- a stake or slat, usually pointed, used as an upright in a fence, a hitching post for animals, a marker, etc.
- a group of soldiers or a single soldier stationed, usually at an outpost, to guard a body of troops from surprise attack
- a ship or airplane that patrols a defense perimeter
- a person, as a member of a labor union on strike, stationed outside a factory, store, or public building, often carrying a sign, to demonstrate opposition to certain views or practices, keep strikebreakers from entering, or dissuade people from buying
Origin of picketFrench piquet from piquer, to pierce from pic, pike
- to enclose, shut in, or protect with a picket fence or palisade
- to hitch (an animal) to a picket
- to post as a military picket
- to guard (a body of troops) with a picket
- to place pickets, or serve as a picket, at (a factory, etc.)
to serve as a picket (sense )
- A pointed stake often driven into the ground to support a fence, secure a tent, tether animals, mark points in surveying, or, when pointed at the top, serve as a defense.
- A detachment of one or more troops, ships, or aircraft held in readiness or advanced to warn of an enemy's approach: “The outlying sonar picket … was to detect, localize, and engage any submarine trying to close the convoy” ( Tom Clancy )
- a. A person or group of persons stationed outside a place of employment, usually during a strike, to express grievance or protest and discourage entry by nonstriking employees or customers.b. A person or group of persons present outside a building to protest.
verbpick·et·ed, pick·et·ing, pick·ets
- To enclose, secure, tether, mark out, or fortify with pickets.
- a. To post as a picket.b. To guard with a picket.
- To post a picket or pickets during a strike or demonstration.
To act or serve as a picket.
Origin of picketFrench piquet from Old French from piquer to prick ; see pique .
- A stake driven into the ground.
- a picket fence
- (historical) A type of punishment by which an offender had to rest his or her entire body weight on the top of a small stake.
- A tool in mountaineering that is driven into the snow and used as an anchor or to arrest falls.
- (military) Soldiers or troops placed on a line forward of a position to warn against an enemy advance. It can also refer to any unit (for example, an aircraft or ship) performing a similar function.
- A sentry. Can be used figuratively.
- A protester positioned outside an office, workplace etc. during a strike (usually in plural); also the protest itself.
- Pickets normally endeavor to be non-violent.
- (card games) The card game piquet.
(third-person singular simple present pickets, present participle picketing, simple past and past participle picketed)