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Related to pick out: pick out of a hat
1. To lift up and remove something (from within something else). A noun or pronoun can be used between "pick" and "off." I've got to pick these bits of wood out before I mix up the paint. No matter what the meal was, I would sit and pick out every tiny piece of onion I came across.
2. To select someone or something (from a group or range of things). A noun or pronoun can be used between "pick" and "off." Dad said we could pick out any toy we wanted. The store's owner picked Sarah out to act as the new manager.
3. To discern or distinguish someone or something from a group. She said she'd be wearing a bright pink hat so I could pick her out from the crowd. Even though there were several similar ones in there, I was able to pick out my phone from the lost-and-found bin because of the big scratch on the screen.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
pick someone or something out (for someone or something)
to choose someone or something to serve as someone or something. I picked one of the new people out for Santa Claus this year. I picked out several large potatoes for the stew.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
1. Choose, select, as in She picked out the best piece of fabric. [Early 1500s]
2. Distinguish, discern from one's surroundings, as in They managed to pick out their mother from the crowd. [Mid-1500s]
3. Identify the notes of a tune and play it on an instrument, as in When she was four she could pick out folk songs on the piano. [Late 1800s]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
1. To choose something or someone from a set of options; select something or someone: We went to the video store and picked out a movie to watch. I picked this fabric out because it was the most colorful.
2. To discern something or someone from the surroundings; distinguish something or someone: From the plane, she was able to pick out her house on the ground. The victim picked his attacker out of the lineup.
3. To play a piece of music tentatively, especially on a guitar or piano: He picked out the song on the guitar, trying to remember the notes. I hummed the tune for her, and she picked it out on the piano.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Phrasal Verbs. Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.