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[pikt] /pɪkt/
a member of an ancient people of uncertain origin who inhabited parts of northern Britain, fought against the Romans, and in the 9th century a.d. united with the Scots.
Origin of Pict
before 900; back formation from Middle English Pictes (plural) < Latin Pictī literally, painted ones, plural of pictus, past participle of pingere to paint; replacing Middle English Peghttes, Old English Peohtas, PihtasLatin, as above Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for Pict
Historical Examples
  • I had no personal animosity in this, I was merely a Pict willing to destroy my Angle enemies.

  • And Patsy the Pict felt herself strong enough for these things.

    Patsy S. R. Crockett
  • The latter is referred to by one writer as a "Pict's house," although it is only a passage.

    The Testimony of Tradition David MacRitchie
  • To which division did the Gallic of ancient Gaul, and the Pict belong?

    A Handbook of the English Language Robert Gordon Latham
  • Father had fought in the great Pict War that lasted more than twenty years, and he knew what fighting meant.

    Puck of Pook's Hill Rudyard Kipling
  • But how do you know it was not a Pict with some kind of a hook that rips instead of slicing?

    Beyond the Black River Robert E. Howard
  • Balthus' bow-string twanged and the Pict yelped, staggered and fell into the shadows with the arrow through his thigh.

    Beyond the Black River Robert E. Howard
  • The Pict was like a wild beast, his muscles hard as steel strings.

    Beyond the Black River Robert E. Howard
  • Then the sun came up and the Pict got a look at the man who held him.

    Day of the Druid Knut Enferd
  • A bone snapped loudly, and Balthus saw the Pict wince and falter.

    Beyond the Black River Robert E. Howard
British Dictionary definitions for Pict


a member of any of the peoples who lived in Britain north of the Forth and Clyde in the first to the fourth centuries ad: later applied chiefly to the inhabitants of NE Scotland. Throughout Roman times the Picts carried out border raids
Word Origin
Old English Peohtas; later forms from Late Latin Pictī painted men, from pingere to paint
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for Pict

an ancient people of Great Britain, late 14c., from Late Latin Picti (late 3c., probably a nickname given them by Roman soldiers), usually taken as derived from picti "painted," but probably ultimately from the Celtic name of the tribe, perhaps Pehta, Peihta, literally "the fighters" (cf. Gaulish Pictavi, a different people, who gave the name to the French city of Poitiers). They painted and tattooed themselves, which may have suggested a Roman folk-etymology alteration of the name. The Old English name for the people was Peohtas.

In Scottish folk-lore the Pechts are often represented as a dark pygmy race, or an underground people; and sometimes identified with elves, brownies, or fairies. [OED]
Related: Pictish; Pictland.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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