cherry-pick

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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?