WordReference Random House Learner's Dictionary of American English © 2019
pi•ca1 /ˈpaɪkə/USA pronunciation   n.[countable]pl.  -cas. 
  1. Printinga size of type, widely used in typewriters, having 10 characters to the inch. Compare elite (def. 2).

WordReference Random House Unabridged Dictionary of American English © 2019
pi•ca1  (pīkə),USA pronunciation n. [Print.]
  1. Printinga 12-point type of a size between small pica and English.
  2. Printingthe depth of this type size as a unit of linear measurement for type, pages containing type, etc.;
    one sixth of an inch.
  3. Printinga 12-point type, widely used for typewriters, having 10 characters to the inch. Cf.  elite (def. 4).
  • Medieval Latin pīca pie4, on the model of brevier, canon1 (def. 14)
  • apparently 1580–90

pi•ca2  (pīkə),USA pronunciation n. [Pathol.]
  1. Pathologyan abnormal appetite or craving for substances that are not fit to eat, as chalk or clay, common in malnutrition, pregnancy, etc.
  • Neo-Latin, special use of Latin pīca jay, magpie, with ref. to its omnivorous feeding
  • 1555–65


Collins Concise English Dictionary © HarperCollins Publishers::

pica /ˈpaɪkə/ n
  1. Also called: em, pica em a printer's unit of measurement, equal to 12 points or 0.166 ins
  2. a typewriter type size having 10 characters to the inch
Etymology: 15th Century: from Anglo-Latin pīca list of ecclesiastical regulations, apparently from Latin pīca magpie, with reference to its habit of making collections of miscellaneous items; the connection between the original sense (ecclesiastical list) and the typography meanings is obscure
pica /ˈpaɪkə/ n
  1. an abnormal craving to ingest substances such as clay, dirt, or hair, sometimes occurring during pregnancy, in persons with chlorosis, etc
Etymology: 16th Century: from medical Latin, from Latin: magpie, being an allusion to its omnivorous feeding habits



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