Etymology
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pick up (v.)

early 14c. as a verbal phrase, "lift and take with the fingers," from pick (v.) + up (adv.). From 1510s as "take or get casually, obtain or procure as opportunity offers." Meaning "take (a person found or overtaken) into a vehicle or vessel," is from 1690s, also, of persons, "make acquaintance or take along" (especially for sexual purposes). Intransitive meaning "improve gradually, reacquire vigor or strength" is by 1741. Sense of "tidy up" is from 1861; that of "arrest" is from 1871; meaning "gain speed" is from 1922; meaning "to pay" (a check, tab, etc.) is from 1945. Pick-me-up "stimulating alcoholic drink" is attested from 1867.

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Definitions of pick up

pick up (v.)
take and lift upward;
Synonyms: lift up / gather up
pick up (v.)
take up by hand;
pick up (v.)
give a passenger or a hitchhiker a lift;
pick up (v.)
gather or collect;
They pick up our trash twice a week
Synonyms: collect / gather up / call for
pick up (v.)
get to know or become aware of, usually accidentally;
Synonyms: learn / hear / get word / get wind / find out / get a line / discover / see
pick up (v.)
get in addition, as an increase;
pick up (v.)
take into custody;
Synonyms: collar / nail / apprehend / arrest / nab / cop
pick up (v.)
buy casually or spontaneously;
pick up (v.)
register (perceptual input);
pick up a signal
Synonyms: receive
pick up (v.)
lift out or reflect from a background;
pick up (v.)
meet someone for sexual purposes;
he always tries to pick up girls in bars
pick up (v.)
fill with high spirits; fill with optimism;
Synonyms: elate / lift up / uplift / intoxicate
pick up (v.)
improve significantly; go from bad to good;
Synonyms: turn around
pick up (v.)
perceive with the senses quickly, suddenly, or momentarily;
Synonyms: catch
pick up (v.)
eat by pecking at, like a bird;
Synonyms: peck
pick up (v.)
gain or regain energy;
Synonyms: perk up / perk / percolate / gain vigor
From wordnet.princeton.edu