- 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
Examples from the Web for pickling
We eat them in quantities; pickling, preserving, and drying them sometimes.Brighter Britain! (Volume 1 of 2)
William Delisle Hay
The hams and shoulders being cut off, take for pickling the quantities proportioned to the middlings of a pretty large hog.
A method of pickling fish by immersing them in vinegar after being boiled.The Sailor's Word-Book
William Henry Smyth
The principal means of preserving them before then was by pickling.The Bounty of the Chesapeake
It is sometimes used as a preserve, and by some is esteemed for pickling.The Field and Garden Vegetables of America
- (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 pickling
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 pickling
see in a fix (pickle).