pick up on (something)

pick up on (something)

To detect or notice something; to become alert to or aware of something. There are a lot of mature jokes in this cartoon that I never picked up on as a kid. Did you pick up on the hostility between Jen and Tom? The cops picked up on his suspicious behavior right away.
See also: on, pick, up
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

pick up on something

to become alert to something; to take notice of something; to learn or catch on to something. She's real sharp. She picks up on everything. The cop picked up on the car with the expired license plates.
See also: on, pick, up
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

pick up on

Become aware of, notice, as in The teacher picked up on her nervousness right away. [Colloquial; mid-1900s]
See also: on, pick, up
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.

pick up on something

in. to become alert to something; to take notice of something; to learn or catch on to something. She’s real sharp. She picks up on everything.
See also: on, pick, something, up
McGraw-Hill's Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions Copyright © 2006 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.

pick up on

Informal
1. To take into the mind and understand, typically with speed: is quick to pick up on new computer skills.
2. To notice: picked up on my roommate's bad mood and left him alone.
See also: on, pick, up
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
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