pick apart

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pick (something) apart

To make an effort to find flaws or negative aspects in something through excessive analysis or criticism. Every time I show my brother one of my stories, he just picks holes in it without saying anything that he liked about it. Critics picked holes in his performance, but fans of the franchise seemed to love it.
See also: apart, pick

pick someone or something apart

1. Lit. to pick at and pull someone or something to pieces. The vultures attacked the hunger-weakened man and tried to pick him apart. They tried to pick apart the body. Harry picked his piece of cake apart, looking to get all the nuts out.
2. Fig. to analyze and criticize someone or something negatively. You didn't review her performance; you just picked her apart. The critics picked apart the performers.
See also: apart, pick

pick apart

Also, pick holes in or pick to pieces. Find flaws in something by close examination, criticize sharply, as in The lawyer picked apart the testimony, or He found it easy to pick holes in their argument, or The new editor picked her manuscript to pieces. These expressions use pick in the sense of "pierce" or "poke," a usage dating from the 1300s; pick holes in dates from the mid-1600s, pick to pieces from the mid-1800s.
See also: apart, pick

pick apart

1. To pull something or someone to pieces: The vultures picked apart the deer carcass. The children picked the bread apart, trying to remove all the raisins.
2. To find flaws in something or someone by close examination: The lawyer picked apart the witness's testimony. The candidate picked her opponent's speech apart.
See also: apart, pick
References in periodicals archive ?
You can pick apart each of the individual events that take place and begin to ask why some antigens are processed one way and why other antigens are processed another way," says Mellman.
If CU can be forced to go to trial after this thorough and candid disclosure of its methods, this is the death of consumer ratings: It will be impossible to issue a meaningful consumer review that a band of determined lawyers can't pick apart in front of a jury.
But Edwards began to pick apart the Trojans' defensive backfield, the top-ranked team's soft spot.
The key is to pick apart the various business functions and localize processes that are closest to the customer.
For the second time in as many games, UCLA's restructured and rededicated offensive line kept Olson upright and comfortable, and, unlike a week ago, the junior was able to pick apart Illinois' secondary.
In Online Advertising Part 3 we will pick apart the rest of the competition and begin to examine the new technology which gives online advertising service providers a leg up on their old school media brethren.
This is great,'' added Bob Grygiel, 63, of Rancho Santa Margarita, who in three hours managed to pick apart 15 red carnations and glue them to Teddy's right shoulder.
It was all too easy for the Matadors (1-0) to pick apart the Bison's (0-2) zone and pound it inside.
Miller's containment of Kearse will give Rams quarterback Kurt Warner enough time to pick apart a Titans secondary that is suspect, what with Marcus Robertson sidelined with a broken ankle and Blaine Bishop enamored of hitting people instead of tackling them.