Webster's Dictionary, 1913

Search Webster
Word starts with Word or meaning contains
Piation noun [ Latin piatio . See Piacle .] The act of making atonement; expiation. [ Obsolete]

Piatti noun plural [ Italian , prop., plates.] (Mus.) Cymbals. [ Written also pyatti .]

Piazza noun ; plural Piazzas . [ Italian , place, square, market place, Latin platea street, courtyard. See Place .] An open square in a European town, especially an Italian town; hence (Architecture) , an arcaded and roofed gallery; a portico. In the United States the word is popularly applied to a veranda.

We walk by the obelisk, and meditate in piazzas .
Jer. Taylor.

Pibcorn noun [ W. pib pipe + corn horn.] (Mus.) A wind instrument or pipe, with a horn at each end, -- used in Wales.

Pibroch noun [ Gael. piobaireachd pipe music, from piobair a piper, from pioba pipe, bagpipe, from English. See Pipe , noun ] A Highland air, suited to the particular passion which the musician would either excite or assuage; generally applied to those airs that are played on the bagpipe before the Highlanders when they go out to battle. Jamieson.

Pic noun [ Confer French pic .] A Turkish cloth measure, varying from 18 to 28 inches.

Pica noun [ Latin pica a pie, magpie; in sense 3 probably named from some resemblance to the colors of the magpie. Confer Pie magpie.]
1. (Zoology) The genus that includes the magpies.

2. (Medicine) A vitiated appetite that craves what is unfit for food, as chalk, ashes, coal, etc.; chthonophagia.

3. (R. C. Ch.) A service-book. See Pie . [ Obsolete]

4. (Print.) A size of type next larger than small pica, and smaller than English.

» This line is printed in pica

» Pica is twice the size of nonpareil, and is used as a standard of measurement in casting leads, cutting rules, etc., and also as a standard by which to designate several larger kinds of type, as double pica , two-line pica , four-line pica , and the like.

Small pica (Print.) , a size of type next larger than long primer, and smaller than pica.

» This line is printed in small pica

Picador noun [ Spanish ] A horseman armed with a lance, who in a bullfight receives the first attack of the bull, and excites him by picking him without attempting to kill him.

Picamar noun [ Latin pix , picis , pitch + amarus bitter.] (Chemistry) An oily liquid hydrocarbon extracted from the creosote of beechwood tar. It consists essentially of certain derivatives of pyrogallol.

Picapare noun (Zoology) The finfoot.

Picard noun (Eccl. Hist.) One of a sect of Adamites in the fifteenth century; -- so called from one Picard of Flanders. See Adamite .

Picaresque adjective [ French, from Spanish picaro rogue.] Applied to that class of literature in which the principal personage is the Spanish picaro , meaning a rascal, a knave, a rogue, an adventurer.

Picarian adjective (Zoology) Of or pertaining to Picariæ. -- noun One of the Picariæ.

Picariæ noun plural [ New Latin , from Latin picus a woodpecker.] (Zoology) An extensive division of birds which includes the woodpeckers, toucans, trogons, hornbills, kingfishers, motmots, rollers, and goatsuckers. By some writers it is made to include also the cuckoos, swifts, and humming birds.

Picaroon noun [ Spanish picaron , aug. of picaro roguish, noun , a rogue.] One who plunders; especially, a plunderer of wrecks; a pirate; a corsair; a marauder; a sharper. Sir W. Temple.

Picayune noun [ From the language of the Caribs.] A small coin of the value of six and a quarter cents. See Fippenny bit . [ Local, U.S.]

Picayunish adjective Petty; paltry; mean; as, a picayunish business. [ Colloq. U.S.]

Piccadil, Piccadilly noun [ Old French piccagilles the several divisions of pieces fastened together about the brim of the collar of a doublet, a dim. from Spanish picado , past participle of picar to prick. See Pike .] A high, stiff collar for the neck; also, a hem or band about the skirt of a garment, -- worn by men in the 17th century.

Piccage noun [ Late Latin piccadium , from French piquer to prick.] (O. Eng. Law) Money paid at fairs for leave to break ground for booths. Ainsworth.

Piccalilli noun A pickle of various vegetables with pungent species, -- originally made in the East Indies.

Piccolo noun [ Italian , small.]
1. (Mus.) A small, shrill flute, the pitch of which is an octave higher than the ordinary flute; an octave flute.

2. (Mus.) A small upright piano.

3. (Mus.) An organ stop, with a high, piercing tone.

Pice noun [ Hind. paisā ] A small copper coin of the East Indies, worth less than a cent. Malcom.

Picea noun [ Latin , the pitch pine, from pix , picis , pitch.] (Botany) A genus of coniferous trees of the northen hemisphere, including the Norway spruce and the American black and white spruces. These trees have pendent cones, which do not readily fall to pieces, in this and other respects differing from the firs.

Picene noun [ See Piceous .] (Chemistry) A hydrocarbon (C...H...) extracted from the pitchy residue of coal tar and petroleum as a bluish fluorescent crystalline substance.

Piceous adjective [ Latin piceus , from pix , picis , pitch.] Of or pertaining to pitch; resembling pitch in color or quality; pitchy.

Pichey noun [ Native name.] (Zoology) A Brazilian armadillo ( Dasypus minutus ); the little armadillo. [ Written also pichiy .]

Pichiciago noun [ Native name.] (Zoology) A small, burrowing, South American edentate ( Chlamyphorus truncatus ), allied to the armadillos. The shell is attached only along the back. [ Written also pichyciego .]

Pichurim bean (Botany) The seed of a Brazilian lauraceous tree ( Nectandra Puchury ) of a taste and smell between those of nutmeg and of sassafras, -- sometimes used medicinally. Called also sassafras nut .

Pici noun plural [ New Latin , from Latin picus a woodpecker.] (Zoology) A division of birds including the woodpeckers and wrynecks.

Piciform adjective (Zoology) Of or pertaining to Piciformes.

Piciformes noun plural [ New Latin See Picus , and -Form .] (Zoology) A group of birds including the woodpeckers, toucans, barbets, colies, kingfishes, hornbills, and some other related groups.

Picine adjective (Zoology) Of or pertaining to the woodpeckers ( Pici ), or to the Piciformes.

Pick transitive verb [ imperfect & past participle Picked ; present participle & verbal noun Picking .] [ Middle English picken , pikken , to prick, peck; akin to Icelandic pikka , Swedish picka , Danish pikke , Dutch pikken , German picken , French piquer , W. pigo . Confer Peck , v. , Pike , Pitch to throw.]
1. To throw; to pitch. [ Obsolete]

As high as I could pick my lance.

2. To peck at, as a bird with its beak; to strike at with anything pointed; to act upon with a pointed instrument; to pierce; to prick, as with a pin.

3. To separate or open by means of a sharp point or points; as, to pick matted wool, cotton, oakum, etc.

4. To open (a lock) as by a wire.

5. To pull apart or away, especially with the fingers; to pluck; to gather, as fruit from a tree, flowers from the stalk, feathers from a fowl, etc.

6. To remove something from with a pointed instrument, with the fingers, or with the teeth; as, to pick the teeth; to pick a bone; to pick a goose; to pick a pocket.

Did you pick Master Slender's purse?

He picks clean teeth, and, busy as he seems
With an old tavern quill, is hungry yet.

7. To choose; to select; to separate as choice or desirable; to cull; as, to pick one's company; to pick one's way; -- often with out . "One man picked out of ten thousand." Shak.

8. To take up; esp., to gather from here and there; to collect; to bring together; as, to pick rags; -- often with up ; as, to pick up a ball or stones; to pick up information.

9. To trim. [ Obsolete] Chaucer.

To pick at , to tease or vex by pertinacious annoyance. -- To pick a bone with . See under Bone . -- To pick a thank , to curry favor. [ Obsolete] Robynson (More's Utopia). -- To pick off . (a) To pluck; to remove by picking . (b) To shoot or bring down, one by one; as, sharpshooters pick off the enemy. -- To pick out . (a) To mark out; to variegate; as, to pick out any dark stuff with lines or spots of bright colors . (b) To select from a number or quantity. -- To pick to pieces , to pull apart piece by piece; hence [ Colloq.], to analyze; esp., to criticize in detail. -- To pick a quarrel , to give occasion of quarrel intentionally. -- To pick up . (a) To take up, as with the fingers . (b) To get by repeated efforts; to gather here and there; as, to pick up a livelihood; to pick up news.

Pick intransitive verb
1. To eat slowly, sparingly, or by morsels; to nibble.

Why stand'st thou picking ? Is thy palate sore?

2. To do anything nicely or carefully, or by attending to small things; to select something with care.

3. To steal; to pilfer. "To keep my hands from picking and stealing." Book of Com. Prayer.

To pick up , to improve by degrees; as, he is picking up in health or business. [ Colloq. U.S.]

Pick noun [ French pic a pickax, a pick. See Pick , and confer Pike .]
1. A sharp-pointed tool for picking; -- often used in composition; as, a tooth pick ; a pick lock.

2. (Mining & Mech.) A heavy iron tool, curved and sometimes pointed at both ends, wielded by means of a wooden handle inserted in the middle, -- used by quarrymen, roadmakers, etc.; also, a pointed hammer used for dressing millstones.

3. A pike or spike; the sharp point fixed in the center of a buckler. [ Obsolete] "Take down my buckler . . . and grind the pick on 't." Beau. & Fl.

4. Choice; right of selection; as, to have one's pick .

France and Russia have the pick of our stables.
Ld. Lytton.

5. That which would be picked or chosen first; the best; as, the pick of the flock.

6. (Print.) A particle of ink or paper imbedded in the hollow of a letter, filling up its face, and occasioning a spot on a printed sheet. MacKellar.

7. (Painting) That which is picked in, as with a pointed pencil, to correct an unevenness in a picture.

8. (Weawing) The blow which drives the shuttle, -- the rate of speed of a loom being reckoned as so many picks per minute; hence, in describing the fineness of a fabric, a weft thread; as, so many picks to an inch.

Pick dressing (Architecture) , in cut stonework, a facing made by a pointed tool, leaving the surface in little pits or depressions. -- Pick hammer , a pick with one end sharp and the other blunt, used by miners.

Pickaback adverb On the back or shoulders; as, to ride pickback . [ Written also pickapack , pickback , and pickpack .]

A woman stooping to take a child pickaback .

Pickaninny noun ; plural Pickaninnies . [ Confer Spanish pequeño little, young.] A small child; especially, a negro or mulatto infant. [ U.S. & West Indies]

Pickapack adverb Pickaback.

Pickax, Pickaxe noun [ A corruption of Middle English pikois , pikeis , French picois , from pic . See Pick , noun ] A pick with a point at one end, a transverse edge or blade at the other, and a handle inserted at the middle; a hammer with a flattened end for driving wedges and a pointed end for piercing as it strikes. Shak.

Pickback adverb On the back.

Picked adjective
1. Pointed; sharp. " Picked and polished." Chapman.

Let the stake be made picked at the top.

2. (Zoology) Having a pike or spine on the back; -- said of certain fishes.

3. Carefully selected; chosen; as, picked men.

4. Fine; spruce; smart; precise; dianty. [ Obsolete] Shak.

Picked dogfish . (Zoology) See under Dogfish . -- Picked out , ornamented or relieved with lines, or the like, of a different, usually a lighter, color; as, a carriage body dark green, picked out with red.

Pickedness noun
1. The state of being sharpened; pointedness.

2. Fineness; spruceness; smartness. [ Obsolete]

Too much pickedness is not manly.
B. Jonson.

Pickeer intransitive verb [ imperfect & past participle Pickeered ; present participle & verbal noun Pickeering .] [ French picorer to go marauding, orig., to go to steal cattle, ultimately from Latin pecus , pecoris , cattle; confer French picorée , Spanish pecorea robbery committed by straggling soldiers.] To make a raid for booty; to maraud; also, to skirmish in advance of an army. See Picaroon . [ Obsolete] Bp. Burnet.

Pickeerer noun One who pickeers. [ Obsolete]

Picker noun [ From Pick .]
1. One who, or that which, picks, in any sense, - - as, one who uses a pick; one who gathers; a thief; a pick; a pickax; as, a cotton picker . " Pickers and stealers." Shak.

2. (Machinery) A machine for picking fibrous materials to pieces so as to loosen and separate the fiber.

3. (Weaving) The piece in a loom which strikes the end of the shuttle, and impels it through the warp.

4. (Ordnance) A priming wire for cleaning the vent.

Pickerel noun [ Dim. of Pike .] [ Written also pickerell .]
1. A young or small pike. [ Obsolete]

Bet [ better] is, quoth he, a pike than a pickerel .

2. (Zoology) (a) Any one of several species of freshwater fishes of the genus Esox , esp. the smaller species. (b) The glasseye, or wall-eyed pike. See Wall-eye .

» The federation, or chain, pickerel ( Esox reticulatus ) and the brook pickerel ( E. Americanus ) are the most common American species. They are used for food, and are noted for their voracity. About the Great Lakes the pike is called pickerel .

Pickerel weed (Botany) , a blue-flowered aquatic plant ( Pontederia cordata ) having large arrow-shaped leaves. So called because common in slow-moving waters where pickerel are often found.

Pickering noun [ Probably a corruption of Pickerel .] (Zoology) The sauger of the St.Lawrence River.

Pickery noun [ From Pick to steal; or perhaps from Pickeer .] Petty theft. [ Scot.] Holinshed.

Picket noun [ French piquet , properly dim. of pique spear, pike. See Pike , and confer Piquet .]
1. A stake sharpened or pointed, especially one used in fortification and encampments, to mark bounds and angles; or one used for tethering horses.

2. 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 .

4. 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]

5. A military punishment, formerly resorted to, in which the offender was forced to stand with one foot on a pointed stake.

6. 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.

Picket transitive verb [ imperfect & past participle Picketed ; present participle & verbal noun Picketing .]
1. To fortify with pointed stakes.

2. To inclose or fence with pickets or pales.

3. To tether to, or as to, a picket; as, to picket a horse.

4. To guard, as a camp or road, by an outlying picket.

5. To torture by compelling to stand with one foot on a pointed stake. [ Obsolete]