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pique +‎ -er


piquer (plural piquers)

  1. One who piques.
    • 1895, Harper's New Monthly Magazine, volume 91, page 644:
      You are what I may call a piquer of curiosity.
    • 1972, North Carolina Folklore Journal (1972-1973), page 85:
      The name above the door is F. Dula. Under the circumstances, an interest piquer.



Inherited from Middle French picquer, from Old French piquer (to pierce with the tip of a sword) (cf. also pikier), from proto-Romance or Vulgar Latin *pīccare (to sting, strike) or *pikkāre (compare Occitan, Catalan, Portuguese, and Spanish picar), itself either from an onomatopoeic root *pikk- (cf. also Latin picus, whence French pic), or alternatively, from Frankish *pikkōn, from Proto-Germanic *pikōną, *pukaną (to pick, peck, prick, knock), from Proto-Indo-European *bew-, *bū- (to make a dull sound).

Cognate with Old English pȳcan, pician (to pick, pluck); Old Norse pikka (to prick, peck); Middle Dutch and Middle Low German picken (to pick, peck, pierce); Middle High German puchen (to knock, defy, plunder). More at pick.




  1. (transitive) to prick; to sting
    Synonym: poindre
  2. (intransitive) to sting
    Ça pique !That stings!
  3. (transitive) to put down, euthanise (an animal)
    faire piquer son chiento have one's dog put down
  4. (transitive, colloquial) to nick, pinch, steal
    Synonyms: chiper, subtiliser, voler
    piquer quelque chose à quelqu’unto pinch something from someone
  5. (reflexive, transitive with de) to pride oneself on; to like to think that one can do
  6. (textiles, couture) to stitch together
  7. (intransitive) to dive, descend rapidly (of birds or planes)
  8. (intransitive) to dash (towards something)
    Synonym: se lancer


Derived terms[edit]


  • English: pique
  • German: pikieren
  • Italian: piccarsi
  • Louisiana Creole: piqué

Further reading[edit]