1. <zoology> The genus that includes the magpies.

2. <medicine> A vitiated appetite that craves what is unfit for food, as chalk, ashes, coal, etc.; chthonophagia.

3. A service-book. See Pie.

4. A size of type next larger than small pica, and smaller than English.

This line is printed in pica

Pica is twice the size of nonpareil, and is used as a standard of measurement in casting leads, cutting rules, etc, and also as a standard by which to designate several larger kinds of type, as double pica, two-line pica, four-line pica, and the like. Small pica, a size of type next larger than long primer, and smaller than pica.

This line is printed in small pica

Origin: L. Pica a pie, magpie; in sense 3 prob. Named from some resemblance to the colours of the magpie. Cf. Pie magpie.

(01 Mar 1998)

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