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

Some see an era of single-income families, picket fences and unlocked doors. Washington Post, "The MAGA hat is not a statement of policy. It’s an inflammatory declaration of identity.," 17 Aug. 2019 Dominic Douglass bounced around the driveway of his family’s Northeast Portland home Wednesday morning, tapping the white picket fence bordering the deck. oregonlive.com, "Portland back to school: Lost teeth earn bragging rights, birthdays bring hugs on the first day of class," 28 Aug. 2019 Since the earliest days of television, homes on the small screen—from the suburban ranch with its white picket fence to the loft with its views of the city skyline—have shaped our reality and our desires. Joanna Scutts, Curbed, "The shows we’ve lived by," 14 Aug. 2019 The barrier recently went up as the National Park Service and the Secret Service began a $64 million project to install a 13-foot, 1-inch steel picket fence around the White House — twice as tall as the fence being replaced. Kali Robinson, BostonGlobe.com, "White House fence project obscures tourists’ view," 4 Aug. 2019 Defense lawyers have countered that Sullivan and Brissette asked, but did not demand, that Crash Line hire members of International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees Local 11 to avoid the embarrassment of a union picket. Maria Cramer, BostonGlobe.com, "‘If he didn’t hire them, he wouldn’t get his entertainment license,’ Menino’s daughter-in-law says at Boston Calling trial," 29 July 2019 Gilbertown is like apple pie and white picket fences. Christopher Harress | Charress@al.com, al.com, "Small town America does have an opioid problem, but not in this Alabama town," 23 July 2019 Willingness to contact an MP has fallen; willingness to march or join a picket has risen. The Economist, "How Brexit made Britain a country of Remainers and Leavers," 20 June 2019 One important role: a radar picket for the rest of the fleet. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "Could Airships Really Revolutionize the U.S. Navy?," 21 May 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

On a bright Tuesday afternoon in July, some of Facebook’s cafeteria workers picketed at the social network’s downtown office in San Francisco, following months of negotiations over higher wages. Melia Russell, SFChronicle.com, "Tech workers want to grade companies on quality of blue-collar jobs," 23 Aug. 2019 The Maryland Court of Special Appeals ruled against union advocates who picketed on privately owned land in 2015. Donna Engle, baltimoresun.com/maryland/carroll, "Legal Matters: Is it legal to picket on a private street or a parking lot?," 6 Sep. 2019 In addition to welcoming the movement’s leaders, the restaurant’s doors were open to black and white people who were picketing Canal Street stores in an attempt to open up more jobs to African-Americans, Morial said. John Pope, al, "Leah Chase, New Orleans’ matriarch of Creole cuisine, dead at 96," 1 June 2019 Demonstrators picketed outside the Federal Building in Minneapolis, June 9, 1982, in support of the Equal Rights Amendment and in silent vigil in support of seven fasting ERA supporters in Illinois. Tara Law, Time, "The U.S. Constitution Doesn’t Guarantee Equal Rights for Women. Here’s Why," 23 Aug. 2019 The second verse is about homophobes and the people picketing outside our concerts. Abby Aguirre, Vogue, "Taylor Swift on Sexism, Scrutiny, and Standing Up for Herself," 8 Aug. 2019 Airline catering workers have been picketing at airports across the country this summer and talk has swirled about a work slow-down that could potentially disrupt air travel. BostonGlobe.com, "Boston airline catering workers, union leaders to protest at American Airlines HQ," 13 Aug. 2019 But supporters of Boykins protested, reportedly picketing Buttigieg's first State of the City address and calling for the tapes to be released. Erin Donaghue, CBS News, "Angry South Bend residents blasted Pete Buttigieg at a town hall. Here is why," 24 June 2019 Defense lawyers have said Brissette and Sullivan wanted to keep the union from picketing the festival, a protest that would have been highlighted by a large inflatable rat. Maria Cramer, BostonGlobe.com, "Jury reaches verdict in Boston Calling extortion case," 7 Aug. 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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Statistics for picket

Last Updated

18 Sep 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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