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Word of the Day
Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Definitions for Pickwickian

  1. (of words or ideas) meant or understood in a sense different from the apparent or usual one.
  2. (of the use or interpretation of an expression) intentionally or unintentionally odd or unusual.
  3. of, pertaining to, or characteristic of Mr. Pickwick, central character of The Pickwick Papers.

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Citations for Pickwickian
She also said, smiling subtly, that she used the word friends in a Pickwickian sense…I replied that I did not know what she meant; and she said to me…"My friends, there are no friends!" Randall Jarrell, Pictures from an Institution, 1954
...In some curious Pickwickian way, of course. You know: it's true, but you consistently act as though it weren't... Aldous Huxley, After Many a Summer Dies the Swan, 1939
Origin of Pickwickian
1830-1840
Pickwickian is derived from the name of the protagonist in Charles Dickens's novel The Posthumous Papers of the Pickwick Club, published serially from 1836–37. While Dickens was using the adjective Pickwickian in the 1930s, it took several more years before it caught on more widely.