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pica

1
[ pahy-kuh ]
/ ˈpaɪ kə /
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noun Printing.
a 12-point type of a size between small pica and English.
the depth of this type size as a unit of linear measurement for type, pages containing type, etc.; one sixth of an inch.
a 12-point type, widely used for typewriters, having 10 characters to the inch.
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Origin of pica

1
1580–90; apparently <Medieval Latin pīca pie4, on the model of brevier and canon1, other type sizes

Other definitions for pica (2 of 2)

pica2
[ pahy-kuh ]
/ ˈpaɪ kə /

noun Pathology.
an abnormal appetite or craving for substances that are not fit to eat, as chalk or clay, common in malnutrition, pregnancy, etc.

Origin of pica

2
1555–65; <New Latin, special use of Latin pīca jay, magpie, with reference to its omnivorous feeding
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2022

How to use pica in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for pica (1 of 2)

pica1
/ (ˈpaɪkə) /

noun
Also called: em, pica em a printer's unit of measurement, equal to 12 points or 0.166 ins
(formerly) a size of printer's type equal to 12 point
a typewriter type size having 10 characters to the inch

Word Origin for pica

C15: from Anglo-Latin pīca list of ecclesiastical regulations, apparently from Latin pīca magpie, with reference to its habit of making collections of miscellaneous items; the connection between the original sense (ecclesiastical list) and the typography meanings is obscure

British Dictionary definitions for pica (2 of 2)

pica2
/ (ˈpaɪkə) /

noun
pathol an abnormal craving to ingest substances such as clay, dirt, or hair, sometimes occurring during pregnancy, in persons with chlorosis, etc

Word Origin for pica

C16: from medical Latin, from Latin: magpie, being an allusion to its omnivorous feeding habits
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

Medical definitions for pica

pica
[ pīkə ]

n.
An abnormal craving or appetite for nonfood substances, such as dirt, paint, or clay.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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