picnic

noun, often attributive
pic·​nic | \ ˈpik-(ˌ)nik How to pronounce picnic (audio) \

Definition of picnic

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : an excursion or outing with food usually provided by members of the group and eaten in the open also : the food provided for a picnic
2a : a pleasant or amusingly carefree experience I don't expect being married to be a picnic— Josephine Pinckney
b : an easy task or feat
3 : a shoulder of pork with much of the butt removed

picnic

verb
picnicked; picnicking

Definition of picnic (Entry 2 of 2)

intransitive verb

: to go on a picnic : eat in picnic fashion

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Other Words from picnic

Noun

picnicky \ ˈpik-​(ˌ)ni-​kē How to pronounce picnicky (audio) \ adjective

Verb

picnicker noun

Examples of picnic in a Sentence

Noun We decided to have a picnic on the beach. We ate our picnic by the lake. The annual school picnic is this weekend. This winter is a picnic compared with last year's. Verb We picnicked in the park.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Nearby, Prince George and Princess Charlotte kicked a soccer ball and showed off some dance moves before heading to the car for a picnic. Dan Goodin, Ars Technica, "US hack attack hobbles Iran’s ability to target oil tankers, NYT says," 28 Aug. 2019 Kailua Beach Why go: For a beach picnic with fixins from nearby Kalapawai Market, kayaking and canoeing, strolling up to three miles in the sand, reading a book from a (bring-your-own) hammock tied to the trees in the large shady section. Dawn Gilbertson, USA TODAY, "Move over, Waikiki and Hanauma Bay. Here are 10 must-see beaches on Oahu," 19 June 2019 There's a bright dining room, open kitchen and, out front, couple picnic tables. Matt Wake | Mwake@al.com, al, "A Huntsville taco that puts The South in your mouth," 16 Sep. 2019 MacLellan said, looking over picnic tables filled with prizes for which people were buying tickets. Sam Boyer, cleveland.com, "Unique fundraiser required ear plugs: Photos," 15 Sep. 2019 Lines are known to stretch out the door here at lunch time, when the picnic tables perched beside the French Broad River fill up fast. BostonGlobe.com, "Visiting Asheville? It’s like Brooklyn. But cooler.," 13 Sep. 2019 Other amenities can include drinking fountains, picnic tables and barbecue grills. Hillary Davis, Daily Pilot, "Newport council OKs plan to remove some Balboa Island trees and test others," 11 Sep. 2019 Thomas Ochonicki of Morton Grove, the parent of Theodore Ochonicki, 5, a kindergartner, sat along a picnic table with family in front of the bandshell featuring the headliner. Karie Angell Luc, chicagotribune.com, "Back to School Bash lets kids get energized in Morton Grove," 3 Sep. 2019 Its 81/2-acre campus includes lots of outside space to run around in, a toddler play area with a small picnic table, and a small lagoon with a floating classroom that children can crank along its track. USA TODAY, "Space dummy, Bigfoot denial, pumped-up pumpkin: News from around our 50 states," 2 Sep. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Pedestrians stroll through open-air markets set up on car-free avenues, then gather to picnic with the extended family. Washington Post, "Election day’s an alcohol-free holiday for Bolivians," 20 Oct. 2019 Pedestrians stroll through open-air markets set up on car-free avenues, then gather to picnic with the extended family. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Election day’s an alcohol-free holiday for Bolivians," 20 Oct. 2019 Take a refreshing glide out to the lake’s Ruby Island, a popular spot for picnicking and strolling that’s less than a mile from the shore. Carrie Miller, National Geographic, "Here’s where to find epic adventures in New Zealand," 8 July 2019 The director recalled a photo shoot at 100 Acres, where Fisher wore a Rik Smits Pacers jersey while he and Doehring picnicked near the Funky Bones sculpture. David Lindquist, Indianapolis Star, "John Green's 'The Fault in Our Stars' is a play for the first time, and it's close to home," 11 Oct. 2017 At one of Northern California’s best swimming holes — with world-class views and cool, clean water in a pristine setting — kids from Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco and Reno mixed with youngsters from rural areas to hike, swim and picnic. Tom Stienstra, SFChronicle.com, "California kids connect on a world-class Trinity-Divide hike," 19 July 2019 Amid these giant structures and inhospitable foregrounds, Schwartz celebrates a collection of ragtag users including a sweaty jogger, a parking lot attendant, skateboarders and tailgaters picnicking under a grimy bridge. Steven Litt, cleveland.com, "Cuyahoga 50 photo shows uncover fresh takes on the recovery of a once combustible river," 30 June 2019 With groups picnicking in the shade and DJs spinning rump-shaking house music, the atmosphere was somewhere between a backyard barbecue and a nightclub. Los Angeles Times, "Black voters to 2020 Democrats: Don’t take us for granted," 3 Sep. 2019 And what a place to picnic, where Augustus and Cicero once dined! Washington Post, "Rome’s seven hills offer seven green respites from summer’s crowds," 12 July 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'picnic.' 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 picnic

Noun

1826, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

1815, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for picnic

Noun

German or French; German Picknick, from French pique-nique

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More Definitions for picnic

picnic

noun
How to pronounce picnic (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of picnic

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a meal that is eaten outdoors especially during a trip away from home
: a trip or party that includes a meal eaten outdoors
informal : something that is pleasant or easy

picnic

verb

English Language Learners Definition of picnic (Entry 2 of 2)

: to eat a meal outdoors especially during a trip away from home : to have a picnic

picnic

noun
pic·​nic | \ ˈpik-ˌnik How to pronounce picnic (audio) \

Kids Definition of picnic

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : an outdoor party with food taken along and eaten in the open
2 : a pleasant or carefree experience A broken leg is no picnic.

picnic

verb
picnicked; picnicking

Kids Definition of picnic (Entry 2 of 2)

: to go on a picnic

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More from Merriam-Webster on picnic

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for picnic

Spanish Central: Translation of picnic

Nglish: Translation of picnic for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of picnic for Arabic Speakers

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