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

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 The series brings its picket-fence world to life in excruciating detail, and pits two heavy-hitting actresses against each other, to great effect. Kelly Lawler, USA TODAY, "Winter TV preview: 10 excellent new shows that will keep you warm and happy," 3 Jan. 2020 Local 11 and Sodexo came to a resolution Tuesday, and will no longer picket Thursday. Rebecca Morin, USA TODAY, "December Democratic debate: How to watch and what you need to know," 19 Dec. 2019 As a young woman in high school and college, Amelia engaged in pickets and marches to voice the struggles farmworkers faced. L. Stephen Velasquez, Smithsonian, "Three Mexican-American Vintners Tell Their Stories," 23 Oct. 2019 Worker Patty Thomas said she wasn't scheduled to picket, but came out to support her colleagues at the car plant, which GM wants to close. CBS News, "UAW hits GM with nationwide strike," 16 Sep. 2019 Worker Patty Thomas said she wasn't scheduled to picket, but came out to support her colleagues at the car plant, which GM wants to close. Anchorage Daily News, "Auto workers strike nationwide against GM in contract dispute," 16 Sep. 2019 Emperial Young, 35, hasn’t eaten since August 16 and pickets every day outside of Netflix HQ in Hollywood until the show is renewed. Sydney Bucksbaum, EW.com, "Brit Marling responds to The OA cancelation fan hunger strike: 'No one is coming to the rescue'," 24 Aug. 2019 The group used parades, petitions, protests and pickets to push for the right to vote. Tara Law, Time, "The U.S. Constitution Doesn’t Guarantee Equal Rights for Women. Here’s Why," 23 Aug. 2019 The thief, who had a right leg limp, walked through the lobby and without taking his hands out of his pickets opened a partition that leads to the vault room. Erika Butler, The Aegis, "Darlington man faces theft charge from bank where he worked, court date coming," 6 July 2018 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Mid-managers picketed Wednesday at the intersection of Hemingway Drive and 5th Avenue, near the building where the college’s Foundation President’s Reception was held. Bob Chiarito, chicagotribune.com, "Cook County clerk, refusing to cross picket line, is absent at Triton College dinner in her honor," 7 Nov. 2019 Teachers in the Park County RE-2 School District picketed Monday and reported no progress by the end of the business day. Meg Wingerter, The Denver Post, "Colorado teachers strikes reflect long funding shortfalls, feelings of disrespect," 15 Oct. 2019 General Motors employees picket outside the Fairfax Assembly Plant in Kansas City, Kan. during the nationwide UAW strike against GM, Wednesday, Oct. 9, 2019. Tom Krisher, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Wages, pensions, plant investments still issues in GM strike," 14 Oct. 2019 The next month, approximately 2,600 teachers walked out of the classroom for three days in Denver, and 3,000 teachers picketed for a week in Oakland. Bradley D. Marianno, The Conversation, "The Chicago teachers’ strike isn’t just about kids – it’s about union power too," 18 Oct. 2019 Ustinov’s imprisonment caused an outcry, with people picketing the presidential administration building for days in a show of support. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Russian court commutes sentence for actor at protest rally," 30 Sep. 2019 In 1927, picketing strikers at the Columbine Mine in northern Colorado were fired on by state police; six miners were killed. BostonGlobe.com, "In 1920, the Irish Republican Army killed 12 British intelligence officers and two auxiliary policemen in the Dublin area; British forces responded by raiding a soccer match, killing 14 civilians.," 21 Nov. 2019 Sondland said his wife, Kathryn Durant, has received countless emails and that people are picketing outside his hotels. oregonlive, "Gordon Sondland confirms quid pro quo in dealings with Ukraine: analysis," 20 Nov. 2019 The last time the Chicago Teachers Union picketed was in 2012 and lasted seven days. NBC News, "Chicago teachers union reach 'tentative agreement,' but strike continues," 31 Oct. 2019

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.

See 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

Time Traveler for picket

Time Traveler

The first known use of picket was in 1687

See more words from the same year

Statistics for picket

Last Updated

9 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Picket.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/picket. Accessed 21 January 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for picket

picket

noun
How to pronounce picket (audio)

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

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on picket

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for picket

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with picket

Spanish Central: Translation of picket

Nglish: Translation of picket for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of picket for Arabic Speakers

Comments on picket

What made you want to look up picket? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

good-natured easy friendliness

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Intact Latin Quiz

  • roman tablet
  • What did focus mean in Latin?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Bee Cubed

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

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!