noun (1)
pick·​le | \ˈpi-kəl \

Definition of pickle 

(Entry 1 of 3)

1 : a solution or bath for preserving or cleaning: such as

a : a brine or vinegar solution in which foods are preserved

b : any of various baths used in industrial cleaning or processing

2 : a difficult situation : plight could see no way out of the pickle I was in— R. L. Stevenson

3 : an article of food that has been preserved in brine or in vinegar specifically : a cucumber that has been so preserved


pickled; pickling\ ˈpi-​k(ə-​)liŋ \

Definition of pickle (Entry 2 of 3)

transitive verb

1 : to treat, preserve, or clean in or with a pickle

2 : to give a light finish to (something, such as furniture) by bleaching or painting and wiping


noun (2)

Definition of pickle (Entry 3 of 3)

1 Scotland : grain, kernel

2 Scotland : a small quantity

First Known Use of pickle

Noun (1)

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1526, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Noun (2)

1552, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for pickle

Noun (1)

Middle English pykyl, pekill sauce, gravy, from or akin to Middle Dutch peeckel brine

Noun (2)

perhaps from Scots pickle to trifle, pilfer

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Time Traveler for pickle

The first known use of pickle was in the 15th century

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English Language Learners Definition of pickle

: to preserve (food) with salt water or vinegar


pick·​le | \ˈpi-kəl \

Kids Definition of pickle

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a piece of food and especially a cucumber that has been preserved in a solution of salt water or vinegar

2 : a mixture of salt and water or vinegar for keeping foods : brine

3 : a difficult or very unpleasant situation A nice pickle they were all in now … with three angry trolls …— J. R. R. Tolkien, The Hobbit


pickled; pickling

Kids Definition of pickle (Entry 2 of 2)

: to soak or keep in a solution of salt water or vinegar

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Comments on pickle

What made you want to look up pickle? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to express warning or disapproval

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