Pick"et (?), n. [F. piquet, properly dim. of pique spear, pike. See Pike, and cf. Piquet.]
A stake sharpened or pointed, especially one used in fortification and encampments, to mark bounds and angles; or one used for tethering horses.
A pointed pale, used in marking fences.
3. [Probably so called from the picketing of the horses.] Mil.
A detached body of troops serving to guard an army from surprise, and to oppose reconnoitering parties of the enemy; -- called also outlying picket.
By extension, men appointed by a trades union, or other labor organization, to intercept outsiders, and prevent them from working for employers with whom the organization is at variance.
[Cant]<-- any individual standing at the entrance to a building (typically a business establishement), usually for the purpose of inhibiting or preventing others from entering that establishment, but sometimes only for demonstration or protest, and usually bearing a sign informing others of the nature of the grievance causing the picketing. -->
A military punishment, formerly resorted to, in which the offender was forced to stand with one foot on a pointed stake.
A game at cards. See Piquet.
Inlying picket Mil., a detachment of troops held in camp or quarters, detailed to march if called upon. -- Picket fence, a fence made of pickets. See def. 2, above. -- Picket guard Mil., a guard of horse and foot, always in readiness in case of alarm. -- Picket line. Mil. (a) A position held and guarded by small bodies of men placed at intervals. (b) A rope to which horses are secured when groomed. -- Picketpin, an iron pin for picketing horses.
© Webster 1913.
Pick"et, v. t. [imp. & p. p. Picketed; p. pr. & vb. n. Picketing.]
To fortify with pointed stakes.
To inclose or fence with pickets or pales.
To tether to, or as to, a picket; as, to picket a horse.
To guard, as a camp or road, by an outlying picket.
To torture by compelling to stand with one foot on a pointed stake.
© Webster 1913.