Definition of picnic in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈpɪknɪk/


1An occasion when a packed meal is eaten outdoors, especially during an outing to the countryside: we swam and went on picnics
More example sentences
  • In the summer, the most popular forms of relaxation are trips to the beach and picnics in the countryside, where they roast meat and vegetables over open fires.
  • As with almost all American holidays, it had become a day for feasting, for picnics and barbecues, for BIG SALES!
  • When they did visit, they took the train to Argyll under police escort and their grandmother took them fishing or for picnics in the country.
outdoor meal, al fresco meal, barbecue;
garden party
informal barbie
French fête champêtre, déjeuner sur l'herbe;
North American  clambake, cookout, burgoo;
New Zealand  hangi;
South African  braaivleis
1.1A packed meal eaten outdoors: we packed up a picnic and went to the reservoir
More example sentences
  • It's not enough that I pack the picnics and attempt to eradicate ineradicable grass stains; my lack of interest in sport is treated as a risible absence of general knowledge.
  • Tonight, people and their picnics will pack out the park to relax to the sounds of the Proms and the sights of the firework spectacular.
  • Organised people pack a picnic, but for the rest of us, it's quite enough to get out of our weekend beds early enough to arrive before the gates close.

verb (picnics, picnicking, picnicked)

[no object]
Have or take part in a picnic: in summer they picnicked on the beach
More example sentences
  • The visitors, lured by the intrigue of the island's rich monastic history, will spend the day exploring and picnicking on golden beaches.
  • Filming in late summer, the Pride cast picnicked and swam naked in the lake between takes.
  • I have never really walked on the beach, picnicked, or even just talked for hours.


be no picnic

informal Be difficult or unpleasant: being a freelance was no picnic
More example sentences
  • Coordinating everyone's schedules and demands was no picnic.
  • Life was no picnic but you learn never to give in.
  • Certainly it seemed the life of a Barrier Reef turtle was no picnic.
easy task, easy job, child's play, five-finger exercise, gift, walkover, nothing, sinecure, gravy train
informal doddle, walk in the park, piece of cake, money for old rope, money for jam, cinch, breeze, sitter, kids' stuff, cushy job/number, doss, cakewalk, pushover
North American informal duck soup, snap
Australian/New Zealand informal bludge, snack
South African informal a piece of old tackie
British vulgar slang a piece of piss
dated snip



Pronunciation: /ˈpɪknɪkə/
Example sentences
  • Monday was sunny and warm, perfect weather for strolling along the river without needing to dodge the weekend crowds of inebriated picnickers.
  • With stretches of white sandy beaches, clear waters and diverse coral reefs, this is an ideal spot for rookie divers as well as for snorkelers and picnickers.
  • The road is pastoral, edged with fruit stands and vineyards, jammed with tour buses and picnickers when the sun shines.


Example sentences
  • It used to be an even more picnicky event, with the old Satay Club across the road from the Padang.
  • Mom was in town, and we'd planned a late-summer picnicky dinner complete with all the things she can't get back in Oklahoma, that friendly land of oil pumps, chicken-fried steak, and strip malls.
  • Coolers do the job but don't look very picnicky.


Mid 18th century (denoting a social event at which each guest contributes a share of the food): from French pique-nique, of unknown origin.

  • A picnic was originally a fashionable social event at which each guest contributed food, something like the American pot luck supper, but it fairly rapidly became a term for an outdoor meal. Both senses are found in the French original pique-nique. This was probably formed from piquer ‘to pick’ and nique ‘nothing whatsoever’.

Words that rhyme with picnic


For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: pic¦nic

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