• (RP, GA) IPA: /ˈpɪkɪt/


  1. A stake driven into the ground.
    a picket fence
  2. (historical) A type of punishment by which an offender had to rest his or her entire body weight on the top of a small stake.
  3. A tool in mountaineering that is driven into the snow and used as an anchor or to arrest falls.
  4. (military) One of the soldiers or troops placed on a line forward of a position to warn against an enemy advance; or any unit (for example, an aircraft or ship) performing a similar function.
    • 1990, Peter Hopkirk, The Great Game, Folio Society 2010, p. 59:
      So confident was he that he ignored the warning of his two British advisers to post pickets to watch the river, and even withdrew those they had placed there.
  5. (sometimes, figurative) A sentry.
  6. A protester positioned outside an office, workplace etc. during a strike (usually in plural); also the protest itself.
    Pickets normally endeavor to be non-violent.
  7. (card games, uncountable) The card game piquet.
Translations Translations Translations
  • German: Streikposten
  • Italian: picchetto
  • Russian: пике́тчик
  • Spanish: piquete

picket (pickets, present participle picketing; past and past participle picketed)

  1. (intransitive) To protest, organized by a labour union, typically in front of the location of employment.
  2. (transitive) To enclose or fortify with pickets or pointed stakes.
  3. (transitive) To tether to, or as if to, a picket.
    to picket a horse
  4. (transitive) To guard, as a camp or road, by an outlying picket.
  5. (obsolete, transitive) To torture by forcing to stand with one foot on a pointed stake.

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