to pick a quarrel


From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:

Pick \Pick\ (p[i^]k), v. t. [imp. & p. p. Picked (p[i^]kt); p.
   pr. & vb. n. Picking.] [OE. picken, pikken, to prick, peck;
   akin to Icel. pikka, Sw. picka, Dan. pikke, D. pikken, G.
   picken, F. piquer, W. pigo. Cf. Peck, v., Pike, Pitch
   to throw.]
   1. To throw; to pitch. [Obs.]
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            As high as I could pick my lance.     --Shak.
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   2. To peck at, as a bird with its beak; to strike at with
      anything pointed; to act upon with a pointed instrument;
      to pierce; to prick, as with a pin.
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   3. To separate or open by means of a sharp point or points;
      as, to pick matted wool, cotton, oakum, etc.
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   4. To open (a lock) as by a wire.
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   5. To pull apart or away, especially with the fingers; to
      pluck; to gather, as fruit from a tree, flowers from the
      stalk, feathers from a fowl, etc.
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   6. To remove something from with a pointed instrument, with
      the fingers, or with the teeth; as, to pick the teeth; to
      pick a bone; to pick a goose; to pick a pocket.
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            Did you pick Master Slender's purse?  --Shak.
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            He picks clean teeth, and, busy as he seems
            With an old tavern quill, is hungry yet. --Cowper.
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   7. To choose; to select; to separate as choice or desirable;
      to cull; as, to pick one's company; to pick one's way; --
      often with out. "One man picked out of ten thousand."
      --Shak.
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   8. To take up; esp., to gather from here and there; to
      collect; to bring together; as, to pick rags; -- often
      with up; as, to pick up a ball or stones; to pick up
      information.
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   9. To trim. [Obs.] --Chaucer.
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   To pick at, to tease or vex by pertinacious annoyance.

   To pick a bone with. See under Bone.

   To pick a thank, to curry favor. [Obs.] --Robynson (More's
      Utopia).

   To pick off.
      (a) To pluck; to remove by picking.
      (b) To shoot or bring down, one by one; as, sharpshooters
          pick off the enemy.

   To pick out.
      (a) To mark out; to variegate; as, to pick out any dark
          stuff with lines or spots of bright colors.
      (b) To select from a number or quantity.

   To pick to pieces, to pull apart piece by piece; hence
      [Colloq.], to analyze; esp., to criticize in detail.

   To pick a quarrel, to give occasion of quarrel
      intentionally.

   To pick up.
      (a) To take up, as with the fingers.
      (b) To get by repeated efforts; to gather here and there;
          as, to pick up a livelihood; to pick up news.
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.

From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:

Quarrel \Quar"rel\, n. [OE. querele, OF. querele, F. querelle,
   fr. L. querela, querella, a complaint, fr. queri to complain.
   See Querulous.]
   1. A breach of concord, amity, or obligation; a falling out;
      a difference; a disagreement; an antagonism in opinion,
      feeling, or conduct; esp., an angry dispute, contest, or
      strife; a brawl; an altercation; as, he had a quarrel with
      his father about expenses.
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            I will bring a sword upon you that shall avenge the
            quarrel of my covenant.               --Lev. xxvi.
                                                  25.
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            On open seas their quarrels they debate. --Dryden.
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   2. Ground of objection, dislike, difference, or hostility;
      cause of dispute or contest; occasion of altercation.
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            Herodias had a quarrel against him, and would have
            killed him.                           --Mark vi. 19.
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            No man hath any quarrel to me.        --Shak.
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            He thought he had a good quarrel to attack him.
                                                  --Holinshed.
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   3. Earnest desire or longing. [Obs.] --Holland.
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   To pick a quarrel. See under Pick, v. t.
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   Syn: Brawl; broil; squabble; affray; feud; tumult; contest;
        dispute; altercation; contention; wrangle.
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