pick (something) clean

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pick (something) clean

1. To remove every piece of flesh from the bone or body of a person or animal. The body of my poor horse hadn't been out for more than a few hours before the vultures and other desert dwellers had picked it clean. You must have been hungry! I wasn't expecting you to pick that drumstick clean.
2. To remove everything from something or some place. You'd better get to the store early during the big sale, because people pick the shelves clean in no time. The boss said we could take anything left behind in the office, so we went through and picked the building clean.
See also: clean, pick

pick something clean

completely remove the flesh from a bone or carcass.
See also: clean, pick, something
References in periodicals archive ?
When the surrounding area was picked clean, the bone gatherers contacted a freighter who hauled the bones to the nearest railhead loading station for shipment to a fertilizer plant.
I lost my all, or so it seemed at the time, and still does when I think of my precious possessions picked clean of cash and cards and discarded on some rubbish tip.
Got the second LP from a band called Orange Roughy out of Pennsylvania, Picked Clean, and it's a doozy.
When the vultures have picked clean the carcass of cruddy American TV, will they move on to the graveyard of British television?
or New York standup into a possible TV network cornerstone, there is a growing sense among scouts that the local club scene has been picked clean of veteran talents and that the next generation will emerge from the outer perimeters of the comedy world.
American warplanes pounded front-line Iraqi forces in the north yesterday after Saddam's troops fell back from strategic hilltop positions that were picked clean by Kurds in a frenzy of battlefield plunder.
Wild scallops have been picked clean by overfishing; likewise herring and groundfish.
For example, India's 76 000-strong Parsees community does not bury its dead; bodies are placed in `towers of silence', for the bones to be picked clean by vultures.
Whatever money was made illegally is long gone--the bones of the company have been picked clean through litigation.
The lammergeier makes the most efficient use of its resources, as its strong digestive juices can dissolve the bones of the skeletons that other vultures have picked clean.
That bottom hanging fruit has now been picked clean, and communities are going to have to work harder now to pick the fruit from the top of the tree--turning non-potable water into alternative drinking water sources.
The forest floor is picked clean and living trees have been stripped of anything burnable.
The forest floor on privately owned forests would be picked clean because our present tax system (or the most part) takes all the value year after year and - unlike the Chadbournes - it puts no value back.
When attacking right-wingers, Blumenthal wouldn't usually stop until the bones were picked clean.