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1. To look through, examine, or analyze something with careful attention. A noun or pronoun can be used between "pick" and "over." I picked over the charity shop, hoping to find something I might wear. They're going to pick over your thesis line by line, looking for any mistakes or inconsistencies that might be present.
2. To search or look over something thoroughly in order to select and remove the best parts. A noun or pronoun can be used between "pick" and "over." There was not much left after the birds had picked over the field of grain. Everyone had already picked the table over by the time I got there, so all that was left were a couple pieces of bread.
Having the best things or parts already taken or removed; only having less desirable parts or things left over. During the big Black Friday sales, you'd better get to the stores first thing in the morning, because they're all picked over come lunch time. I was looking forward to my dinner after having to work so late, but the plates of leftovers were picked over by the time I got back.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2022 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
pick something over
Fig. to look through something carefully, looking for something special. The shoppers who got here first picked everything over, and there is not much left. They picked over all the merchandise.
rejected; worn, dirty, or undesirable. This merchandise looks worn and picked over. I don't want any of it. Everything in the store is picked over by the end of the month.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
Sort out, examine item by item, as in Dad hates to pick over the beans one by one. This term is sometimes put as picked over, describing something that has already been selected from (as in They have almost nothing left; the stock of bathing suits has been picked over). [First half of 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 sort through something carefully: We picked over the grapes before buying them. Many of these archaeological sites have been picked over by tourists, and few artifacts remain.
2. To examine or analyze something carefully: The committee picked over the budget, looking for ways to save money.
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.