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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.

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 labour organization, to intercept outsiders, and prevent them from working for employers with whom the organization is at variance.

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 A position held and guarded by small bodies of men placed at intervals. A rope to which horses are secured when groomed. Picketpin, an iron pin for picketing horses.

Origin: F. Piquet, properly dim. Of pique spear, pike. See Pike, and cf. Piquet.