- a post, stake, pale, or peg that is used in a fence or barrier, to fasten down a tent, etc.
- 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.
- a person engaged in any similar demonstration, as against a government's policies or actions, before an embassy, office building, construction project, etc.
- Military. a soldier or detachment of soldiers placed on a line forward of a position to warn against an enemy advance.
- Navy, Air Force. an aircraft or ship performing similar sentinel duty.
- to enclose within a picket fence or stockade, as for protection, imprisonment, etc.: to picket a lawn; to picket captives.
- to fasten or tether to a picket.
- to place pickets in front of or around (a factory, store, mine, embassy, etc.), as during a strike or demonstration.
- to guard, as with pickets.
- to post as a picket.
- to stand or march as a picket.
Origin of picket
Related Wordsdemonstrator, sentry, blockade, demonstrate, boycott, stanchion, pillar, stake, rail, palisade, upright, peg, pale, panel, paling, protester, striker, lookout, patrol, watch
Examples from the Web for picket
Strandf could photograph anything from a blind woman to a picket fence and make the image indelible.The Best Gift Books of 2014
December 12, 2014
A bar chart showing quarterly GDP growth resembles the teeth of a saw, not a picket fence.The U.S. Economy Had a Hiccup, Not a Heart Attack, This Year
May 29, 2014
Yet the teachers are angrily rejecting it and taking to the picket line.Chicago Teachers Take to the Picket Line
September 10, 2012
From there, groups of one or two hundred went to picket locations, including Bank of America.Did May Day Save Occupy Wall Street?
May 2, 2012
Truitt came late to abstraction, by way of pictures of picket fences.The Maximal Minimalist
March 29, 2012
He did not care, now, if he were halted by a British picket or sentinel.The Dare Boys of 1776
Stephen Angus Cox
That shall go with my soldier to battle, and stand with my picket on guard.The Universal Reciter
The Captain had moored Daniel to a picket in the fence over by the freight-house.Cap'n Eri
Joseph Crosby Lincoln
If we take it in succession to do picket and outlook duty, the enemy will be less able to harry us.Anabasis
Some time about the middle of June, the picket line was taken up.Personal Recollections of a Cavalryman
J. H. (James Harvey) Kidd
- a pointed stake, post, or peg that is driven into the ground to support a fence, provide a marker for surveying, etc
- an individual or group that stands outside an establishment to make a protest, to dissuade or prevent employees or clients from entering, etc
- Also: picquet a small detachment of troops or warships positioned towards the enemy to give early warning of attack
- to post or serve as pickets at (a factory, embassy, etc)let's go and picket the shop
- to guard (a main body or place) by using or acting as a picket
- (tr) to fasten (a horse or other animal) to a picket
- (tr) to fence (an area, boundary, etc) with pickets
Word Origin and History for picket
1680s, "pointed stake (for defense against cavalry, etc.)," from French piquet "pointed stake," from piquer "to pierce" (see pike (n.2)). Sense of "troops posted to watch for enemy" first recorded 1761; that of "striking workers stationed to prevent others from entering a factory" is from 1867. Picket line is 1856 in the military sense, 1945 of labor strikes.
1745, "to enclose with pickets," from picket (n.). The sense in labor strikes, protests, etc., is attested from 1867. Related: Picketed; picketing.