- a cucumber that has been preserved in brine, vinegar, or the like.
- Often pickles. any other vegetable, as cauliflower, celery, etc., preserved in vinegar and eaten as a relish.
- something preserved in a brine or marinade.
- a liquid usually prepared with salt or vinegar for preserving or flavoring fish, meat, vegetables, etc.; brine or marinade.
- Metallurgy. an acid or other chemical solution in which metal objects are dipped to remove oxide scale or other adhering substances.
- Informal. a troublesome or awkward situation; predicament: I was in a pickle after the check bounced.
- Informal. a sour, disagreeable person.
- to preserve or steep in brine or other liquid.
- to treat with a chemical solution, as for the purpose of cleaning.
- to give a pale, streaked finish to (wood) by applying and partly removing paint or by bleaching, as to give an appearance of age.
- Slang. to store; prepare for long-range storage: Let's pickle these old cars for a few years.
Origin of pickle1
SynonymsSee more synonyms for pickle on Thesaurus.com
- a single grain or kernel, as of barley or corn.
- a small amount; a little.
Origin of pickle2
Examples from the Web for pickle
You spice it with blues and skiffle music, and pickle it in alcohol and tobacco smoke.The Greatest Rock Voice of All Time Belonged to Joe Cocker
December 23, 2014
Our backyard had a baseball diamond and a “Pickle” path worn into the lawn because of Frankie.‘Tracing the Blue Light’: Read Chapter 1 of Eileen Cronin’s ‘Mermaid’
April 8, 2014
A pinch hitter named Pickle Smith was announced for Jacksonville.The Great Paul Hemphill Celebrates the Long Gone Birmingham Barons
March 29, 2014
Chuck Strickler of Decatur, Michigan, found himself in a pickle right after September 11.New iPhone a Problem for People Who Lack Fingerprints
September 12, 2013
But soon after I arrived in Washington, D.C., I was in a pickle.Michelle Rhee: My Break With the Democrats
February 5, 2013
Then make the pickle, which must be in proportion to the quantity of fish.
The last of October is a good time for putting meat into pickle.
Boil them all together, so as to make a pickle that will bear up an egg.
East India pickle is very convenient, and will keep two years.
The pickle also must be seasoned with the spices above-mentioned.The Lady's Own Cookery Book, and New Dinner-Table Directory;
Charlotte Campbell Bury
- (often plural) vegetables, such as cauliflowers, onions, etc, preserved in vinegar, brine, etc
- any food preserved in this way
- a liquid or marinade, such as spiced vinegar, for preserving vegetables, meat, fish, etc
- mainly US and Canadian a cucumber that has been preserved and flavoured in a pickling solution, such as brine or vinegar
- informal an awkward or difficult situationto be in a pickle
- British informal a mischievous child
- to preserve in a pickling liquid
- to immerse (a metallic object) in a liquid, such as an acid, to remove surface scale
Word Origin and History for pickle
c.1400, probably from Middle Dutch pekel "pickle, brine," or related words in Low German and East Frisian (cf. Dutch pekel, East Frisian päkel, German pökel), of uncertain origin or original meaning. Klein suggests the name of a medieval Dutch fisherman who developed the process. Originally a sauce served with meat or fowl; meaning "cucumber preserved in pickle" first recorded 1707, via use of the word for the salty liquid in which meat, etc. was preserved (c.1500). Figurative sense of "sorry plight" first recorded 1560s, from the time when the word still meant a sauce served on meat about to be eaten. Meaning "troublesome boy" is from 1788, perhaps from the notion of being "imbued" with roguery.
Idioms and Phrases with pickle
see in a fix (pickle).