Main definitions of pike in English

: pike1pike2pike3pike4pike5

pike1

noun

  • 1A long-bodied predatory freshwater fish with a pointed snout and large teeth, of both Eurasia and North America.

    • ‘After debating the merits of fishing for grayling or the pike, we chose to fly fish for the pike.’
    • ‘There are herring and cod in the outer archipelago, but within casting range of land the fish are mostly fresh-water - perch, bream, pike, and zander.’
    • ‘The main courses are dominated by marine and freshwater fish, including the ubiquitous pike; or else game - rabbit, pheasant and duck.’
    • ‘Being the main apex predator found in freshwaters, pike are not as common as other fish.’
    • ‘Paul contacted the Environment Agency and Yorkshire Water, which are now investigating the cause of the deaths of a number of fish including pike, eels and roach.’
    1. 1.1Used in names of predatory fish with large teeth other than the true pike, e.g. garpike.
      • ‘It can save you lots of time reeling in grass pike, and a pocket full of money on lost baits, if you invest in a couple weed less baits for your tackle box.’
      • ‘The department may designate certain waters in which a rubber or spring propelled spear may be used for the taking of carp, dogfish, garpike, and suckers.’
      • ‘The long-nosed garpike is common everywhere in shallow water.’

Origin

Middle English: from pike (because of the fish's pointed jaw).

Pronunciation:

pike

/pʌɪk/

Main definitions of pike in English

: pike1pike2pike3pike4pike5

pike2

noun

  • 1historical An infantry weapon with a pointed steel or iron head on a long wooden shaft.

    • ‘Dixira stopped abruptly, his nose inches from the wooden shafts of the pikes.’
    • ‘Bronze and iron weapons were initially obtained from the continent, but soon the Japanese were making their own weapons such as swords, pikes, and spears.’
    • ‘The invention and proliferation of the ring bayonet in the 1690s led to the disappearance of the pike as a standard infantry weapon.’
    • ‘They use pikes and heavy cutlasses in a practical, serious manner.’
    • ‘Vast quantities of clothing, gunpowder, pikes, halberds, swords, and muskets poured out of the workshops of the metropolis.’
    blade, knife, sword, spear, lance, pike, javelin, shaft, harpoon
    View synonyms
  • 2Northern English (in names of hills in the Lake District) a hill with a peaked top.

    ‘Scafell Pike’
    • ‘Many people walk up Scafell Pike each day - but beware of following the crowd!’
    • ‘Although the lowest of the three country tops of Scotland, Wales and England, Scafell Pike is perhaps the hardest to get to.’
    • ‘At 978 metres (3209 feet), Scafell Pike is the highest mountain in England. It is located in the Lake District National Park in Cumbria.’
    high ground, rising ground, prominence, eminence, elevation, rise, hillock, mound, mount, knoll, hummock, tor, tump, fell, pike, mesa
    View synonyms

verb

[WITH OBJECT]historical
  • Kill or thrust (someone) through with a pike.

    ‘many prisoners were taken out and piked’

Origin

Early 16th century: from French pique, back-formation from piquer pierce, from pic pick, pike; compare with Old English pīc ‘point, prick’ (of unknown origin). pike is apparently of Scandinavian origin; compare with West Norwegian dialect pīk pointed mountain.

Pronunciation:

pike

/pʌɪk/

Main definitions of pike in English

: pike1pike2pike3pike4pike5

pike3

noun

North american
  • short for turnpike
    • ‘Towns and cities along the pike began to spring up to provide comforts for weary travelers heading west. Modern travelers of the Historic National Pike will find communities proud of their vibrant heritage.’
    • ‘The National Road becomes known as the National Pike, as some of the states erect toll houses to collect fees from those using the Pike.’
    • ‘Maryland's Baltimore to Cumberland section of the Historic National Road was designated the Historic National Pike.’

Pronunciation:

pike

/pʌɪk/

Main definitions of pike in English

: pike1pike2pike3pike4pike5

pike4

noun

  • [often as modifier] A jackknife position in diving or gymnastics.

    • ‘A good freestyle turn should be started in a pike position.’
    • ‘Semi-final leader Blanik performed a very strong Tsukahara double pike, but appeared to land low on his piked handspring double front.’
    • ‘Now bring the ball closer to your hands by bending at the waist until you achieve an inverted pike position.’
    • ‘As a beginner the whole idea is to hang on the pole for as long as possible and gradually practise kicking up your feet into a pike position.’
    • ‘Chusovitina's full-twisting front somersault vault in open pike position earned her first place on that event.’

Origin

1920s: of unknown origin.

Pronunciation:

pike

/pʌɪk/

Main definitions of pike in English

: pike1pike2pike3pike4pike5

pike5

verb

[NO OBJECT]Australian, NZ
informal
  • 1Withdraw from or go back on (a plan or agreement).

    • ‘Jack says: ‘When you're on a promise to someone you can't pike out.’’
    • ‘However I am fighting an almost overwhelming desire to pike out and spend the weekend under the duvet eating chocolate.’
    • ‘Then I thought ‘Oh well, there go all my readers overly-protected by various ‘inappropriate content’ filters ’, such as are found in all too many libraries, so I piked out.’
    • ‘John and James pike out leaving me and Rick to head up to the bar to get a couple of drinks before heading to bed.’
  • 2Let (someone) down.

    • ‘I might pike on things on the weekend so I can work on my birthday dress.’
    pull out of, back out of, beg off, bow out of, scratch from
    View synonyms

Origin

Late Middle English (as pike oneself ‘take up a pilgrim's staff’): compare with Danish pigge af hasten off. The current senses date from the mid 20th century.

Pronunciation:

pike

/pʌɪk/