- 1A thin piece of wood that has fallen or been cut from a tree.More example sentences
- Hayes picked up a fallen stick and twirled it idly between his fingers.
- Vito was pacing back and forth impatiently, while carrying a long stick from a tree and just whipping it around the air, making that whish sound.
- He pulled the reins to the side yanking a stick from the tree.
- 2.1A long piece of wood used for support in walking or as a weapon with which to hit someone or something.More example sentences
- Pam walked the course in about an hour using a stick for support because just a week ago she underwent an operation to remove her gall bladder.
- She is on morphine, walks with a stick and needs a gall bladder operation.
- A motorist walked with a stick as he took the stand at an inquest to describe a crash that left another driver dead.
- 2.2(In hockey, polo, and other games) a long implement, typically made of wood, with a head or blade of varying form that is used to hit or direct the ball or puck.More example sentences
- Hockey pucks and sticks are put away in favor of basketballs and baseballs.
- The man should not be playing a game that involves sticks and blades.
- Though the majority of players use one-piece sticks, the curve of the blade still often requires work.
- 2.3 [usually with modifier] A short piece of wood used to impale food: Popsicle sticksMore example sentences
- She strikes me as a no-nonsense gal, the sort of English rose, raised on tea and hockey, who'd be calm in a crisis and know how to make splints out of ice lolly sticks.
- If I were working on a larger scale I'd use a wooden lolly stick, sharpened appropriately, and dipped into Indian Ink.
- I used to sneak outside with a lolly stick and help them climb back out.
- 2.4A piece of basic furniture: every stick of furniture just vanishedMore example sentences
- We don't have a sofa, a coffee table, a mirror, a desk - not a stick of furniture to call our own.
- ‘Ceilings have collapsed, floors have been damaged and there is not a stick of furniture anywhere,’ Hine says.
- His inability to lie means that he has trouble selling a stick of furniture in his position as a salesman with the Jack Jones Office Furniture Company.
- 2.7 (the sticks) British • informal Goalposts.More example sentences
- But when it really mattered, and with an air of anticipation filling the ground, Benn calmly slotted the ball straight between the sticks from the left touchline.
- Goddard, the man with the magic touch, could do no wrong and sent the ball straight between the sticks from the touchline.
- Other clubs in the top division are not having the same crises of confidence between the sticks where there is an undisputed number one.
- 3.1A long, thin piece of something: a stick of dynamite cinnamon sticksMore example sentences
- From his other bag, where he kept the food, he took a few sticks of cinnamon, a grater, and several apples.
- There are, of course, a few sticks of gum, and I pop one in my mouth as I walk out the room.
- Sheesh, anyone would think those were real sticks of dynamite…
- 3.2US A quarter-pound rectangular block of butter or margarine.More example sentences
- Without measuring, Madeline got out a bowl and added lots of yeast, plus flour, sugar, a stick or so of butter, and quite a few eggs.
- I pictured the insides of his refrigerator being nothing but an expired carton of orange juice and a stick of butter.
- I used 1 1/4 sticks butter and that was enough to hold the bread crumbs and nuts together.
- 3.4A gear or control lever.More example sentences
- We kept losing the gears - the stick would come off in your hand in 4th and you'd have to make it home like that.
- The design is almost exactly as a million schoolboys imagine it - arms with control sticks come out from the pack and fit under my own.
- The pilot does so and lets go of the control sticks.
- 3.5(In extended and metaphorical use) a very thin person or limb: the girl was a stick her arms were like sticksMore example sentences
- His legs are like sticks, and it's hard to imagine how they will ever function properly again.
- They've got these big lollipop heads and tiny little bodies that look like sticks.
- The thighs are like sticks, shiny and straight.
- 3.6A number of bombs or paratroopers dropped rapidly from an aircraft.More example sentences
- Before she had a chance to sip away she was herself attacked by the supply ship's escorts and supporting aircraft, at least one of which dropped a stick of bombs.
- But the art of this two-track war is more than offering a care-package carrot in lieu of a stick of iron bombs.
- 4A threat of punishment or unwelcome measures (often contrasted with the offer of reward as a means of persuasion): training that relies more on the carrot than on the stickMore example sentences
- The carrot and the stick, rewards and punishments, are the most effective ways of training animals and humans.
- If car makers don't agree to move quickly, Kerry could pull out the stick: the threat of higher fuel-economy standards.
- Heaven, of course, is the carrot offered against the stick.
- 4.1British • informal Severe criticism or treatment: I took a lot of stick from the pressMore example sentences
- They normally come in for a lot of stick and criticism from the public.
- I got some severe stick for that, mostly from people who don't take the trouble to read carefully and think about the words.
- We got quite a lot of stick when we first moved there.
- 5 (the sticks) • informal • derogatory Rural areas far from cities: a small, dusty town out in the sticksMore example sentences
- If it were out in the sticks, in a provincial town, this place would do a roaring trade.
- In this particular collection he tells the story of a young boy who moves to Astro City from out in the sticks, and ends up becoming a sidekick to a superhero, The Confessor.
- True, possibly, though my experience of living out in the sticks is that the emergency services are geared to coping adequately with the distances.
- 6 [with adjective] • informal • dated A person of a specified kind: Janet’s not such a bad old stick sometimesMore example sentences
- The implication is that he wasn't such a bad old stick.
- So stop acting like a dried-up old stick and get with the program.
- I would like to have found him a wordly-wise old stick, full of reminiscence and able to paint vivid sketches of great men and great occasions.
- British • informal Go to live elsewhere.[from nautical slang to up sticks 'set up a boat's mast' (ready for departure)]More example sentences
- We've all wanted to do it - up sticks and live in the sun.
- No, the only answer is to up sticks and go elsewhere.
- In between, of course, is the story of these truly remarkable artists and how they spurned dancefloor smash after dancefloor smash, year upon year, until the record company bosses upped sticks and fled to L.A., in 1972.
- More example sentences
- In the background there were two unicorns; one was full grown and the other (with slender almost sticklike legs) looked to be half a season old.
- Painted on the wall is a succession of sticklike human figures, clearly in full running stride.
- His robes, loosely draped around his tall but sticklike figure, were trimmed in silver-blue and stood impossibly white among the sand and dirt.
Old English sticca 'peg, stick, spoon'; related to Dutch stek 'cutting from a plant' and German Stecken 'staff, stick'.
verb (pastand past participle stuck /stək/)
- 1 [with object] (stick something in/into/through) Push a sharp or pointed object into or through (something): he stuck his fork into the sausage the candle was stuck in a straw-covered bottleMore example sentences
- I grabbed my water bottle, stuck my finger in to wet it, and then dripped a small amount on my arm.
- She glanced over at the small burning candle near and stuck her finger in the wax.
- She destroyed my collages and stuck sharp objects through my notebooks when Susannah and me weren't around to stop her, which wasn't often, but often enough.
- 1.1 (stick something on) Fix something on (a point or pointed object): stick the balls of wool on knitting needlesMore example sentences
- His men decapitated an opposition fighter's corpse and stuck his head on a post as a warning.
- By the time they reach their teens, the kids will probably have exhumed my body and stuck my head on a pike.
- The recruitment sergeant reputedly stuck a havercake on the top of his bayonet as an enticement for the tykes to enlist.
- 1.2 [no object] (stick in/into/through) (Of a pointed object) be or remain fixed with its point embedded in (something): there was a slim rod sticking into the ground beside meMore example sentences
- When they are extricated, one of them is unconscious and has a steel rod sticking into his temple.
- Little flags on sticks, stuck into the ground around a tree where an informal memorial had been created by visitors.
- It came back down and stuck into the ground right between them.
- 1.3Insert, thrust, or push: a youth with a cigarette stuck behind one ear she stuck out her tongue at himMore example sentences
- The girl stuck the cigarette behind her ear like a pen, and pocketed the lighter.
- I reached into my backpack to get a pen, and stuck it behind my ear.
- I stuck my tongue out behind her back, chuckling to myself.
- 1.4 [no object] Protrude or extend in a certain direction: his front teeth stick out Sue’s hair was sticking up at all anglesMore example sentences
- Her blonde hair was messy, sticking up in all directions.
- His short hair was now messy, sticking up in different directions.
- There were boards with nails sticking up everywhere.
- 1.5Put somewhere, typically in a quick or careless way: just stick that sandwich on my deskMore example sentences
- We stuck our shoes on and went out the back to the car.
- The waitress set down a small gas range on the table, stuck an oiled tray on top, and poured on a mixture of greens and spicy chicken.
- You've turned up the heating, you've stuck an extra sweatshirt on, and still you're shivering.
- 1.6 • informal Used to express angry dismissal of a particular thing: he told them they could stick the job—he didn’t want it anywayMore example sentences
- Then got angry and told him where he could stick his job, and put the phone down, vowing that I was never going to speak to him again.
- The employer - he really deserves to be named - was told in the crudest language possible where to stick the job.
- She replied that if he really thought that, he could stick his job.
- 1.7 • informal Cause to incur an expense or loss: she stuck me for all of last month’s rentMore example sentences
- They have stuck me for $50.
- He stuck me for thousands of dollars.
- They're sticking him for $2 grand, baselessly claiming it's his fault.
- 2.1 [with object] Fasten or cause to adhere to an object or surface: she stuck the stamp on the envelopeMore example sentences
- I am about to stick a 1st class stamp on the envelope when I have the nagging feeling that it might weigh more than the 60g maximum.
- He then asked if he could borrow some tape to stick some papers together.
- Alternatively, you could cover the outside of the vase in double-sided adhesive tape, then stick large leaves vertically around it.
- 2.2Be or become fixed or jammed in one place as a result of an obstruction: he drove into a bog, where his wheels stuck fastMore example sentences
- While practicing on one of them, he noticed that mechanics of one of the keys, a high C, had gotten stuck, emitting a fixed drone.
- The ship struck the Tricolor at 7.30 yesterday evening and became stuck fast.
- Right in front of me, just below the ledge, is a second chockstone the size of a large bus tire, stuck fast in the three-foot channel between the walls.
- 2.3Remain in a static condition; fail to progress: he lost a lot of weight but had stuck at 210 poundsMore example sentences
- But the play ultimately fails, stuck somewhere between limp satire and B-grade existentialism.
- Hospital consultants have been accused of deliberately failing to tell patients stuck on waiting lists that they are entitled to free treatment elsewhere.
- Competition is keen in this particular category as it is an industry stuck firmly in the 1950s.
- 2.4 • informal Be or become convincing, established, or regarded as valid: the authorities couldn’t make the charges stick the name stuck and Anastasia she remainedMore example sentences
- The name stuck; soon came a website, and 4000 members.
- The advert was soon forgotten, but the name stuck.
- The captain named the house the Retreat, but the name never stuck and by 1853 it was known as St David's.
- 2.5(In blackjack and similar card games) decline to add to one’s hand.More example sentences
- When you have split your hand, you play the two hands one after the other - once you have stuck or gone bust on the first hand you play the second one.
- In card games, the quandary is often whether to stick or twist.
- 3 (be stuck) Be fixed in a particular position or unable to move or be moved: Sara tried to open the window but it was stuck we got stuck in a traffic jam the cat’s stuck up a treeMore example sentences
- My mind and body screamed at me but I was stuck, unable to move.
- Barton Swing Bridge at Eccles was stuck in the open position yesterday after the high temperatures caused metal to expand.
- You've been stuck in the same position for so long that you're a little cramped up.
- 3.1Be unable to progress with a task or find the answer or solution to something: I’m doing the crossword and I’m stuckMore example sentences
- On the train back, Steve and I raced each other to do the puzzles in consecutive issues of Metro, but I'm hopeless at crosswords and got stuck on mine after two clues.
- Should one get stuck on a puzzle, before looking at the solution there is the option of consulting the hints section.
- My brother in law, who fancies himself as a bit of a genius at crosswords had a go and got stuck.
- 3.2 [with adverbial of place] • informal Be or remain in a specified place or situation, typically one perceived as tedious or unpleasant: I don’t want to be stuck in an office all my lifeMore example sentences
- Amazingly I found myself laughing along with the group, even if the only reason I remained was because I was stuck at the far end with no escape.
- Fortunately he fancied the river, as it had been blazing sunshine all day and I was sick of being stuck indoors.
- I am so sick of being stuck indoors or running from heating building to car to next heated building.
- 3.3 (be stuck for) Be at a loss for or in need of: I’m not usually stuck for wordsMore example sentences
- Lea was stuck for what to do next - she could go home, stay at my place (I offered her my bed, I was going to sleep on the floor) or go to her parent's place.
- Basically I was stuck for what to call this.
- If Cavan County Council gives Quinn the go-ahead to demolish his house, he won't be stuck for somewhere to stay.
- 3.4 (be stuck with) • informal Be unable to get rid of or escape from: like it or not, she and Grant were stuck with each otherMore example sentences
lumbered with, left with, made responsible for
- They were stuck with around 1,000 dumped refrigerators they could not dispose of.
- The town is stuck with the same old ramshackle building.
- Lots of the doubt and anxiety I've been stuck with over the last few months has disappeared completely.
- 3.5 (be stuck on) • informal Be infatuated with: he’s too good for Jenny, even though she’s so stuck on himMore example sentences
infatuated with, besotted with, smitten with, (head over heels) in love with, obsessed with• informal crazy about, mad about, wild about, carrying a torch for
- She's been very direct with him, tried everything she can think of, but he's completely stuck on her.
- He never wants to lead me on, but because of that, Im stuck on him.
- I am really stuck on him and my heart is entirely dedicated to him.
- 4 [often with negative] British • informal Accept or tolerate (an unpleasant or unwelcome person or situation): I can’t stick Geoffrey—he’s a real old miseryMore example sentences
- If you really can't stick him and you really don't want him anywhere near your big day, it might be worth upsetting her a little bit.
- ‘I can't stick it any longer,’ he wrote.
- I really can't stick her.
- 4.1 (stick it out) • informal Put up with or persevere with something difficult or disagreeable.More example sentences
- But working in television can also be exciting, different and ultimately rewarding - if you stick it out and stay determined.
- He told his wife he would stay and stick it out.
- I stuck it out until Sunday, when breathing became difficult.
get stuck in (or into)
- British • informal Start doing (something) enthusiastically or with determination: we got stuck into the decoratingMore example sentences
- Our performance last night was a massive improvement on last week, the boys got stuck in and you can't fault their commitment.
- Parents stay to give their children encouragement and often got stuck in to the work too if there are enough spare materials.
- The students really got stuck in and the way they responded showed in these exam results.
stick at nothing
- Allow nothing to deter one from achieving one’s aim, however wrong or dishonest: he would stick at nothing to preserve his privilegesMore example sentences
- She will stick at nothing to achieve her ambitions.
- He was resolved to stick at nothing for the securing and advancing of his honour and power.
- Against a class of men who themselves stuck at nothing, everything was held to be permissible.
stick 'em up!
- • informal Hands up! (spoken typically by a person threatening someone else with a gun).More example sentences
- ‘Stick 'em up,’ he rasped as he approached from behind.
- ‘Stick 'em up!’ they yelled in unison.
- ‘Stick 'em up,’ she said. He did. ‘Take off the jacket, real slow.’
stick in one's mind (or memory)
- Be remembered clearly and for a long time: one particular incident sticks in my mindMore example sentences
- Despite the findings of official American investigations, however, the rallying cries stick in our minds.
- I see nothing improbable in such an important matter for Orion sticking in his memory.
- The hum of the bombers is stuck in my mind.
stick in one's throat (or craw)
- Be difficult or impossible to accept; be a source of continuing annoyance.More example sentences
- One thing that stuck in my throat at Chelsea was young players not realising how privileged they were to be earning huge sums.
- It is not atheists who get stuck in my craw, but agnostics.
- Several things about this turn of events stuck in my craw.
- (Of words) be difficult or impossible to say: she couldn’t say “Thank you”—the words stuck in her throatMore example sentences
- We looked around the candle-lit garden, further words sticking in my throat.
- I blinked in response as the words stuck in my throat.
- He wished he could say more, but the words just stuck in his throat.
stick it to
- • informal , chiefly North American Treat (someone) harshly or severely.More example sentences
- In a closed meeting, he stuck it to the Internet gambling site's rep and lawyer, by threatening to go to the press with the fact they let a minor run up so much debt.
- Nor would I have known that there are people who think they're sticking it to the man by getting paid 90 bucks an hour to dive into a radioactive-materials storage pool and clean it.
- So file sharers should remember that they're not just sticking it to the record companies; they're sticking it to the folks who actually buy their music.
stick one (or it) on
- British • informal Hit (someone).More example sentences
- He was first recorded as stating that he had ‘stuck one on’ Mr Dixon, but later claimed he had just pushed him.
- We were much amused by shots of a great huge fat man trying to stick one on the president.
- I think there's every chance he could go back to the Manchester United training ground and stick one on his old team mate.
stick one's neck out
- • informal Risk incurring criticism or anger by acting or speaking boldly.More example sentences
- These writings revealed a first-rate sensibility, a critic ready to stick his neck out and make the necessary judgments, sometimes with acerbity, often with a humorous irony.
- Why stick your neck out when you run the risk of offending someone who has the power to slate your most recent journal article, provide a damning review of your book, or leave you off a shortlist?
- As I half anticipated, he did not wish to stick his neck out and implicitly criticise rugby.
stick out a mile
- see mile.
stick out like a sore thumb
- see sore.
stick to one's guns
- see gun.
stick to one's ribs
- (Of food) be filling and nourishing: a bowl of soup that will stick to your ribsMore example sentences
- Because they had to do hard manual work from early till late, they needed good food that would stick to their ribs.
- It was the kind with the thin noodles, and not the thick ones that stick to your ribs, which you need when you've been as sick as I have lately.
- It's also the sheer size of the cakes that makes them stick to your ribs (and thighs, abs, and hips).
- • informal Remain in or near a place: I’d like to stick around and watch the gameMore example sentences
- While I contentedly stuck around, his seat remained empty after intermission.
- I knew I could have just stuck around and hung out with him for a bit.
- The tournament was almost over, so we just stuck around and watched the rest of it.
- • informal Persevere with (a task or endeavor) in a steady and determined way.More example sentences
- They stuck at their task and caused one of the best nations in world football a lot of problems.
- In stifling heat this was never going to be a vigorous or vibrant game, but we stuck at our task with discipline and brave reserves of energy.
- And we're going to be successful because the president is absolutely determined to stick at it.
- 1Continue to support or be loyal to (someone), typically during difficult times: I love him and whatever happens, I’ll stick by himMore example sentences
be loyal to, be faithful to, be true to, stand by, keep faith with, keep one's promise to
- I am thrilled that our supporters are sticking by us as they seem to realise the predicament we are all facing.
- Twelve years she had stuck by me, supporting me when I was at my worst.
- There's a whole platoon of people sticking by you and giving support.
- 2 another way of saying below.More example sentences
- And after hearing what has happened I'm glad I stuck by that decision.
- The referee was there, on the spot, made his decision and stuck by it!
- Why can't he just make a decision and stick by it?
stick something on
- • informal Place the blame for a mistake or wrongdoing on (someone).More example sentences
- They figured he was the youngest one, so they would stick it on him.
- Like every other industry the execs would like to stick the blame on junior employees for screw ups and take credit for the successes.
- Usually, they stuck the blame on the wrong person and never did a damn thing about the root cause.
- Be extremely noticeable: many important things had happened to him, but one stuck outMore example sentences
- The song stuck out amongst all the racket on TV, the big noisy box in the corner.
- I got her latest record and that song really stuck out to me - it sounded like an old folk song.
- He added that the incident still stuck out firmly in his mind and that nothing he had been involved in since could get close to it.
stick out for
- Refuse to accept less than (what one has asked for); persist in demanding (something): they offered him a Rover but Vic stuck out for a JaguarMore example sentences
- It was a storytelling imperative that made the director stick out for at least two films.
- We should get £300 a week now without any strings or job losses, and that's what I want to see the union sticking out for.
- They are determined to stick out for £5.53 an hour and for a guaranteed end to the two-tier workforce.
- 1Continue or confine oneself to doing or using (a particular thing): I’ll stick to bitter lemon, thanksMore example sentences
- He has continued his policy of sticking to predominantly French riders for his team.
- Economic activity was his forte, and had he stayed in Sudan he could have stuck to that.
- And, why do they not follow where the interview goes instead of sticking to their boring prepared questions.
- 1.1Not move or digress from (a path or a subject).More example sentences
- He said the council had placed clear signs on all its footpaths advising people to stick to marked paths and to avoid all contact with livestock.
- But even if you stick to the cycle paths you are not necessarily safe.
- Travellers should stick to prescribed paths and not even contemplate wading through cultivated land.
- 2Adhere to (a commitment, belief, or rule): the government stuck to its election pledgesMore example sentences
- Throughout his captivity the guards stuck to the rules.
- The Mayor angrily stuck to his belief that if the council took over the playground, it could be insured.
- Through the decades he has stuck to his beliefs and spoken his mind.
- • informal Remain united or mutually loyal: we Europeans must stick togetherMore example sentences
- Mutually relieved to find a friend, we stuck together in both class and playtime.
- I knew that if they all stuck together they would pull it off.
- But the cast stuck together in Venice, where some of the questioning during a press conference grew nasty.
stick someone/something up
- • informal , chiefly North American Rob someone at gunpoint.More example sentences
- He had robbed deliverymen three times over the previous week, sticking them up with a realistic-looking pellet gun.
- When a carload of masked bandits tried to stick up the Bank of Millington on March 8, 1929, bank employees switched on an alarm.
- A man who tried to stick up a liquor store is now sitting in a jail cell.
stick up for
- Support or defend (a person or cause).More example sentences
- It's like I don't even know who I'm sticking up for sometimes, who's side I should really be on.
- He stuck up for those that were helpless to defend themselves.
- The friend, whom I'd stuck up for, did a deal with the police: he agreed to give evidence against me in return for being let off.
stick with • informal
- 1Persevere or continue with: I’m happy to stick with the present teamMore example sentences
- Despite the clay surface, he continues to stick with his serve-and-volley game.
- Many are happy to stick with routine tasks others might find dull.
- More adventurous investors may be happy to stick with their tech funds given the improved outlook for the sector.
- 2 another way of saying above.More example sentences
- But the parish council's highways committee stuck with its decision to name it St Nicholas Close.
- ‘Those who have stuck with me will be the ones who will benefit in the future,’ he says.
- In any event, we're grateful to be back in business, and grateful that you stuck with us.
Old English stician, of Germanic origin; related to German sticken 'embroider', from an Indo-European root shared by Greek stizein 'to prick', stigma 'a mark' and Latin instigare 'spur on'. Early senses included 'pierce' and 'remain fixed (by its embedded pointed end)'.