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

v.
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 ?
Or when critics pick apart the jumps they used to marvel at, claiming that her lutz is actually a ``flutz,'' a hybrid of flip and lutz.
He can throw on the run or sit in the pocket and pick apart an opposing defense.
The Monarchs' run-and-shoot attack has the ability to pick apart opposing defenses.
Against La Verne, Stitt played a key role in negating the Leos' front pressure and blitzing linebackers, allowing quarterback Derek Brown time to pick apart the La Verne secondary.
federal agencies - will get a chance to pick apart the biologists' study before any action is taken.
Jim Harbaugh's getting no protection, and Dan Marino should be able to pick apart the defense, as he did last week.
What Cal Lutheran can't afford to do is simply let Marconi stand in the pocket and pick apart the defensive coverage.
In the next several days, investigators plan to pick apart pieces of the tangled cockpit wreckage.
Kaczynski's lawyers must hire expert witnesses immediately and pick apart the government's apparent case, Uelmen suggests.