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pick on

Meaning: If you pick on someone, you repeatedly treat them badly or criticize them.

Synonym: get at (British)

For example:

  • pick on sb Joe sounds childish when he says things like "Why does the boss always pick on me?"

  • pick on sb When Jill was in high school, the other girls picked on her because she was overweight.

Quick Quiz:

If teachers see kids picking on one of their classmates, they will usually
  1. stop them
  2. join in
  3. praise them

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