picket fence

noun

plural picket fences
: a fence made of pickets
a white picket fence
Old roses scrambling up a porch or spilling over a picket fence may be reminiscent of a bygone era.Michael MacCaskey
Tall pine trees lined both sides of the road, backdropped by an occasional stone wall or picket fencePeter Gordon
often used to evoke an idealized or stereotypical image or conception of happy suburban homes in the U.S.
First we are lulled with a vision of homespun Americana: flowers, a picket fence, a fireman waving from his fire truck, a man watering his front lawn.David Ansen
"Everyone saw me on TV or read articles, and it was all about my great marriage, the white picket fence, all this success and my perfect life. But behind the scenes, it was a struggle," says [Lindsay] Vonn …Elizabeth Leonard
… grandparents who were hoping their grandchildren would be raised behind a white picket fence and full-measure suburbanites …Janet Elder
We have worked our way up the real estate food chain to the point where we have a modest version of the complete suburban package: the picket fence, the stone walls, the in-ground pool …Charles McGrath

Examples of picket fence in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web For example, one tells of the many picket fences and trails in what was once a small town long before becoming a major tourist hub of North Texas under the leadership of the very man relaying the history. Rick Mauch, Fort Worth Star-Telegram, 9 Feb. 2024 The rectangular structure, lined with a white picket fence to add a dash of homeyness, was one of a dozen built around the greater San Francisco Bay in the late 19th century to keep boats from running aground while navigating the strait and going to and from the Mare Island Navy Yard. Sacramento Bee, 30 Jan. 2024 Lead paint coated white picket fences and lead pipes pumped water into homes. Rachel Silverman Bonnifield, Foreign Affairs, 22 Jan. 2024 Today, the nuclear family, a white picket fence and married parents is increasingly becoming an American dream that younger generations are simply no longer chasing. Eleanor Pringle, Fortune, 9 Dec. 2023 Its minimum-eight-acre lots line the roadside behind white picket fences, creating a backdrop that has served as the setting for many car commercials. Eric A. Taub, New York Times, 30 Oct. 2023 In charming Waxahachie 30 miles south of Dallas, Catherine Cole is offering the five-bedroom, traditional Craftsman-style home with a white picket fence at 201 Williams St. Allie Beth Allman & Associates, Dallas News, 3 Sep. 2023 The legend of Plath is inextricable from the visual mythology of postwar prosperity—white picket fences, images of John and Jackie Kennedy sailing—that developed alongside the baby boom. Rafaela Bassili, The Atlantic, 5 Sep. 2023 Other members of the suburban pantheon include picket fences, malls, and of course, the shed (which is to be awed at and never touched). Nick Lichtenberg, Fortune, 30 July 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'picket fence.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1777, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of picket fence was in 1777

Dictionary Entries Near picket fence

Cite this Entry

“Picket fence.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/picket%20fence. Accessed 21 Feb. 2024.

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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