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

  • n. A person who picks locks, especially a thief.
  • n. An instrument for picking a lock.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A device designed to pick locks.
  • n. One who picks locks; a thief.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. An instrument for picking locks.
  • n. One who picks locks; a thief.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. An instrument for picking or opening a lock without the key; a pick. See cut under pick, 4.
  • n. A person who picks locks; especially, a thief who tries to enter doors by picking the locks.
  • n. A superior selected wool. See the quotation.


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • It appears to be a kind of picklock, an open sesame,


  • It appears to be a kind of picklock, an open sesame, Tanner -- Tawno! the one is but a modification of the other; they were originally identical, and have still much the same signification.

    Lavengro; the Scholar, the Gypsy, the Priest

  • She tied her bonnet on as he headed for the door, his picklock in hand.

    How to Woo a Reluctant Lady

  • "Allow me," said Ellery, whipping out his trusty picklock gun.

    The Body Ricardo

  • He glances out his office and spots someone headed toward Fiction, meaning another reader will soon discover the picklock words of Flannery O'Connor or Joseph Conrad, another person will soon escape the Delta, using one of Wise's libraries as the point of departure.

    Archive 2006-09-01

  • And so while people around me on the plane between Copenhagen and New York were changing nappies, solving sodoku puzzles, reading newspapers and adjusting their spreadsheets, I was stealthing through a pirate camp opening lockboxes, improving my picklock skill and searching for a chest which supposedly shall drop a nice dagger.

    In-flight grinding

  • Marry, sir, he hath offended the law: and, sir, we take him to be a thief too, sir; for we have found upon him, sir, a strange picklock, which we have sent to the deputy.

    Measure for Measure

  • Redoubling, then, the active energy of his thrusts, favoured by the fervid appetite of my motions, the soft oiled wards can no longer stand so effectual a picklock, but yield, and open him an entrance.

    Fanny Hill: Memoirs of a Woman of Pleasure

  • While the policeman read it intently, Ollie slipped out his picklock, slipped out of the handcuffs, and slipped out of sight.

    The Welkening

  • Its right side was a gray stone room with a crude padlock, which might hold back a picklock for half a minute.

    Analog Science Fiction and Fact


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