pickle

Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
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See also: Pickle

English[edit]

Pronunciation[edit]

  • IPA(key): /ˈpɪkl̩/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -ɪkəl

Etymology 1[edit]

From Middle English pikel, pykyl, pekille, pigell (spicy sauce served with meat or fish), borrowed from Middle Dutch, Middle Low German pekel (brine). Cognate with Scots pikkill (salt liquor, brine), Saterland Frisian Piekele (pickle, brine), Dutch pekel (pickle, brine), Low German pekel, peckel, pickel, bickel (pickle, brine), German Pökel (pickle, brine).

Alternative forms[edit]

Noun[edit]

a jar of pickles

pickle (countable and uncountable, plural pickles)

  1. A cucumber preserved in a solution, usually a brine or a vinegar syrup.
    A pickle goes well with a hamburger.
  2. (often in the plural) Any vegetable preserved in vinegar and consumed as relish.
  3. A sweet, vinegary pickled chutney popular in Britain.
  4. The brine used for preserving food.
    This tub is filled with the pickle that we will put the small cucumbers into.
  5. (informal) A difficult situation; peril.
    The climber found himself in a pickle when one of the rocks broke off.
  6. (endearing) A mildly mischievous loved one.
    • 1867, Polly Stubbs, Nursery times; or, Stories about the little ones, by an old nurse, page 143:
      by degrees my little pickle (who, as I told you at the beginning of the story, was the most troublesome child I ever came across) turned into a very well-behaved young gentleman.
    • 1885, Eleanor A. Bulley, Great Britain for little Britons, page 116:
      ... If you could get my little pickle to learn his multiplication table before you leave us, you shall have that musical box to take home with you.
    • 1965, Eric Malpass, Morning's at seven, page 43:
      'And now,' she said, 'what about that kiss my little pickle was going to give his old Auntie?'
  7. (baseball) A rundown.
    Jones was caught in a pickle between second and third.
  8. (uncountable) A children’s game with three participants that emulates a baseball rundown
    The boys played pickle in the front yard for an hour.
  9. (slang) A penis.
  10. (slang) A pipe for smoking methamphetamine.
    Load some shards in that pickle.
  11. (metalworking) A bath of dilute sulphuric or nitric acid, etc., to remove burnt sand, scale, rust, etc., from the surface of castings, or other articles of metal, or to brighten them or improve their colour.
  12. In an optical landing system, the hand-held controller connected to the lens, or apparatus on which the lights are mounted.
Synonyms[edit]
Derived terms[edit]
Descendants[edit]
  • Dutch: pickles
  • French: pickles
  • Irish: picil
  • Korean: 피클 (pikeul)
  • Spanish: pickles
  • Welsh: picil
Translations[edit]
The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.
See also[edit]

Verb[edit]

pickle (third-person singular simple present pickles, present participle pickling, simple past and past participle pickled)

  1. (transitive, ergative) To preserve food (or sometimes other things) in a salt, sugar or vinegar solution.
    We pickled the remainder of the crop.
    These cucumbers pickle very well.
  2. (transitive) To remove high-temperature scale and oxidation from metal with heated (often sulphuric) industrial acid.
    The crew will pickle the fittings in the morning.
  3. (programming) (in the Python programming language) To serialize.
    • 2005, Peter Norton et al, Beginning Python:
      You can now restore the pickled data. If you like, close your Python interpreter and open a new instance, to convince yourself []
    • 2008, Marty Alchin, Pro Django:
      To illustrate how this would work in practice, consider a field designed to store and retrieve a pickled copy of any arbitrary Python object.
  4. (historical) To pour brine over a person after flogging them, as a method of punishment.
    • 1756, Thomas Thistlewood, diary, quoted in 2001, Glyne A. Griffith, Caribbean Cultural Identities, Bucknell University Press (→ISBN), page 38:
      On Wednesday 26 May, [] I had [an enslaved man] flogged and pickled and then made Hector shit in his mouth. [] In July, [] Gave [another enslaved man] a moderate whipping, pickled him well, made Hector shit in his mouth, []
    • 2016, Christopher P. Magra, Poseidon's Curse: British Naval Impressment and Atlantic Origins of the American Revolution, Cambridge University Press (→ISBN), page 70:
      Naval seamen could also be keel-hauled, ducked, pickled, and flogged around the fleet.
      [elsewhere, page 93, the book explains:] A pickled man had his flogged back washed with vinegar.
Derived terms[edit]
Translations[edit]

Etymology 2[edit]

Perhaps from Scottish pickle, apparently from pick +‎ -le (diminutive suffix). Compare Scots pickil.

Noun[edit]

pickle (plural pickles)

  1. (Northern England, Scotland) A kernel; a grain (of salt, sugar, etc.)
  2. (Northern England, Scotland) A small or indefinite quantity or amount (of something); a little, a bit, a few. Usually in partitive construction, frequently without "of"; a single grain or kernel of wheat, barley, oats, sand or dust.

Verb[edit]

pickle (third-person singular simple present pickles, present participle pickling, simple past and past participle pickled)

  1. (Northern England, Scotland, transitive, intransitive) To eat sparingly.
  2. (Northern England, Scotland, transitive, intransitive) To pilfer.

Anagrams[edit]


French[edit]

Etymology[edit]

English pickle

Noun[edit]

pickle m (plural pickles)

  1. pickle (kind of chutney popular in Britain)