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

On one side, behind a white picket fence, is a manicured strip mall. Gregory Barber, WIRED, "Inside an All-White Town’s Divisive Experiment With Cryptocurrency," 6 June 2019 On Monday, pickets were stationed outside truck-yard and warehouse locations served by XPO and NFI Industries. Erica E. Phillips, WSJ, "Picketing Targets Contractor Hiring at California Freight Sites," 1 Oct. 2018 Science for the People, Movimiento Cosecha, Rise and Resist, Desis Rising Up & Moving, and the International Socialist Organization’s New York City chapter banded together for a three-stop picket and march. Emily Bloch, Teen Vogue, "Demonstrators Were Arrested While Protesting Amazon and Microsoft's Associations With ICE," 2 Aug. 2018 High-frequency waves can knock out of the magnetosphere to the ionosphere, which creates the green picket fences. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "The Science Behind Earth's Strangest Light Phenomena," 29 Apr. 2019 Even more fun is the front and backyard of this house with a white picket fence. Ingrid Abramovitch, ELLE Decor, "Hooked on Missoni Home's Fairytale Rooms Made Entirely Out of Crochet," 10 Apr. 2019 On the grounds, a towering tree is in full bloom with yellow springtime flowers and a wood picket fence surrounds it all. Vogue, "See a New Picture of Frogmore Cottage, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s New Windsor Home," 8 Apr. 2019 One of the sounds of great woodworking is the rhythmic tk-tk-tk-tk of a stick dragging along a white picket fence. Kevin Dupzyk, Popular Mechanics, "How To Cut a Bunch of Wood the Exact Same Width," 8 Nov. 2018 SEIU Healthcare Pennsylvania plans to hold informational pickets at the two facilities Friday. Harold Brubaker, Philly.com, "Philadelphia-area nursing home staffers facing big financial hits from ownership changes," 21 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

On May 21st peasants in house dresses and ranchero hats picketed the halls of congress to protest against an attempt by Arena and the FMLN to pass a new amnesty law. The Economist, "El Salvador stops honouring the leader of the El Mozote massacre," 8 June 2019 Teachers, parents and supporters plan to picket the school board meeting scheduled for 5:30 p.m. Tuesday in Union City. Ashley Mcbride, SFChronicle.com, "New Haven teachers strike enters third week with finals looming," 3 June 2019 The walkouts prompted operators to close 10 restaurants in St. Louis, and workers picketed outside McDonald’s in Des Moines and Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Heather Haddon, WSJ, "McDonald’s Workers Strike to Protest Pay and Harassment Complaints," 23 May 2019 In Boston, UNITE HERE Local 26 hotel members will picket in front of seven Marriott hotels, including the W, Westin Boston Waterfront, Aloft, Element, Renaissance, and Ritz-Carlton. Nancy Trejos, USA TODAY, "Thousands of Marriott employees to protest across the USA on Wednesday," 26 June 2018 Tens of thousands of teachers gathered at a rally in downtown Los Angeles after picketing outside their schools in the early morning, the union estimated. Ian Lovett, WSJ, "Los Angeles Teachers Begin Strike," 14 Jan. 2019 Roughly 1,400 workers picketed for a second day at the UC Davis hospital and campus on Tuesday, as two unions representing nurses and physical therapists, social workers and dietitians went on strike in sympathy with members of AFSCME 3299. Molly Sullivan And Cathie Anderson, sacbee, "Picket line grows to 1,400 at UC Davis hospital as two unions add support | The Sacramento Bee," 8 May 2018 Kara and Alice even picketed outside an Apple store in Denver. Ellen Seidman, Woman's Day, "Why One Mother Swears By This Life-Changing App for Her Daughter's Disability," 22 May 2017 Charter has hired non-Local 3 members to replace the strikers, who are still picketing. The Editorial Board, WSJ, "New York’s Charter Mugging," 2 Aug. 2018

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

12 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for picket

The first known use of picket was in 1687

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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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More from Merriam-Webster on picket

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with picket

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for 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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