cherry-pick

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cherry-pick

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!
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

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.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
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References in periodicals archive ?
READING manager Steve Coppell has slammed the system under which Premier League referees are "cherry picked" to handle specific games in the Championship.
It was the perfect assignment for a couple of golden era rap junkies--they added signature Grind Music details, like a warm horn section cherry picked from The 3rd Avenue Blues Band's 1970 cut "Come On and Get It." Despite the complete reformation, they retained the essence of PE's 1991 version with the same quick vocal bursts and urgent energy.
"We didn't want our portfolio to be cherry picked. Everyone would go after properties in the top markets and no one would want to take properties in the lesser markets."
While on bail for those charges, it is believed that Bond cherry picked well-performing stocks for his personal portfolio, and directed underperforming stocks to his clients' portfolios.
They cherry picked the healthy lives to cover and made out like bandits.
Unless the councillors are political pygmies, cherry picked by their political masters, one might expect that between them they would be blessed with the nous to come up with a parking system that would be both beneficial to the traders and motorists.
"They were looking for a scapegoat and they cherry picked the races they picked out, but they never found me guilty of stopping horses - they found me guilty of knowing that Fran Ferris was stopping them."