What does pica mean?

Definitions for picaˈpaɪ kə

Here are all the possible meanings and translations of the word pica.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. pica(noun)

    an eating disorder, frequent in children, in which non-nutritional objects are eaten persistently

  2. em, pica em, pica(noun)

    a linear unit (1/6 inch) used in printing

  3. Pica, genus Pica(noun)


Webster Dictionary

  1. Pica(noun)

    the genus that includes the magpies

  2. Pica(noun)

    a vitiated appetite that craves what is unfit for food, as chalk, ashes, coal, etc.; chthonophagia

  3. Pica(noun)

    a service-book. See Pie

  4. Pica(noun)

    a size of type next larger than small pica, and smaller than English


  1. Pica

    Pica is characterized by an appetite for substances largely non-nutritive, such as clay, chalk, dirt, or sand. For these actions to be considered pica, they must persist for more than one month at an age where eating such objects is considered developmentally inappropriate. There are different variations of pica, as it can be from a cultural tradition, acquired taste or a neurological mechanism such as an iron deficiency, or chemical imbalance. It can lead to intoxication in children which can result in an impairment in both physical and mental development. In addition, it can also lead to surgical emergencies due to an intestinal obstruction as well as more subtle symptoms such as nutritional deficiencies and parasitosis. Pica has been linked to mental disorders and they often have psychotic comorbidity. Stressors such as maternal deprivation, family issues, parental neglect, pregnancy, poverty, and a disorganized family structure are strongly linked to pica. Pica is more commonly seen in women and children, where it affects people of all ages in these subgroups. Particularly it is seen in pregnant women, small children, and those with developmental disabilities such as autism. Children eating painted plaster containing lead may suffer brain damage from lead poisoning. There is a similar risk from eating dirt near roads that existed prior to the phaseout of tetraethyllead in petrol or prior to the cessation of the use of contaminated oil to settle dust. In addition to poisoning, there is also a much greater risk of gastro-intestinal obstruction or tearing in the stomach. Another risk of dirt-eating is the ingestion of animal feces and accompanying parasites. Pica can also be found in other animals and is most commonly found in dogs.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Pica

    pī′ka, n. a size of type smaller than English and larger than Small pica, equal to 12 points in the new system of sizes, about 6 lines to the inch, used by printers as a standard unit of measurement for thickness and length of leads, rules, borders, &c.—as 6-to-pica or 10-to-pica, according as 6 or 10 leads set together make a line of pica.—Double pica, a size equal to 2 lines of small pica; Double small pica, a size of type giving about 3⅓ lines to the inch; Small pica, a size smaller than pica and larger than long-primer, about 11 points; Two-line pica, a size of about 3 lines to the inch, equal to 2 lines of pica, or to 24 points. [Pie (2).]

  2. Pica

    pī′ka, n. a magpie. [Pie.]

U.S. National Library of Medicine

  1. Pica

    The persistent eating of nonnutritive substances for a period of at least one month. (DSM-IV)

Suggested Resources

  1. pica

    The pica symbol -- In this Symbols.com article you will learn about the meaning of the pica symbol and its characteristic.

  2. PICA

    What does PICA stand for? -- Explore the various meanings for the PICA acronym on the Abbreviations.com website.


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of pica in Chaldean Numerology is: 4

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of pica in Pythagorean Numerology is: 2

Images & Illustrations of pica

  1. picapicapica

Translations for pica

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