picket

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pick·et / ˈpikit/ • n. 1. a person or group of people standing outside a place of work or other venue, protesting about something or trying to persuade others not to enter during a strike. ∎  a blockade of a workplace or other venue staged by such a person or group.2. chiefly hist. a small body of troops or a single soldier sent out to watch for the enemy. ∎  a soldier or party of soldiers performing a particular duty: a picket of soldiers fired a volley over the coffin.3. [usu. as adj.] a pointed wooden stake driven into the ground, typically to form a fence or palisade or to tether a horse: a cedar-picket stockade. See also picket fence.• v. (-et·ed, -et·ing) [tr.] 1. act as a picket outside (a place of work or other venue): strikers picketed the newspaper's main building | [intr.] 18,000 people turned up to picket. 2. tether (an animal).DERIVATIVES: pick·et·er n.

picket

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picket
A. pointed stake, etc. XVII;

B. small detachment of troops (orig. with horses tied to stakes) XVIII. — F. piquet, f. piquer prick, pierce; see PICK2, -ET.

Picket

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Picket

a small detached body of troops, 1761. See also detachment, detail.

Examples : picket of cavalry and infantry, 1844; of soldiers; of the spirit host, 1866; of strikers.