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 straight away.
See also: on, pick, up

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