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pi·ca 1

a. A printer's unit of type size, equal to 12 points or about 1/6 of an inch.
b. An equivalent unit of composition measurement used in determining the dimensions of lines, illustrations, or printed pages.
2. A type size for typewriters, providing ten characters to the inch.

[Probably from Medieval Latin pīca, list of church services (perhaps from the typeface used to print it).]

pi·ca 2

A psychiatric disorder characterized by the compulsive eating of nonfood substances, such as soil, clay, ice, or hair.

[New Latin pīca, from Latin, magpie (from its omnivorous nature).]


1. (Printing, Lithography & Bookbinding) Also called: em or pica em a printer's unit of measurement, equal to 12 points or 0.166 ins
2. (Printing, Lithography & Bookbinding) (formerly) a size of printer's type equal to 12 point
3. (Printing, Lithography & Bookbinding) a typewriter type size having 10 characters to the inch
[C15: 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]


(Pathology) pathol an abnormal craving to ingest substances such as clay, dirt, or hair, sometimes occurring during pregnancy, in persons with chlorosis, etc
[C16: from medical Latin, from Latin: magpie, being an allusion to its omnivorous feeding habits]


(ˈpaɪ kə)

n., pl. -cas.
1. a 12-point type of a size between small pica and English.
2. the depth of this type size as a unit of linear measurement for type, pages containing type, etc.; one sixth of an inch.
3. a 12-point type, widely used for typewriters, having 10 characters to the inch. Compare elite (def. 4).
[1580–90; appar. < Medieval Latin pīca collection of church rules, literally, pie2, on the model of other type sizes, as brevier and canon, orig. used in printing liturgical books]


(ˈpaɪ kə)

an abnormal appetite or craving for substances that are not fit to eat, as chalk or clay.
[1555–65; < New Latin, figurative use of Latin pīca jay, magpie, with ref. to its omnivorous feeding]


A unit of length, used by printers, approximately equal to 1⁄6 in.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.pica - an eating disorder, frequent in children, in which non-nutritional objects are eaten persistently
geophagia, geophagy - eating earth, clay, chalk; occurs in some primitive tribes, sometimes in cases of nutritional deficiency or obsessive behavior
eating disorder - a disorder of the normal eating routine
2.pica - a linear unit (1/6 inch) used in printing
linear measure, linear unit - a unit of measurement of length
in, inch - a unit of length equal to one twelfth of a foot
point - a linear unit used to measure the size of type; approximately 1/72 inch
en, nut - half the width of an em
3.Pica - magpies
bird genus - a genus of birds
Corvidae, family Corvidae - crow; raven; rook; jackdaw; chough; magpie; jay
magpie - long-tailed black-and-white crow that utters a raucous chattering call


[ˈpaɪkə] N (Med, Vet) → pica f (Typ) → cícero m


n. pica, deseo insaciable de ingerir sustancias que no son comestibles.
References in classic literature ?
The reading-matter is compressed into two hundred and five small-pica lines, and is lighted up with eight pica headlines.
Such was the excitement, that the Parker's Falls Gazette anticipated its regular day of publication, and came out with half a form of blank paper and a column of double pica emphasized with capitals, and headed HORRID MURDER OF MR.
Cats with pica may eat a wide variety of items, including plastic, wood, rubber, wool, paper, and items of clothing; and while a number of potential causes, including boredom, premature separation from the queen, anxiety, nutritional deficiencies, and obsessive-compulsive disorder have been proposed, no definitive cause has been identified.
A global company in the pension reinsurance market, PICA has done over USD45bn in international reinsurance transactions since 2011, including the largest longevity risk transfer transaction on record, a USD27.
Phase two could utilise a further three hectares of land at Bryn Pica, currently allocated for future development.
Cittarium pica (Linnaeus, 1758) es un gasteropodo marino que habita en la zona intermareal de los litorales rocosos del Gran Caribe (Bell, 1992; Toller & Gordon, 2005).
Burrill Green and PICA Corporation founders, David Burrill and Vincent Volpi respectively, first met at an inaugural cybercrime congress in Brussels in 2006, and have enjoyed co-operating ever since.
This is part of the mission of PICA, where it aspires to promote positive international interaction with the Palestinian Cause, and to create a more equitable world through international cooperation and development.
Although the causes of pica are unknown, pica during pregnancy has been linked to both physiological and psychological impairments.
Saltzman type III PTAs arise from the internal carotid and terminate directly in the SCA (type IIIa), AICA (type IIIb), or PICA (type IIIc) without interposition of the basilar artery (Table 1).
The larger company violated the terms of intellectual property that it had hired PICA to help it snuff out of its sales channel.
CONCLUSION: The cause of pica remains unclear 5The postulated explanations include variances of cultural or folk medicine practice, nutritional deficiencies such as zinc or iron, psychiatric disturbances, sensory appeal (enjoying the smell, texture, or taste of the item), starvation, or a combination of these factors.