• Two children having a picnic
    Two children having a picnic
  • WordNet 3.6
    • v picnic eat alfresco, in the open air "We picnicked near the lake on this gorgeous Sunday"
    • n picnic any undertaking that is easy to do "marketing this product will be no picnic"
    • n picnic any informal meal eaten outside or on an excursion
    • n picnic a day devoted to an outdoor social gathering
    • ***

Additional illustrations & photos:

The friends' picnic is spoiled by the rain The friends' picnic is spoiled by the rain
William cycling over the picnic-blanket William cycling over the picnic-blanket

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: There is a type of coffin made that can be used as a wine rack or picnic table before its final use
    • n Picnic Formerly, an entertainment at which each person contributed some dish to a common table; now, an excursion or pleasure party in which the members partake of a collation or repast (usually in the open air, and from food carried by themselves).
    • v. i Picnic To go on a picnic, or pleasure excursion; to eat in public fashion.
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
  • Interesting fact: According to company lore, Ole Evinrude, a Norwegian immigrant, got the idea for an outboard motor while on a picnic with his sweetheart Bessie. They were on a small island in Lake Michigan, when Bessie decided she wanted some ice cream. Ole obligingly rowed to shore to get some, but by the time he made it back the ice cream had melted. So Ole built a motor that could be attached to his rowboat, and founded the Evinrude company in 1909.
    • n picnic Formerly, an entertainment in which every partaker contributed his share to the general table; now, an entertainment or pleasure-party the members of which carry provisions with them on an excursion, as from a city to some place in the country: also used adjectively: as, a picnic party; picnic biscuits (a kind of small sweet biscuits).
    • picnic To attend a picnic party; take part in a picnic meal: as, we picnicked in the woods.
    • n picnic Something undeniably good or easy; a ‘soft thing’; a snug berth; a treat; an easy job.
    • n picnic A lively, difficult, or awkard experience.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • n Picnic pik′nik a short excursion into the country by a pleasure-party who take their own provisions with them: an entertainment in the open air, towards which each person contributes
    • v.i Picnic to go on a picnic:—pr.p. pic′nicking; pa.t. and pa.p. pic′nicked
    • ***


  • Bill Vaughan
    Bill Vaughan
    “When the insects take over the world we hope they will remember, with gratitude, how we took them along on all our picnics.”
  • Bill Anderson
    Bill Anderson
    “If the wolf had ever come to our back door, he'd have had to bring a picnic lunch.”


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
Cf. F. piquenique,. See Pick (v.), and cf. Knickknack


In literature:

He said that in Boston all women wore them, especially when they were out on excursions, or picnics.
"Peck's Sunshine Being a Collection of Articles Written for Peck's Sun, Milwaukee, Wis. - 1882" by George W. Peck
The picnic party went about its business unaware of the wonderful thing transacting in their very presence.
"The Adventures of Bobby Orde" by Stewart Edward White
Susie was talking eagerly about a great picnic which Mrs. Haddo had arranged for the following Saturday.
"Betty Vivian" by L. T. Meade
Somebody suggested asking the lady from Philadelphia, as the picnic was got up for her.
"The Peterkin Papers" by Lucretia P Hale
One day, toward the end of a very fine May, the girls were all to go for a picnic to some woods about four miles away.
"A World of Girls" by L. T. Meade
We want to have a midnight picnic.
"Girls of the Forest" by L. T. Meade
Let us follow the Australian child on his picnic and see something of the Australian Bush, also of an Australian home.
"Peeps At Many Lands: Australia" by Frank Fox
A picnic undertaken from Jerusalem must in some respects be unlike any picnic elsewhere.
"The Bertrams" by Anthony Trollope
I've lost that picnic for you all, for I don't believe she will let us have it now.
"Five Little Peppers at School" by Margaret Sidney
Kitty's going to have a picnic on the creek bank for her.
"The Little Colonel's Christmas Vacation" by Annie Fellows Johnston

In poetry:

"For picnics and for rambles
A polished buttercup.
If hats were made of flowers,
How people would dress up!"
"June" by Nancy Byrd Turner
A hasty jest I once let fall—
As jests are wont to be, untrue—
As if the sum of joy to you
Were hunt and picnic, rout and ball.
"To G.A.G." by Charles Kingsley
All evening the marsh is a slick pool
Where dream wild hares, witch hazel, pretty girls.
"Up from the important picnic of a fool
Those rotted asters!" Eddy on eddy swirls
"Idiot" by Allen Tate
A pile of picnic scraps, 'tis true,
Can raise a mild commotion.
But what of John and Jane and Sue
Mixed in a single ocean?
A sight that stabs me to the heart
Is Billo smoodging with his tart.
"The Minglers" by C J Dennis
But I ain't grouchin'. It wos worth the fun.
We 'ad some picnic stoushin' Brother 'Un-
The only fight I've 'ad that some John 'Op
Don't come an' stop.
They pulled me leg a treat, but, all the same,
There's nothing over 'ere to beat the game.
"Digger Smith" by C J Dennis
When we'd got her, new and shining, Oh the picnics that we had,
Mother shredding all her troubles, Father larking like a lad,
While we youngsters sang in chorus, as our bubbling spirits riz,
Sitting decked with ferns and wattles in the Old Tin Liz.
"Old Tin Liz" by Alice Guerin Crist

In news:

Pack a picnic and head outdoors.
Save those Chicago-style hot dogs for the next South Lawn picnic.
Memorial Day is a day for parades, picnics, and firing up the grill.
Though the word picnic has French origins ( pique-nique ), Americans have embraced the outdoor practice more enthusiastically than baguettes and Bordeaux wine, and today is even National Picnic Day.
Being a primary-care doctor is no picnic these days, with shriveling payments and swelling patient demand.
New DIY "Set-Up-Anywhere" Projection Screen for Picnics and Outdoor Events.
For after the hike, ride or climb to barbecues, concerts, picnics and lazy afternoons spent hanging outside -- here are some local beers to pair with whatever activities you have on tap this summer.
Pet costume contest with TailsSpin and 98.7 The River in Forsyth Park during the Picnic In The Park 2012.
Fennel, Arugula, & Radicchio Salad for a Picnic.
In a speech at an AFL-CIO picnic Monday, he signaled a harder line toward healthcare reform.
For us, this has turned out to be the super summer of the family picnic, and I'm lovin' it.
Tickets To The Summer Picnic.
The quintet Cafe Jam hails from Sao Paulo, and their release is perfect listening for a summer's day picnic, smooth jazz with just a pinch of the tropical.
This was the perfect spot for a picnic.
Examining the framework behind Alison Heryer's Picnic Project.

In science:

The detector is a nearinfrared InGaAs PICNIC chip, with 40µm-large pixels.
An integrated optics beam combiner for the second generation VLTI instruments
The infrared camera for the wave front calibration system contains a Teledyne Engineering grade PICNIC array, and is cooled with a Polycold Joule-Thompson cold-head + remote compressor.
A New High Contrast Imaging Program at Palomar Observatory