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 More and more magazines, newspapers and advertisements showed women as brides; women outside houses with white picket fences; and women smiling while wearing high heels and pushing vacuum cleaners. New York Times, "Is Marriage a Prize?," 15 May 2020 Without guests hanging over the picket fence, the seal pups are less skittish. Sarah Feldberg, SFChronicle.com, "‘Nowhere I’d rather be’: Innkeeper couple wait out pandemic on East Brother island," 11 May 2020 Tucked behind a white picket fence, the two-story house features lath and plaster walls, oak wood floors and picture windows that bring garden views inside. Los Angeles Times, "Hot Property: Lakers star Anthony Davis hangs $8-million price tag on SoCal home," 25 Apr. 2020 Size: 924 square feet Price per square foot: $486 Indoors: A red picket fence shields the front yard from the sidewalk. New York Times, "What You Get for $450,000 in California," 13 Apr. 2020 This is from a woman whose white vinyl picket fence is adorned with blue and yellow ribbons proclaiming her support for Dallas officers. Sharon Grigsby, Dallas News, "In coronavirus isolation, we need leaders like Anna Hill, who keeps her eye on Dolphin Heights neighbors through crisis," 3 Apr. 2020 To me, hitching the gate shut on my front picket fence is a joy. New York Times, "With Travel Plans in Flux, Readers Share Their ‘Staycation’ Ideas," 18 Mar. 2020 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 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Past violators of the rule have been ostracized and even picketed. CBS News, "Museums struggling to survive coronavirus pandemic get go-ahead to sell their art," 23 May 2020 Outside, members of the American Nazi party in uniform mingled with Catholics picketing the production. BostonGlobe.com, "Rolf Hochhuth, who challenged a pope’s wartime silence," 21 May 2020 Teachers and support staff picketed again outside the city’s schools, as parents scrambled to make alternative plans for their children. USA TODAY, "Virus rains on parades, Utah women walk out, teachers strike: News from around our 50 states," 13 Mar. 2020 Immigrants-rights advocates picketed outside Biden’s Philadelphia campaign headquarters shortly after its opening. Washington Post, "Biden’s new endorsement reflects battle for Latino support," 24 Dec. 2019 Both the memos argued that balloons like Scabby served a similar function as picketing in intimidating nonunion employees from reporting to work or potential customers from entering a location. Michael Gold, New York Times, "Scabby, the Giant Inflatable Union Protest Rat, Faces Extermination," 31 July 2019 The group picketed the White House as the war raged on, bringing with them increasingly provocative banners, for which they were imprisoned, even tortured. New York Times, "How the Spanish Flu Almost Upended Women's Suffrage," 28 Apr. 2020 Hours later, workers at a Chicago depot picketed outside their facility. Matt Day, BostonGlobe.com, "Amazon’s hiring boom packed applicants into job fairs with no special precautions," 1 Apr. 2020 Hours later, workers at a Chicago depot picketed outside their facility. Fortune, "Amazon’s coronavirus hiring boom has applicants packed into job fairs taking no special precautions," 1 Apr. 2020

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

28 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Picket.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/picket. Accessed 30 May. 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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