Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A mid-air position in sports such as diving and gymnastics in which the athlete bends to touch the feet or grab the calves or back of the thighs while keeping the legs together and straight.
  • noun A spike or sharp point, as on the tip of a spear.
  • noun A hill with a pointed summit.
  • noun A turnpike.
  • noun A tollgate on a turnpike.
  • noun A toll paid.
  • intransitive verb To move quickly.
  • idiom (come down the pike) To come into prominence.
  • noun A long spear formerly used by infantry.
  • transitive verb To attack or pierce with a pike.
  • noun A freshwater game and food fish (Esox lucius) of the Northern Hemisphere that has a long snout and attains a length of over 1.2 meters (4 feet).
  • noun Any of various fishes closely related to this fish, such as the muskellunge or the pickerels.
  • noun Any of various fishes that resemble this fish.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • To pick or pluck.
  • To pick or choose; select; cull.
  • To bring to a point; taper.
  • To pick or peck, as a hawk smoothing its feathers.
  • noun A turnpike; a turnpike road.
  • To go rapidly.
  • An obsolete form of pick, pitch.
  • To peep; peek.
  • noun An obsolete form of pique.
  • noun A fish of the genus Esox, or of the family Esocidæ.
  • noun Some other slender fish with a long snout, or otherwise resembling the pike proper (def. 1).
  • noun The common pickerel, Esox reticulatus.
  • noun The lizard-fish, Synodus fætens.
  • noun A chilodopterid fish, Dinolestes lewini.
  • To bet very small amounts here and there all over the lay-out, usually following in the wake of some player who is betting heavily.
  • noun A sharp point; a spike. Specifically ,
  • noun A thorn; a prickle.
  • noun The pointed end of a shoe, such as were formerly in fashion, called piked shoon, cra-cows, etc. See cut under cracow.
  • noun A staff or shaft having at the end a sharp point or tip, usually of iron or steel.
  • noun A sharp-pointed weapon consisting of a long shaft or handle with an iron head. It has been in use from ancient times, but the word dates apparently from the fifteenth century. About that period, and for some time later, it was the arm of a large part of the infantry, and was from 15 to 20 feet long. It continued in use, although reduced in length, throughout the seventeenth century, and was replaced by the bayonet as the latter was improved. It was retained in the British army until a very late date as a mere ensign of rank. (See half-pike and spontoon.) The pike has always been the arm of hastily levied and unequipped soldiers; thousands were used in the French revolution. Such pikes have usually a round conical head, a mere ferrule of thin iron bent into that form, but long, sharp-pointed, and formidable. The pike of regular warfare had sometimes a round, sometimes a flat or spear-like head.
  • noun A weapon which replaced for a short time the simple pointed pike; it had an ax-blade on one side and a pointed beak or hook on the other. In this form it was retained in the French army as a badge of rank as late as the first empire.
  • noun A pitchfork used by farmers.
  • noun A sharp-pointed hill or mountain summit; a peak.
  • noun A point of land; a gore.
  • noun A large cock of hay.
  • noun Same as pikeman, 1.
  • noun A measure of length, originally based on the length of the weapon so called.
  • noun A piker.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun (Mil.) A foot soldier's weapon, consisting of a long wooden shaft or staff, with a pointed steel head. It is now superseded by the bayonet.
  • noun A pointed head or spike; esp., one in the center of a shield or target.
  • noun Obs. or Prov. Eng. A hayfork.
  • noun Prov. Eng. A pick.
  • noun rare A pointed or peaked hill.
  • noun Prov. Eng. A large haycock.
  • noun A turnpike; a toll bar.
  • noun (Zoöl.) A large fresh-water fish (Esox lucius), found in Europe and America, highly valued as a food fish; -- called also pickerel, gedd, luce, and jack.

Etymologies

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

[Probably from pike (from the resemblance of the position to the fish's head ).]

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

[Middle English, from Old English pīc.]

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

[Middle English, possibly of Scandinavian origin.]

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

[Short for turnpike.]

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

[French pique, from Old French, from piquer, to prick; see pique.]

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

[Middle English, perhaps from Old English pīc, sharp point (from its shape).]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Perhaps a special use of Etymology 1, above; or from an early Scandinavian language, compare Norwegian pik ("summit").

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Middle French pique ("long thrusting weapon"), from Old French pic ("sharp point"), and from Old English pīc ("pointed object, pick axe"), ultimately a variant form of pick, with meaning narrowed.

Examples

  • IV. iii.27 (` is rest to do more exploits with his mace than a morris pike] [W: a Maurice-pike] This conjecture is very ingenious, yet the commentator talks unnecessarily of the _rest of a musket. _ by which he makes the hero of the speech set up the _rest_ of a _musket, _ to do exploits with a _pike.

    Notes to Shakespeare — Volume 01: Comedies

  • The stimulus money coming down the pike is a great opportunity for local governments and transit agencies to try to make the case for funding important priorities.

    Matthew Yglesias » WMATA Stimulus

  • The version I ate in Helsinki was made with what they call pike-perch, but any sustainable white-fleshed fish that holds together well can be used.

    Nigel Slater's salmon and dill soup, and tomato fish broth recipes

  • One of the best thing to come down the pike is the internet.

    A Farewell Note From a Departing Yahoo - Bits Blog - NYTimes.com

  • The infantry have for their defense a breast plate of iron, and for offense a lance nine armlengths long, which they call a pike, and a sword at their side, rather round in the point than sharp.

    The Art of War

  • Father made him what he called a pike net which had two wings.

    The Bark Covered House

  • Father made him what he called a pike net which had two wings.

    The Bark Covered House

  • By the way, "pike" is short for "turnpike," which comes from the old word "pike" meaning spear, or pointed wood shaft.

    lulu lumens

  • By the way, "pike" is short for "turnpike," which comes from the old word "pike" meaning spear, or pointed wood shaft.

    a stream made the canyon

  • After cleaning a catch of October northern pike from a SW Colorado lake, I put the remains in front of my game cam to see what critters show up.

    October Trail Cam Contest

Comments

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  • "Pike" by Ted Hughes.

    December 9, 2007