pick up the tab

pick up the tab

To pay the cost of something, as at a restaurant or bar, especially as a treat or favor for someone else. I know it's old-fashioned, but I still think a guy should pick up the tab on a first date. My employers have offered to pick up the tab if I decide to go to grad school.
See also: pick, tab, up

pick up the tab

 and pick up the check
to pay the bill. Whenever we go out, my father picks up the tab. Order whatever you want. The company is picking up the check.
See also: pick, tab, up

pick up the tab

COMMON If you pick up the tab, you pay for something, often something that you are not responsible for. Pollard picked up the tab for dinner. If your girlfriend is always picking up the tab, the inequality in your relationship may be difficult for you both to handle.
See also: pick, tab, up

pick up the tab

pay for something. informal, chiefly North American
See also: pick, tab, up

pick up the ˈtab (for something)

(informal) pay the bill, especially for a group of people in a restaurant, etc: Her father picked up the tab for all the champagne at the wedding.
See also: pick, tab, up
References in periodicals archive ?
Two years on and both he and his deputy snubbed the return of our triumphant paralympians in favour of, guess what, the Ryder Cup, surrounded by the same privileged hangers-on, and we in these times of financial restraint are expected to pick up the tab.
The commission was belt-tightening and hoped that other providers would pick up the tab for the two services, which help tens of thousands of people annually with counseling, referrals and more.
Calling on the province to pick up the tab for the clinic, Fay warned that vulnerable addicts could also lead to more use of other drags, such as cocaine, and that clinics like Direction 180 do more than help cities fight intravenous drag use.
One Democratic proposal would pick up the tab for 75 percent of a recently unemployed worker's private health coverage for up to 12 months.
Jerry Avorn, a professor at Harvard Medical School, says that salesmen often couch their dinner invitations in flattering terms like "Come on--you're a busy guy and you've gotta eat anyway; I'll just pick up the tab." And to cover docs who'd rather eat with their families, Dr.
The city, meanwhile, is handing over $5 million in incentives to Newsweek as part of its deal to move to similarly sized space at 1775 Broadway on the corner of 57th Street, rather than leave the city, as it "threatened." Owners of small businesses are grumbling more and more at the city's willingness to cut deals with prominent corporations while they are being forced to pick up the tab.