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 Maybe there was something beyond the white picket fence and backyard, but what? Leena Kim, Town & Country, "Remembering the Most Glamorous Travel Magazine of the 20th Century," 4 Nov. 2019 That being said, Sotomayor doesn’t plan to throw away his picket sign until further change is enacted. Katie Lockhart, Condé Nast Traveler, "How the Protests in Santiago, Chile, Are Impacting Travelers," 28 Oct. 2019 This year Southern Company, an energy conglomerate, erected a plastic suburban smart-home in front of the institute’s marble garden of austere standing stones, decked out with a picket fence, lawn furniture and a charging station. The Economist, "Inside Aspen: the mountain retreat for the liberal elite," 11 Oct. 2019 Technicians and customer service reps at AT&T across nine southeastern states put down their picket signs and went back to work on Wednesday, ending a surprise strike after just a few days. Aaron Pressman, Fortune, "20,000 Striking AT&T Workers Return to Work, Just Days After Walking Out," 28 Aug. 2019 But a lot of us scoff and ready the picket signs if we are asked to pay to read anything online. Rasputin Todd, Cincinnati.com, "How much would you pay to be entertained for a whole year?," 25 July 2019 Protesters slander us with picket signs reading unnatural, un-cultural, anti-national, anti-social, etc. Apoorva Malhotra, Quartz India, "A personal account of what it means to be gay in India," 17 July 2019 No matter what those picket signs said, the unions weren’t helping students. Jason L. Riley, WSJ, "Teachers Unions Don’t Really Strike for ‘the Kids’," 22 Jan. 2019 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 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb This year, however, the Anaheim Convention Center (which has served as home for the annual convention since 2005) was met with protesters picketing the company following a series of recent controversies. Patrick Shanley, The Hollywood Reporter, "BlizzCon Fan Event Swarmed by Pro-Hong Kong Protesters," 1 Nov. 2019 That was the case last year at Columbia University in New York, where graduate student workers picketed for a week to protest the Ivy League institution’s refusal to negotiate. BostonGlobe.com, "More than 2,000 unionized graduate student workers at Harvard University have voted to authorize a strike, after a year of negotiations with administrators failed to produce an agreement on a contract.," 26 Oct. 2019 Those two unions together represent about 35,000 workers, tens of thousands of whom have been picketing this week outside their schools and flooding Chicago’s downtown center. Jack Crosbie, The Atlantic, "As the Strike Approached in Chicago, Teachers Taught Labor," 24 Oct. 2019 In recent weeks, Binder has been picketing for four hours every other day, a much better arrangement than initially when shifts were six hours with two days off. Eric D. Lawrence, Detroit Free Press, "Life on strike for GM workers: Picket shifts, dinners at home, concern about the future," 19 Oct. 2019 In the years since, the head of a regional opera house was sacked after the church took against one of his productions of Wagner, exhibitions have been attacked and theatres picketed. The Economist, "A tribute to the Russian avant-garde sets off a storm," 3 Oct. 2019 Employees at the Marriott already have begun to demonstrate, as Herbekian said that Marriott employees had just recently organized and don’t have a contract that restricts them from picketing the way employees at the other hotels do. Phil Davis, baltimoresun.com, "Baltimore hotel workers vote to let contracts expire, setting stage for possible strikes," 27 Sep. 2019 The image of residents picketing in front of a hospital seems to hail from another world. Eric Topol, The New Yorker, "Why Doctors Should Organize," 5 Aug. 2019 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

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

13 Nov 2019

Time Traveler for picket

The first known use of picket was in 1687

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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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