pickle, general term for fruits or vegetables preserved in vinegar or brine, usually with spices or sugar or both. Vegetables commonly pickled include the beet, cabbage, cauliflower, cucumber, olive, onion, pepper, and tomato. Mixed pickles include piccalilli, chowchow, mustard pickles, and chutney. Dill pickles are cucumbers matured in a brine of dill leaves and seed heads. Sweet pickles are made from various fruits or vegetables—e.g., tomatoes, cucumbers, peaches, or plums—with sugar added. Pickles have limited nutritional value and are often used as appetizers. Before the invention of refrigeration they served as a sort of winter substitute for salads. Cucumbers, the most commonly pickled of all vegetables, are placed underripe in 10% brine, allowed to undergo a lactic acid fermentation, soaked in hot water to remove excess salt, and then covered with vinegar and other ingredients. In a wider sense, a pickle is an acid or saline liquid, such as brine or saltpeter for meat, limewater or water glass for eggs, brandy for fruit, or alcohol for laboratory specimens.

Any of 1,100 species of echinoderms constituting the class Holothurioidea, found in all oceans, mostly in shallow water. The soft, cylindrical body is 0.75 in. (2 cm) to 6.5 ft (2 m) long and 0.4–8 in. (1–20 cm) thick. It is usually dull, dark, and often warty. The internal skeleton consists merely of numerous tiny bits in the skin. Most species have five rows of tube feet extending from mouth to anus. The 10 or more retractile tentacles surrounding the mouth are used for taking food (mud containing nutrients or small aquatic animals) or burrowing. Locomotion is sluglike. Seealso shellfish.

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Any of several leaf beetles (genus Diabrotica) that are important pests. They are greenish yellow, marked with black spots or stripes, and 0.1–0.5 in. (2.5–11 mm) long. The striped cucumber beetle and spotted cucumber beetle both feed on garden plants, and their larvae feed on the roots.

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Creeping plant (Cucumis sativus), of the gourd family (Cucurbitaceae), or its oblong fruit, for which it is widely cultivated. It probably originated in northern India. The plant is a tender annual with a rough, succulent, trailing stem and hairy leaves with pointed lobes; the stem bears branched tendrils by which the plant can suspend itself. The food value of the fruit is low, but its delicate flavour makes it a popular vegetable for salads and relishes.

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Pickle or pickling may refer to:


  • Pickling, the process of preserving a food by soaking and storing it in vinegar or brine, which has been going on for five thousand years.
  • Pickled cucumber, a food most commonly referred to as a pickle in the U.S. and Canada
  • Indian pickle, fruits and vegetables pickled using oil instead of vinegar
  • Tsukemono, the Japanese varieties of the pickle
  • Relish, a cooked or pickled sauce commonly referred to as pickle in the United Kingdom

Computer programming


  • Pickling (metal), a treatment of metallic surfaces in order to remove impurities, stains, rust or scale.

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