A picket is a vertical wooden board in a fence. You might have a white picket fence enclosing your whole front yard, so your little dog can't escape.

Besides the "wooden stake or strip" meaning, you can also use picket as a verb to mean "protest or strike." When disgruntled workers go on strike, they often picket outside their workplace, holding signs and chanting. You can also call one of these protesting workers a picket. The original meaning, from the 1680s, is "a pointed stake used as a defensive weapon." And the original picket line was a line of military troops.

Definitions of picket
  1. noun
    a wooden strip forming part of a fence
    synonyms: pale
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    type of:
    thin piece of wood or metal
  2. noun
    a form of military punishment used by the British in the late 17th century in which a soldier was forced to stand on one foot on a pointed stake
    synonyms: piquet
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    type of:
    torture, torturing
    the deliberate, systematic, or wanton infliction of physical or mental suffering by one or more persons in an attempt to force another person to yield information or to make a confession or for any other reason
  3. verb
    fasten with a picket
    picket the goat”
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    type of:
    fasten, fix, secure
    cause to be firmly attached
  4. noun
    a detachment of troops guarding an army from surprise attack
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    type of:
    a small unit of troops of special composition
  5. noun
    a person employed to keep watch for some anticipated event
    synonyms: lookout, lookout man, scout, sentinel, sentry, spotter, watch
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    type of:
    security guard, watcher, watchman
    a guard who keeps watch
  6. noun
    a vehicle performing sentinel duty
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    picket boat
    a boat serving as a picket
    picket ship
    a ship serving as a picket
    type of:
    military vehicle
    vehicle used by the armed forces
  7. noun
    a protester posted by a labor organization outside a place of work
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    type of:
    demonstrator, protester
    someone who participates in a public display of group feeling
  8. verb
    take part in a strike or protest
    picket a business to protest the layoffs”
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    type of:
    demonstrate, march
    march in protest; take part in a demonstration
Word Family

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