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Pick at   /pɪk æt/   Listen
Pick at

verb
1.
Pluck or pull at with the fingers.  Synonyms: pluck at, pull at.
2.
Eat like a bird.  Synonyms: peck, peck at.
3.
Express a negative opinion of.  Synonyms: belittle, disparage.






WordNet 3.0 © 2010 Princeton University








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"Pick at" Quotes from Famous Books



... in the first place, great men, more on a level with the rest of mankind, have said that he is admirable, and also because, in the absolute universality of his genius, he has presented points to all. Every man, woman, and child, may pick at least one flower from his garden, the name and scent of which are familiar. To all which must of course be added, the effect of theatrical representation, be that representation what it may. There are tens of thousands of persons in this country whose only ...
— Famous Reviews • Editor: R. Brimley Johnson

... great writer. Shall he choose those that display the literary qualities of the writer, shall he choose those which depict his powers of drama, shall he select those which bring out the humour of the writer, shall he pick at random and let the passage stand or fall on its own merits? These are questions that must be faced in a work of the nature of Chesterton's Thackeray. What the method has been will, I hope, be clear at the ...
— Gilbert Keith Chesterton • Patrick Braybrooke

... you forced me under the yoke of what you called duty and obligation; when you lauded as right and proper what my whole soul rebelled against as something loathsome. It was then that I began to look into the seams of your doctrines. I wanted only to pick at a single knot; but when I had got that undone, the whole thing ravelled out. And then I understood that ...
— Ghosts • Henrik Ibsen

... settlement is at times the scene of these youthful collisions When a new boy appears in the village, or at the country school, how the other boys crowd around him and take his measure, or pick at him and insult him to try ...
— Birds and Poets • John Burroughs

... rank, who have made an honorable record for themselves. The latter has entire charge of the post, and the position is a very responsible one; nor is it by any means a sinecure, for when the papers have nothing else to find fault with they pick at West Point." ...
— Nature's Serial Story • E. P. Roe

... must never let her think we have any grudge against her because we were the ones that won the Revolution," said Molly. "It wouldn't be polite to pick at her because she isn't an American. Do you suppose she will be very snippy, Polly? and will be disagreeable and run ...
— Three Little Cousins • Amy E. Blanchard

... few months, and usually narrow at their base and drop off, when the particular irritation that caused them ceases. On this account it is seldom worth while to try to remove them by burning with acids or cutting them off; and it is best not to pick at, or irritate, or ...
— A Handbook of Health • Woods Hutchinson

... taste for raw meat. Perhaps a chemist could suggest a wash or powder to shake in under the feathers, that would taste bitter and disagreeable and yet prove harmless. Possibly your bird is troubled with small vermin, which irritate the skin and induce it to pick at the roots of the feathers. Examine the skin and plumage. We have given a long recipe for destroying the ...
— The Girl's Own Paper, Vol. VIII, No. 355, October 16, 1886 • Various

... lust a second," he said, as he bent over to pick at the knot of the rope around his legs. His own voice sounded ...
— Tom Swift and his Aerial Warship - or, The Naval Terror of the Seas • Victor Appleton

... came out from the copse, [Footnote: Copse: a wood of small trees.] and he stopped and saw one of them perch on a stalk of wheat, with one foot above the other sideways, so that he could pick at the ear and get the corn. Guido watched the sparrow clear the ear, then he moved, and the sparrows flew back to the copse, where they chattered at him for disturbing them. There was a ditch between the corn and the copse, and a streamlet; he picked up a stone and threw it ...
— Short Stories and Selections for Use in the Secondary Schools • Emilie Kip Baker

... some places upon the gold fields picks and shovels were not needed, for all the men had to do was to pick at the seams with their pocket knives to get enough gold ...
— This Country Of Ours • H. E. Marshall Author: Henrietta Elizabeth Marshall

... of you this way, I'll try another, and chop you over the fingers with the stretcher, or take a pick at your head with the boat-hook. Cast off! Pull you, Lizzie. Pull home, since you won't let your ...
— Our Mutual Friend • Charles Dickens

... man now began to totter from weakness, and finally sat down upon the floor. Here he gathered his quilt about him, and began to smile and chuckle and wag his head and pick at his fantastic dress as before. The words which he muttered were inaudible, and those which could be heard were utterly incoherent. The subject that had been presented to his mind by the entrance of Reginald was now forgotten, ...
— The Living Link • James De Mille

... to bridle yours, every one of you," retorted Benny. "You girls nag poor Annie every single minute. You let her do all the work, then you pick at her for it." ...
— The Copy-Cat and Other Stories • Mary E. Wilkins Freeman

... than any one else.' But when I spoke to Mrs. Larkins about her, she said Annette makes a fine appearance, but all is not gold that glitters. By this time my curiosity was excited, and I asked, 'What is the matter with Miss Harcourt? I had no idea that people were so ready to pick at her.' She replied, 'No wonder; ...
— Trial and Triumph • Frances Ellen Watkins Harper

... saw an occasional squirrel, rabbit or marten; and in the open meadows around the hot waters there were geese and ducks, and now and then a coyote. Around camp Clark's crows and Stellar's jays, and occasionally magpies came to pick at the refuse; and of course they were accompanied by the whiskey acks with their usual astounding familiarity. At Norris Geyser Basin there was a perfect chorus of bird music from robins, purple finches, uncos and mountain ...
— American Big Game in Its Haunts • Various

... piece of bread, and threw it down to the Dog; but the Dog would not even look at it. Then the House Cock ran up, and began to pick at the bread; and the ...
— The Junior Classics, Volume 1 • Willam Patten

... you! And speaking of gratitude reminds me to mention that you may thank Hannah for saving your wedding cake from destruction. I saw it going into your house as I came by, and if she hadn't defended it manfully I'd have had a pick at it, for it looked like ...
— Little Women • Louisa May Alcott

... rye ran out on every side, and all the wild birds that were in the forest came in such numbers that they darkened the sun. But when they caught sight of the corn they could not refrain from it, but flew down and began to scratch and pick at the corn and rye, and at last they began to fight among themselves, and forgot all about the youth and Dapplegrim, and did them ...
— The Red Fairy Book • Various

... way—takes away your hearin' for sweet sounds, your sight for what is lovely. But God, He jest kept on lettin' His birds sing for me, and the sun riz jest as fine above the hills behind my house. He didn't pick at me, nor put a sign on me same as folks did of my shame, as He could have done with a cloud or something over my house. You see, He'd fixed things from the foundations of the world so as they'd work out good ...
— A Circuit Rider's Wife • Corra Harris

... doesna care to turn his byeganes oot for every fool to pick at. Did I ever speer about your past life, and ...
— Tales from Many Sources - Vol. V • Various

... Robert Sinclair was initiated into the art of "drawing" by his brother John. The road was fairly level, to push the loaded "tubs," thus leaving his father to be helped with the pick at the coal "face." After an hour or two, Robert, though getting fairly well acquainted with the work, was feeling tired. The strange damp smell, which had greeted his nostrils when the cage began to descend with him ...
— The Underworld - The Story of Robert Sinclair, Miner • James C. Welsh

... fierceness of old tribal loves and plaints and unremembered wooings with a desert background: a gallop of hoof-beats, a quiver of noon light above saffron sand—these had been, more or less, in the music when St. George had been wont to lie in a boat and pick at the strings while Amory paddled; and these he must have reechoed before the crowd of curious and sullen and commonplace, lighted by that one wild, strange face. When he had finished the dark woman sat with bowed head, and St. George himself was more moved by his own effort ...
— Romance Island • Zona Gale

... sense—to pick at table, to feed squeamishly. "With entremets to piddle with at hand." ...
— Poems (Volume II.) • Jonathan Swift

... bred in pious bed, Brought up to be good: Respect yourself, my mother said, And rule your own mood. Fend for yourself while you're a may, And keep your own counsel, And pick at what the neighbours say As a bird ...
— The Village Wife's Lament • Maurice Hewlett

... unusual insight, "and there's more foolish things in that book than in any other we've got. When we're invited out to eat, why shouldn't we eat? They may have been cooking for days just to get ready for us and they won't like it if we only pick at things." ...
— Old Rose and Silver • Myrtle Reed

... the history of the people who wait at home, instead of the history of the warriors, rich credit would be given to Mrs. Golden for enduring the long, lonely days, listening for Una's step. A proud, patient woman with nothing to do all day but pick at a little housework, and read her eyes out, and wish that she could run in and be neighborly with the indifferent urbanites who formed about her a wall of ice. Yet so confused are human purposes that this good woman who adored her daughter also sapped her daughter's vigor. As the office loomed ...
— The Job - An American Novel • Sinclair Lewis



Words linked to "Pick at" :   flatter, belittle, depreciate, denigrate, deprecate, pull, vilipend, knock, minimize, criticise, criticize, derogate, disgrace, tear apart, trash, discredit, eat, pick apart, peck, pan



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