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

  • n. A long spear formerly used by infantry.
  • transitive v. To attack or pierce with a pike.
  • n. 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). Also called northern pike.
  • n. Any of various similar or related fishes.
  • n. A turnpike.
  • n. A tollgate on a turnpike.
  • n. A toll paid.
  • intransitive v. To move quickly.
  • idiom come down the pike Slang To come into prominence: "a policy . . . allowing for little flexibility if an important new singer comes down the pike” ( Christian Science Monitor).
  • n. Chiefly British A hill with a pointed summit.
  • n. A spike or sharp point, as on the tip of a spear.
  • n. 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.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A very long thrusting spear used two-handed by infantry both for attacks on enemy foot soldiers and as a counter-measure against cavalry assaults. The pike is not intended to be thrown.
  • n. A sharp point, such as that of the weapon.
  • n. Any carnivorous freshwater fish of the genus Esox, especially the northern pike, Esox lucius.
  • n. A turnpike.
  • n. A pointy extrusion at the toe of a shoe, found in old-fashioned footwear.
  • n. A dive position with knees straight and a tight bend at the hips.
  • v. To attack, prod, or injure someone with a pike.
  • v. To quit or back out of a promise.
  • n. A mountain peak or summit.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. 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 It is now superseded by the bayonet.
  • n. A pointed head or spike; esp., one in the center of a shield or target.
  • n. A hayfork.
  • n. A pick.
  • n. A pointed or peaked hill.
  • n. A large haycock.
  • n. A turnpike; a toll bar.
  • n. 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.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • 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.
  • To go rapidly.
  • An obsolete form of pick, pitch.
  • To peep; peek.
  • 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.
  • n. A sharp point; a spike. Specifically ,
  • n. A thorn; a prickle.
  • n. The pointed end of a shoe, such as were formerly in fashion, called piked shoon, cra-cows, etc. See cut under cracow.
  • n. A staff or shaft having at the end a sharp point or tip, usually of iron or steel.
  • n. 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.
  • n. 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.
  • n. A pitchfork used by farmers.
  • n. A sharp-pointed hill or mountain summit; a peak.
  • n. A point of land; a gore.
  • n. A large cock of hay.
  • n. Same as pikeman, 1.
  • n. A measure of length, originally based on the length of the weapon so called.
  • n. A fish of the genus Esox, or of the family Esocidæ.
  • n. Some other slender fish with a long snout, or otherwise resembling the pike proper (def. 1).
  • n. The common pickerel, Esox reticulatus.
  • n. The lizard-fish, Synodus fætens.
  • n. A turnpike; a turnpike road.
  • n. An obsolete form of pique.
  • n. A chilodopterid fish, Dinolestes lewini.
  • n. A piker.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. highly valued northern freshwater fish with lean flesh
  • n. a sharp point (as on the end of a spear)
  • n. any of several elongate long-snouted freshwater game and food fishes widely distributed in cooler parts of the northern hemisphere
  • n. a broad highway designed for high-speed traffic
  • n. medieval weapon consisting of a spearhead attached to a long pole or pikestaff; superseded by the bayonet


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

French pique, from Old French, from piquer, to prick; see pique.
Middle English, perhaps from Old English pīc, sharp point (from its shape).
Short for turnpike.
Middle English, possibly of Scandinavian origin.
Middle English, from Old English pīc.
Perhaps from pike2.

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.

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").


  • 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

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

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  • 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

  • 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

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

    lulu lumens

  • 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.

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  • Oh, yeah, and then there's the "Big Brother" edict that came down the pike from the plan last month.

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  • Yes | No | Report from jay wrote 35 weeks 5 days ago steve182 -- that antler tag doesn't look like an illinois tag. btw, from a guy that owns private land in pike county, the outfitters have devastated the county and bucks like these are very hard to come by anymore; use to be run of the mill 15 years ago.

    Whitetail Geography Quiz


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  • "Pike" by Ted Hughes.

    December 9, 2007