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1. To choose something very carefully to ensure that the best option is chosen, perhaps through means that provide one an unfair advantage or from a selection that others do not have ready access to. I can't believe he left the company and then cherry-picked the best employee in my department! Yes, you will get to cherry-pick all the equipment that goes into your studio.
2. slang In sports such as basketball and soccer (football), to position oneself away from the current play on one's opponent's defensive end for an opportunity to receive the ball and score an easy basket or goal. We might not have gotten scored on if you had actually been playing defense instead of cherry-picking!

cherry-pick something

Fig. to choose something very carefully. (As if one were closely examining cherries on the tree, looking for the best.) We have to cherry-pick the lumber we want to use for the cabinetry. Nothing but the best will do.

cherry-pick somebody/something

to choose only the best people or things in a way that is not fair (usually in continuous tenses) Isn't there a danger that the state schools might start cherry-picking the pupils with the best exam results?
References in periodicals archive ?
I feel like I had been used as a convenience for the managers, who leisurely perused and cherry-picked my replacement while keeping me in the dark about their plans.
We wanted to provide a full personal banking service but people just cherry-picked products.
Speaking in Edinburgh, president Sepp Blatter announced FIFA's plans for professional whistlers who would be cherry-picked from the best in the world to officiate at top-level games.
The "mover," a furniture wholesaler who had promised to take every stick of furniture, had cherry-picked what he wanted and decided to leave the rest behind.
lucy also offers a selection of cherry-picked performance brands including Nike, Puma and adidas, as well as hard-to-find labels like Splendid and OmGirl.
Other companies would have come in and cherry-picked the assets they wanted, which would have been too bad, because the Applause brand name still has a lot of equity with consumers.
All art is handmade, signed by the artists and was cherry-picked by the owners themselves.
My two cherry-picked verses are Romans 12:17, ``recompense to no man evil for evil,'' and Romans 12:21, ``Be not overcome to evil, but overcome evil with good.
The stacked plates are imaged and the high activity mutants are robotically cherry-picked for further analysis.
Apparently, the will of the American military is not as important as that of voters in several cherry-picked counties in Florida, even though 39 percent of the military ballots have not even been counted once.
New Times also cherry-picked two veteran movie critics, Peter Rainer (late of the L.
Occam's vast pool of talent, which has been assembled and cherry-picked from Cisco, NET, Ericsson, Motorola and other leading companies in the telecommunications industry, and the strength and experience of the Occam team in key technology areas -- networking, telephony, and access -- make it a formidable force and the company to watch as the thought-leader in the access market.