picket

noun
pick·​et | \ ˈpi-kət How to pronounce picket (audio) \

Definition of picket

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a pointed or sharpened stake, post, or pale
2a : a detached body of soldiers serving to guard an army from surprise
b : a detachment kept ready in camp for such duty
c : sentry
3a : a person posted by a labor organization at a place of work affected by a strike … dispossessed theatergoers shared the sidewalks with grim pickets yesterday as the stagehands' strike shut down most of Broadway's plays and musicals.— Robert D. McFadden also : a person posted for a demonstration or protest In front of the White House pickets are marching… — Lady Bird Johnson
b : a protest or strike involving pickets In such situations, the union often pickets the plant as well, but it is strictly an informational picket publicizing the nature of the controversy…— Matthew A. Kelly

picket

verb
picketed; picketing; pickets

Definition of picket (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to enclose, fence, or fortify with pickets
2a : to guard with a picket
b : to post as a picket
3 : tether
4a : to post pickets at
b : to walk or stand in front of as a picket

intransitive verb

: to serve as a picket

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Other Words from picket

Verb

picketer noun

Examples of picket in a Sentence

Noun a house surrounded by a white picket fence Pickets marched in front of the company headquarters. The strikers held picket signs painted with angry slogans. The students were barred from holding a picket outside the company's headquarters. Verb Workers picketed outside the grocery store. The union is picketing the factory.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Renderings of the venue show pods of two to four lawn chairs gathered on small patches of green turf, each area enclosed on three sides by a white picket fence. oregonlive, "New socially distanced waterfront venue at Zidell Yards will host Waterfront Blues Fest, Portland Pride," 6 Apr. 2021 The Trojans’ zone defense all but forms a picket fence around the basket. Billy Witz, New York Times, "Gonzaga Awaits U.C.L.A. in the Final Four After Bruins Stun Michigan," 30 Mar. 2021 At the height of strikes in 1945, 1.6 million workers had joined a picket, historian Jeremy Brecher writes in his book Strike! Kate Aronoff, The New Republic, "Right to Work on a Hot Planet," 25 Jan. 2021 This was the second straight day the group organized a picket in front of the courthouse in the county seat. Christina Hall, Detroit Free Press, "Detroit Will Breathe demands charges be dropped against protesters in Shelby Township," 26 Oct. 2020 Despite what those white-picket-fence images might convey, homeownership isn't the best choice for everyone. Rebecca Chamaa, Better Homes & Gardens, "Renting vs. Owning Your Home: Here Are the Financial Pros, Cons, and Costs," 19 Feb. 2021 The call to picket follows frustration in contract negotiations for four bargaining units over workplace safety and staffing, said Terry Carter, spokesperson for SEIU Local 121. NBC News, "A 'moral and ethical struggle': California nurses threaten Christmas Eve strike over work conditions," 15 Dec. 2020 Lee would show up at protests against the Vietnam War or the construction of a jail, or join picket lines with Chinatown workers protesting their exploitative employers. Alexandra Tatarsky, Vulture, "Corky Lee ‘Was Chinatown to Me’," 3 Feb. 2021 Workers from the union, Service Employees International Union Local 73, organized picket lines outside various county offices on Tuesday. Liam Ford, chicagotribune.com, "Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle ‘deeply disappointed’ as SEIU Local 73 holds one-day strike over pay, other demands," 22 Dec. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb BCA board member Andre Chevalier, head boys coach at 2019 state champion Sierra Canyon-Chatsworth, suggested that the group picket the Pac-12 headquarters in San Francisco. Scott Ostler, San Francisco Chronicle, "'Black coaches matter': Why one Bay Area coach is protesting Pac-12 basketball tourney," 10 Mar. 2021 The dedicated members of the Free Britney movement continue to protest and picket outside hearings. Craig Jenkins, Vulture, "Failing Britney Spears," 17 Feb. 2021 Chicago ditched plans for thousands of teachers to report to schools this week after the Chicago Teachers’ Union said its members were prepared to picket over coronavirus safety concerns. Chronicle Staff, San Francisco Chronicle, "Coronavirus news from the Bay Area: Jan. 21-27, 2021," 6 Feb. 2021 The union, which has defied orders to come to class ahead of students, has said if the district locks teachers out, all teachers will picket. Sophia Tareen, Star Tribune, "Chicago schools extend talks with union over in-person class," 1 Feb. 2021 Chicago ditched plans Tuesday for thousands of teachers to report to schools this week ahead of students after the teachers union said its members wouldn’t comply and were prepared to picket over coronavirus safety concerns. Sophia Tareen, BostonGlobe.com, "Chicago schools reopening hits snag as union fight escalates," 27 Jan. 2021 Staffers who are members of the SFSU Worker Defense Coalition will picket the layoffs at noon on Sept. 12 at 19th and Holloway Avenue near the campus. Vanessa Arredondo, SFChronicle.com, "SF State to lay off 131 staffers — but no faculty — after budget shortfall," 9 Sep. 2020 Oracle Park food-service workers plan to picket A’s-Giants game Friday. Taylor Kate Brown, SFChronicle.com, "Bay Briefing: A hot weekend won’t make the pandemic go away," 14 Aug. 2020 After Carrs ownership refused to meet and discuss the matter with black community leaders, the local NAACP chapter voted to picket the store. David Reamer, Anchorage Daily News, "How Alaska’s black community fought against police harassment, arson and rampant discrimination for civil rights," 15 June 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'picket.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of picket

Noun

1687, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

1729, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 3

History and Etymology for picket

Noun

French piquet, from Middle French, from piquer to prick — more at pike

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Statistics for picket

Last Updated

9 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Picket.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/picket. Accessed 20 Apr. 2021.

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More Definitions for picket

picket

noun

English Language Learners Definition of picket

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a stick or post that is pointed at the end so that it can be put into the ground
: a person or group of people who are standing or marching near a place to protest something
British : a protest or strike involving pickets

picket

verb

English Language Learners Definition of picket (Entry 2 of 2)

: to stand or march in a public place in order to protest something or to prevent other workers from going to work during a strike
: to guard (something, such as a road or camp) with a group of soldiers

picket

noun
pick·​et | \ ˈpi-kət How to pronounce picket (audio) \

Kids Definition of picket

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a pointed stake or slender post (as for making a fence)
2 : a soldier or a group of soldiers assigned to stand guard
3 : a person standing or marching near a place (as a factory or store) as part of a strike or protest

picket

verb
picketed; picketing

Kids Definition of picket (Entry 2 of 2)

: to stand or march near a place as part of a strike or protest

picket

noun
pick·​et

Legal Definition of picket

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a person posted by a labor organization at a place of employment affected by a labor dispute broadly : a person posted for a demonstration or protest

Legal Definition of picket (Entry 2 of 2)

: to post pickets in front of : walk or stand in front of as a picket their tactics have included picketing clinics— L. H. Tribe

intransitive verb

: to demonstrate by use of pickets a currently certified union may picket for recognition also : to serve as a picket — see also informational picketing, organizational picketing, secondary picketing — compare strike

Note: While the right to peacefully picket for a lawful purpose is protected by the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, case law has recognized some limitations and the Labor Management Relations Act has placed some restrictions on organizational and secondary picketing.

Other Words from picket

picketer noun

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Comments on picket

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