Meaning of pickup

pick•up

Pronunciation: (pik'up"), [key]
— n.
  1. an improvement, as in health, business conditions, work, production, etc.
  2. pick-me-up.
  3. a casual, usually unintroduced acquaintance, often one made in hope of a sexual relationship.
  4. an instance of stopping for or taking aboard passengers or freight, as by a train, ship, taxicab, etc., esp. an instance of taking freight or a shipment of goods onto a truck.
  5. the person, freight, or shipment so taken aboard: The cab driver had a pickup at the airport who wanted to be driven to the docks.
    1. capacity for rapid acceleration.
    2. acceleration; increase in speed.
    3. Also calledpick&prim;up truck&sec;.a small truck with a low-sided open body, used for deliveries and light hauling.
  6. the act of fielding a ball after it hits the ground.
  7. Also calleda small device attached to the end of a phonograph tone arm that contains a stylus and the mechanism that translates the movement of the stylus in a record groove into a changing electrical voltage.
    1. the act of receiving sound waves in the transmitting set in order to change them into electrical waves.
    2. a receiving or recording device.
    3. the place from which a broadcast is being transmitted.
    4. interference (def. 4).
    1. the change of light energy into electrical energy in a television camera.
    2. Seecamera tube.
    3. a telecast made directly from the scene of an action.
  8. a hitchhiker.
  9. (in the cold-drawing of metal) the adhesion of particles of the metal to the die or plug.
—adj.
  1. composed of or employing whatever persons are available on a more or less impromptu basis: a pickup game of baseball; a pickup dance band.
  2. using whatever ingredients are handy or available: a Sunday night pickup supper.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.
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