Main definitions of pica in English

: pica1pica2

pica1

noun

Printing
  • 1A unit of type size and line length equal to 12 points (about 1/6 inch or 4.2 mm)

    • ‘For high resolution pictures, you will need to find a minimum photo size, in inches or picas, that your publisher wants for publication.’
    • ‘You can control the property with percentages, as I have done here, or with ems, exs, inches, picas, centimeters, millimeters or pixels (px).’
    • ‘Newsprint folks have to consider points and picas.’
    • ‘This requires that the editor read with a pica ruler and a calculator, a weird and not particularly pleasant way to read poetry.’
    • ‘Text that previously sat 12 picas wide now could fit in an 11 pica wide column.’
    1. 1.1 A size of letter in typewriting, with 10 characters to the inch (about 3.9 to the centimeter)
      • ‘The paper should be typed in pica (10 characters per inch) or elite (12 characters per inch).’
      • ‘But another suspicious aspect to me was that it had been typed in "pica" typeface rather than the smaller "elite" typeface that was used in all the office letters that I had obtained from the Library archives.’
      • ‘All matter to be reproduced by Xerography or a similar process shall be typed in pica type, double-spaced.’
      • ‘If you are (still) using a typewriter, it doesn't matter whether your work is typed in pica (10 characters per inch) or elite (12 per inch) typeface.’
      • ‘The standard font and margins were agreed upon because early scripts were typed in pica with one-inch margins.’

Origin

Late 16th century: from Anglo-Latin pica (literally ‘magpie’), commonly identified with a 15th-century book of rules about Church feasts, but no edition of such a pica printed in ‘pica’ type is known.

Pronunciation

pica

/ˈpīkə//ˈpaɪkə/

Main definitions of pica in English

: pica1pica2

pica2

noun

Medicine
  • A tendency or craving to eat substances other than normal food (such as clay, plaster, or ashes), occurring during childhood or pregnancy, or as a symptom of disease.

    • ‘In addition, childhood behaviors like repetitive hand-to-mouth activity and pica predispose the child to ingestion.’
    • ‘Other studies note an association between pica and addiction or addictive behaviors.’
    • ‘This tendency was aggravated by apparent pica (an abnormal craving) that prompted him at various times to inhale the terpene camphor and to ingest other products containing terpenes, namely his oil paints and turpentine.’
    • ‘Some pregnant women, for example, have stopped eating nonfood items after they were treated for iron deficiency anemia, a common condition among pregnant women with pica.’
    • ‘Rarely, a person with iron-deficiency anemia may experience pica, a craving to eat nonfood items such as paint chips, chalk, or dirt.’

Origin

Mid 16th century: modern Latin, from Latin, literally ‘magpie’, probably translating Greek kissa ‘magpie’, also ‘false appetite’.

Pronunciation

pica

/ˈpīkə//ˈpaɪkə/