follow Dictionary.com

Get the details behind our redesign

picnic

[pik-nik] /ˈpɪk nɪk/
noun
1.
an excursion or outing in which the participants carry food with them and share a meal in the open air.
2.
the food eaten on such an excursion.
3.
Also called picnic ham, picnic shoulder. a section of pork shoulder, usually boned, smoked, and weighing 4–6 pounds.
Compare daisy (def 2).
4.
Informal. an enjoyable experience or time, easy task, etc.:
Being laid up in a hospital is no picnic.
verb (used without object), picnicked, picnicking.
5.
to go on or take part in a picnic.
Origin
1740-1750
1740-50; < German Pic-nic (now Picknick) < French pique-nique, rhyming compound < ?
Related forms
picnicker, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source
Examples for picnic
  • These easy to make picnic food recipes travel well and taste delicious.
  • It's an easy stroll to get to picnic benches overlooking the falls.
  • picnic options can be limited, and outdoor eating requires inconvenient amounts of plastic cutlery and paper towels.
  • Because the pitcher of beer placed at my outdoor picnic table continues to be miraculously cold.
  • Such people appearing at a picnic color the entire scene with the blue light of their austerity.
  • Twenty percent of watermelons never make it to the picnic table.
  • Katrina would be seen as a comparative lunchtime picnic in a light breeze.
  • As the party laid out a picnic, a sudden downpour sent its members scurrying for cover.
  • picnic tables are available under huge shade trees, and visitors are encouraged to bring lunch.
  • Judging by the high spirits of the crew, you might think we're out for a picnic.
British Dictionary definitions for picnic

picnic

/ˈpɪknɪk/
noun
1.
a trip or excursion to the country, seaside, etc, on which people bring food to be eaten in the open air
2.
  1. any informal meal eaten outside
  2. (as modifier) a picnic lunch
3.
(informal, mainly Austral) a troublesome situation or experience
4.
(informal) no picnic, a hard or disagreeable task
verb -nics, -nicking, -nicked
5.
(intransitive) to eat a picnic
Derived Forms
picnicker, noun
Word Origin
C18: from French piquenique, of unknown origin
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 picnic
picnic
1748 (in Chesterfield's "Letters"), but rare before c.1800 as an Eng. institution, from Fr. piquenique (1692), perhaps a reduplication of piquer "to pick, peck," from O.Fr. (see pike (2)), or the second element may be nique "worthless thing," from a Gmc. source. Originally a fashionable pot-luck social affair, not necessarily out of doors. Figurative sense of "something easy" is from 1886.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
Slang definitions & phrases for picnic

picnic

noun
  1. Something very easy; an easy undertaking; cinch, piece of cake: That job's a picnic (1880s+)
  2. A good or enjoyable time; a BALL, blast: The last week we had a picnic (1909+)
Related Terms

no picnic


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 picnic
see: no picnic
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 picnic

Most English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for picnic

12
16
Scrabble Words With Friends

Quotes with picnic