follow Dictionary.com

Stories We Like: A Guide to the Comma

pickle1

[pik-uh l] /ˈpɪk əl/
noun
1.
a cucumber that has been preserved in brine, vinegar, or the like.
2.
Often, pickles. any other vegetable, as cauliflower, celery, etc., preserved in vinegar and eaten as a relish.
3.
something preserved in a brine or marinade.
4.
a liquid usually prepared with salt or vinegar for preserving or flavoring fish, meat, vegetables, etc.; brine or marinade.
5.
Metallurgy. an acid or other chemical solution in which metal objects are dipped to remove oxide scale or other adhering substances.
6.
Informal. a troublesome or awkward situation; predicament:
I was in a pickle after the check bounced.
7.
Informal. a sour, disagreeable person.
verb (used with object), pickled, pickling.
8.
to preserve or steep in brine or other liquid.
9.
to treat with a chemical solution, as for the purpose of cleaning.
10.
to give a pale, streaked finish to (wood) by applying and partly removing paint or by bleaching, as to give an appearance of age.
11.
Slang. to store; prepare for long-range storage:
Let's pickle these old cars for a few years.
Origin
late Middle English
1400-1450
1400-50; late Middle English pikkyll, pekille < Middle Dutch, Middle Low German pekel (> German Pökel) brine, pickle
Synonyms
6. plight, quandary; fix, bind, scrape, jam.

pickle2

[pik-uh l] /ˈpɪk əl/
noun, Scot. and North England
1.
a single grain or kernel, as of barley or corn.
2.
a small amount; a little.
Origin
1545-55; perhaps noun use of pickle to take tiny bits of food in eating, frequentative of pick1; see -le
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source
Examples for pickle
  • Summer's not the only time to pickle and preserve in-season ingredients.
  • Patrons can also order box lunches that include fruit, homemade chips, a pickle and a cookie.
  • It would probably be similar to tasting pickle juice and cottage cheese.
  • Gallon-size pickle jars or gallon pitchers work best.
  • Arguably the best known of these pushcarts wares was the pickle.
  • Add to this the different voltages required by different machines, and we're left in a pickle.
  • We would do vodka shots, and chase it with pickle juice from the barrels.
  • Contestants were to have explained to the audience how they got into a financial pickle.
  • His travels show him a way to get his job pack at the pickle factory.
  • The process is similar to that of wine or pickle making.
British Dictionary definitions for pickle

pickle

/ˈpɪkəl/
noun
1.
(often pl) vegetables, such as cauliflowers, onions, etc, preserved in vinegar, brine, etc
2.
any food preserved in this way
3.
a liquid or marinade, such as spiced vinegar, for preserving vegetables, meat, fish, etc
4.
(mainly US & Canadian) a cucumber that has been preserved and flavoured in a pickling solution, such as brine or vinegar
5.
(informal) an awkward or difficult situation to be in a pickle
6.
(Brit, informal) a mischievous child
verb (transitive)
7.
to preserve in a pickling liquid
8.
to immerse (a metallic object) in a liquid, such as an acid, to remove surface scale
Derived Forms
pickler, noun
Word Origin
C14: perhaps from Middle Dutch pekel; related to German Pökel brine
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for pickle
pickle
c.1440, probably from M.Du. pekel "pickle, brine," from a Low Ger. root of uncertain origin or meaning (cf. Du. pekel, E.Fris. päkel, Ger. pökel). Originally a sauce served with meat or fowl; meaning "cucumber preserved in pickle" first recorded 1707. Figurative sense of "sorry plight" first recorded 1562.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
Slang definitions & phrases for pickle

pickle

noun
  1. (also picklement) A parlous situation; predicament; dilemma: I was in a sad pickle when I lost my job (1609+)
  2. A torpedo (WWII Navy)
  3. A bullet: He fired six pickles at the knob (1940s+)
verb phrase

To hit the ball very hard (1908+ Baseball)

verb

To ruin; wreck: This will promptly pickle her college chances (1950s+)

[first noun sense fr 1500s British slang in a pickle and may refer to the situation of a mouse fallen into a pickling vat; picklement is a handy echo of predicament]


The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
Cite This Source
Idioms and Phrases with pickle
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Cite This Source

Word of The Day

Difficulty index for pickle

Some English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for pickle

14
17
Scrabble Words With Friends

Quotes with pickle