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

Keep scrolling for more

Keep scrolling for more

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. See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun At the British Cemetery, a white picket fence surrounded the graves of the only four soldiers recovered from the HMT Bedfordshire, which a torpedo fired by a German U-boat sank off the coast in 1942. Washington Post, 6 May 2022 Defying stereotypes of gritty picket lines, the strikers of 2021 included editorial staff at The New Yorker and graduate students at Columbia University. Samuel Goldman, The Week, 29 Apr. 2022 Parents and students who will be impacted by the closures joined teachers on the picket lines around the city’s public schools before gathering at a block party rally to voice concerns over the closures' disproportionate impact on minority students. Briana Stewart, ABC News, 29 Apr. 2022 Jorts, the fluffy, pro-labor orange tabby, has graced picket signs after recently achieving Internet fame. Allison Prang, WSJ, 26 Apr. 2022 Sandwiched between two huge inflatable rats and a collection of picket signs, a colorful crowd of artists, politicians, union leaders and loyal readers rallied for what may be the 51-year-old paper’s last stand. Washington Post, 22 Apr. 2022 Phase one, perform sit-ins at white lunch counters and picket stores that refuse to desegregate. Shannon Rae Green, USA TODAY, 24 Jan. 2022 The picket lines at Brookwood in Tuscaloosa County over the last year have seen strife between strikers and the company over workers bused in to fill jobs, resulting in court action that effectively shutdown the picket line. William Thornton | Wthornton@al.com, al, 14 Jan. 2022 Footage from Glover's home surveillance cameras taken before the shooting show a shirtless man in jeans and a black baseball cap and carrying a carton of juice let himself through Glover's white picket fence. Lawrence Andrea, The Indianapolis Star, 28 Feb. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb According to a 2015 report, Viking’s Tongass old-growth trees go into products ranging from Steinway grand pianos to picket fences and gazebos. Anchorage Daily News, 29 Apr. 2022 As teachers picket behind him, the young boy responds to the reporter’s question with support for the striking educators. Randall Roberts, Los Angeles Times, 4 Apr. 2022 Union members threatened a one-day strike that was to take place Wednesday, with members planning to picket outside the hospital’s main entrance, but that threat ended when members and administrators ratified a new contract. Paul Sisson, San Diego Union-Tribune, 23 Mar. 2022 The experience led her to picket other fast food restaurants and speak out about her treatment and demonstrate in favor of AB 257. Alex Park, The New Republic, 24 Jan. 2022 Members are planning to picket the Manhattan offices of BlackRock at 59th Street and Fifth Avenue. William Thornton | Wthornton@al.com, al, 4 Nov. 2021 Local 11 continued to picket, chant and hold a drum line at Sky Harbor at terminals 3 and 4,affecting travelers there. Caroleina Hassett, The Arizona Republic, 29 Nov. 2021 Kaiser Permanente and its biggest unions avert a major strike with a tentative contract, but pharmacists plan to picket starting Monday. Gwendolyn Wu, San Francisco Chronicle, 15 Nov. 2021 The company based in Battle Creek, Michigan, asked a judge to order the Omaha chapter of the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Union to stop interfering with its business while workers picket outside the plant. Josh Funk, ajc, 11 Nov. 2021 See More

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.

Keep scrolling for more

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More About picket

Dictionary Entries Near picket

pickery

picket

picketboat

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for picket

Last Updated

15 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Picket.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/picket. Accessed 21 May. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More Definitions for picket

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

picket

transitive verb

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

More from Merriam-Webster on picket

Nglish: Translation of picket for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of picket for Arabic Speakers

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Name That Color

  • a light greenish blue color
  • Name that color:
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!