Definition of Pickwickian in English:



  • 1Of or like Mr Pickwick in Dickens's Pickwick Papers, especially in being jovial, plump, or generous.

    • ‘His Self-Portrait, seated at his easel, shows a prosperous Pickwickian figure.’
    • ‘'Genial, generous, Pickwickian in appearance', in his youth Dooley had enjoyed surfing and bush-walking, particularly in the Blue Mountains.’
    • ‘This is writing to savour; and the comedy takes on a decidedly Pickwickian flavour when Gerald later attends a village fête in his constituency, getting welly-throwing lessons from a ‘smart-alec socialist’ in ‘gold-rimmed glasses’.’
    • ‘He was five feet high, ruddily Pickwickian in appearance, utterly efficient, unoriginal and orthodox.’
    • ‘On the contrary, Carleton's hand-rubbing manner was Pickwickian in its joviality.’
    cheerful, jolly, happy, cheery, good-humoured, convivial, genial, good-natured, friendly, amiable, affable, sociable, outgoing, clubbable
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    1. 1.1 (of words) misunderstood or misused, especially to avoid offence.
      • ‘When, as in the case of the lamb, the failure is brought about by the fulfilment of something else, then indeed God can be said in a Pickwickian way to have brought about the failure, but only because he brought about the fulfilment of the lion.’
      • ‘Only by using the word in its most Pickwickian sense would I ever call myself a ‘young’ theologian.’
      • ‘This will create ‘unity’ in some Pickwickian sense understood only by liturgists.’
      • ‘We conclude that underdeveloped nations, in exporting their resources, are victims of "economic exploitation" in a Pickwickian sense only.’
      • ‘All these teachings must be taken in a Pickwickian sense.’