust with effort ; hurl 2. to throw (a shuttle) across the loom V. noun Date: 1627 1. dialect England a. the act of pitching or throwing b. something thrown 2. a. a throw of the shuttle b. a filling thread
New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.