/pikt/, n.
a member of an ancient people of uncertain origin who inhabited parts of northern Britain, fought against the Romans, and in the 9th century A.D. united with the Scots.
[bef. 900; back formation from ME Pictes (pl.) < L Picti lit., painted ones, pl. of pictus, ptp. of pingere to PAINT; r. ME Peghttes, OE Peohtas, Pihtas L, as above]

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Any member of an ancient people of what is now eastern and northeastern Scotland.

The name (from Latin picti, "painted") referred to their body painting or tattooing. They were probably descended from pre-Celtic peoples. They attacked Hadrian's Wall in 297 and warred constantly with the Romans. They united their two kingdoms by the 7th century and converted to Christianity, and in 843 Kenneth I, king of the Scots, included them in the kingdom of Alba, later Scotland.

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      (possibly from Latin picti, “painted”), one of an ancient people who lived in what is now eastern and northeastern Scotland, from Caithness to Fife. Their name may refer to their custom of body painting or possibly tattooing.

      The origin of the Picts is uncertain; some evidence suggests that they were descendants of pre-Celtic aborigines, but some linguistic evidence suggests they spoke a Celtic language. The Picts were first noticed in AD 297, when a Roman writer spoke of the “Picts and Irish [Scots] attacking” Hadrian's Wall. Their warfare with the Romans during the occupation was almost continual. By the 7th century there was a united “Pict-land,” which already had been penetrated by Christianity. In 843, Kenneth I MacAlpin, king of the Scots (centred in Argyll and Bute), became also king of the Picts, uniting their two lands in a new kingdom of Alba, which evolved into Scotland.

      The Pictish kingdom is notable for the stylized but vigorous beauty of its carved memorial stones and crosses. The round stone towers known as brochs, or “Pictish towers,” and the underground stone houses called weems, or “Picts' houses,” however, both predate this kingdom.

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Universalium. 2010.

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  • Pict — an ancient people of Great Britain, late 14c., from L.L. Picti (late 3c., probably a nickname given them by Roman soldiers), usually taken as derived from picti painted, but probably ultimately from the Celtic name of the tribe, perhaps Pehta,… …   Etymology dictionary

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  • Pict — [pikt] n. [LME Pictes, pl. < LL Picti (lit. ? painted people) > OE Peohtas] a member of an ancient people of Great Britain that was driven into Scotland by the Britons and the Romans …   English World dictionary

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  • Pict — Picts Picts, n. pl.; sing. {Pict}. [L. Picti; cf. AS. Peohtas.] (Ethnol.) A race of people of uncertain origin, who inhabited Scotland in early times. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

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