from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adj. Simple and kind: a Pickwickian uncle.
  • adj. Meant or understood in an idiosyncratic or unusual way: a word used in a Pickwickian manner.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. arbitrary or meaningless (of the usage of a word or phrase)
  • adj. Having, or relating to, Pickwickian syndrome.
  • adj. Of or relating to The Pickwick Papers, its storyline, or its characters (chiefly Mr Pickwick himself).

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Relating to or resembling Mr. Pickwick, the hero of Dickens's “Pickwick Papers.”


After Mr. Pickwick, central character in The Posthumous Papers of the Pickwick Club by Charles Dickens.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Pickwick +‎ -ian, from The Pickwick Papers (1836) by Charles Dickens. (Wiktionary)


  • Most physicians are familiar with the so-called Pickwickian syndrome, which, generally speaking, refers to a child who is both very fat and chronically sleepy.

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  • Another common disorder that was highlighted was obesity hypoventilation syndrome (also known as Pickwickian syndrome).

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  • The northerners do not understand that these expressions are only meant in a sort of "Pickwickian" sense; hence the error.

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  • Sir Arthur's music, too, is highly "Pickwickian," and the joint effort of the two humorists is infinitely diverting.

    Bardell v. Pickwick

  • 'bloody shirt' is only a kind of Pickwickian battle cry.

    Marse Henry : an autobiography,

  • If it's Christmas after the Wall Street crash, then a plump, Pickwickian stagecoach driver is thinking of roast goose and a "merrie" time.

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  • The unworthy thought crossed my mind that her present misbehaviour rendered her eminently blackmailable where Popplewell was concerned - but it was a purely Pickwickian reflection, you understand.


  • It also tapped into the lighter side of the dour-looking Mr. Safire: a Pickwickian quibbler who gleefully pounced on gaffes, inexactitudes, neologisms, misnomers, solecisms and perversely peccant puns, like "the president's populism" and "the first lady's momulism."

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  • The Timesobit is written strongly enough in the Safire style--in one case he's described as "a Pickwickian quibbler who gleefully pounced on gaffes, inexactitudes, neologisms, misnomers, solecisms and perversely peccant puns"--that it makes you wonder if he drafted it himself.


  • A Pickwickian scene where he gets lost in a park and ends up, embarrassed, in somebody's backyard.

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