[ pik-it ]
See synonyms for: picketpicketingpicketspicketer on Thesaurus.com

  1. a post, stake, pale, or peg that is used in a fence or barrier, to fasten down a tent, etc.

  2. a person stationed by a union or the like outside a factory, store, mine, etc., in order to dissuade or prevent workers or customers from entering it during a strike.

  1. a person engaged in any similar demonstration, as against a government's policies or actions, before an embassy, office building, construction project, etc.

  2. Military. a soldier or detachment of soldiers placed on a line forward of a position to warn against an enemy advance.

  3. Navy, Air Force. an aircraft or ship performing similar sentinel duty.

verb (used with object)
  1. to enclose within a picket fence or stockade, as for protection, imprisonment, etc.: to picket a lawn; to picket captives.

  2. to fasten or tether to a picket.

  1. to place pickets in front of or around (a factory, store, mine, embassy, etc.), as during a strike or demonstration.

  2. Military.

    • to guard, as with pickets.

    • to post as a picket.

verb (used without object)
  1. to stand or march as a picket.

Origin of picket

First recorded in 1680–90; from French piquet, equivalent to pike2 + -et

Other words from picket

  • pick·et·er, noun
  • coun·ter·pick·et, noun, verb
  • un·pick·et·ed, adjective

Words Nearby picket

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use picket in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for picket


/ (ˈpɪkɪt) /

  1. a pointed stake, post, or peg that is driven into the ground to support a fence, provide a marker for surveying, etc

  2. an individual or group that stands outside an establishment to make a protest, to dissuade or prevent employees or clients from entering, etc

  1. Also: picquet a small detachment of troops or warships positioned towards the enemy to give early warning of attack

  1. to post or serve as pickets at (a factory, embassy, etc): let's go and picket the shop

  2. to guard (a main body or place) by using or acting as a picket

  1. (tr) to fasten (a horse or other animal) to a picket

  2. (tr) to fence (an area, boundary, etc) with pickets

Origin of picket

C18: from French piquet, from Old French piquer to prick; see pike ²

Derived forms of picket

  • picketer, noun

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