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 Rail proponents lined up outside of the City Council corridor in a human train wielding picket signs in support of the Gulf Coast Amtrak proposal. Lily Jackson | Ljackson@al.com, al, "Should Mobile vote ‘Yes’ on Amtrak’s return to the Gulf Coast?," 29 Jan. 2020 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 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The museum will present the story of 91 years of prison history and the imprisonment of suffragists who were arrested in 1917 for picketing the White House for the women’s right to vote. USA TODAY, "Poultry pardons, synthetic frogs, Freedom Rocks: News from around our 50 states," 26 Nov. 2019 In 1917, Paul was sentenced to seven months in prison for picketing the White House, and was force-fed after going on a prison hunger strike. Tara Law, Time, "The U.S. Constitution Doesn’t Guarantee Equal Rights for Women. Here’s Why," 23 Aug. 2019 And worker strikes have nearly canceled two Democratic debates, after candidates pledged not to cross picketing workers. Eli Rosenberg, Washington Post, "The 2020 election could turn on the union vote. But their endorsements? It’s complicated.," 12 Feb. 2020 In the months following, the Ackleys picketed DoveLewis along with their lawyer in the case, Michael Fuller, and a law clerk from Fuller’s firm. oregonlive, "DoveLewis settles with family over death of bulldog," 23 Jan. 2020 The employees picketed the college as recently as last month, accusing the company of stalling contract negotiations. Alexander Tin, CBS News, ""Solidarity": 2020 candidates vow to boycott December debate to support union protesters," 13 Dec. 2019 Check out Kim's iconic response to the Westboro Baptist Church below: this is my official statement on wbc picketing my show in Kansas City tomorrow. Stephen Daw, Billboard, "Kim Petras Had a Very Good Response For Westboro Baptist Church Picketers at Her Show," 2 Dec. 2019 Mechanics at ExpressJet Airlines, a regional carrier for United Airlines, will picket outside of Bush Intercontinental Airport on Wednesday. Andrea Leinfelder, Houston Chronicle, "Airline mechanics picket outside of IAH on busy travel day," 26 Nov. 2019 Workers picket outside the General Motors plant in Arlington, Texas, in September. Los Angeles Times, "GM strike’s fate hinges on a few factories’ workers," 23 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.

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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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Time Traveler for picket

Time Traveler

The first known use of picket was in 1687

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Statistics for picket

Last Updated

5 Mar 2020

Cite this Entry

“Picket.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/picket. Accessed 28 Mar. 2020.

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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

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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

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