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sticky Syllabification: stick·y
Pronunciation: /ˈstikē/

Definition of sticky in English:

adjective (stickier, stickiest)

1Tending or designed to stick to things on contact or covered with something that sticks: her sticky bubblegum sticky tape
More example sentences
  • In seawater, the expelled tubules lengthen considerably and become sticky upon contact with any object.
  • The sticky boxes are designed to lure their prey with scents of chocolate and other foods.
  • That means the town centre is soiled with around 200,000 sticky stains.
(self-)adhesive, gummed, self-stick
technical adherent
1.1(Of a substance) glutinous; viscous: the dough should be moist but not sticky
More example sentences
  • And these are enzymes that make up a gluey, sticky substance, known as glucan, and the bacteria make this from sugar.
  • When an egg is laid it is covered by a sticky substance that glues the egg firmly to any surface on which it is laid, irrespective of whether it is an adult bug or a plant.
  • Some of the sticky substance stuck on her shoe and she grimaced in disgust.
1.2(Of prices, interest rates, or wages) slow to change or react to change.
Example sentences
  • Long-term rates have proven to be sticky.
  • In many parts of the southeast of England house sales are proving to be stubbornly sticky, even after sellers have made a 5 % or 10 % cut in the asking price to achieve a sale.
  • I would think that commercial real estate would tend to be somewhat more sensitive to interest rates and to economic conditions than residential real estate, where prices are probably stickier.
2(Of the weather) hot and damp; muggy: it was an unusually hot and sticky summer
More example sentences
  • If the weather is sticky, it is humid and not particularly pleasant.
  • In an open-neck blue shirt, crisp denim jeans, brown suede shoes, and carrying a denim jacket, he is ideally dressed for the sticky weather.
  • Hot, sticky weather such as that we have been having for the last few days simply adds to stress, says Mrs Clarke - and makes it more likely that we will flare out of control.
2.1Damp with sweat: she felt hot and sticky and changed her clothes
More example sentences
  • Perhaps it was a sensation crystallised by the potent mix of sun and alcohol, and sweat cooled onto a sticky back.
  • They left the room and he pulled off the sticky, damp shirt.
  • When they are sweating and get sticky, I just open up the harness zipper.
3 informal Involving problems; difficult or awkward: the relationship is going through a sticky patch
More example sentences
  • Don't expect too much and make sure you don't get into any sticky situations.
  • Junk bonds roared back into favour in the USA during the 1990s but the market has since hit a sticky patch.
  • Time will come, one day, when you find yourself in a very sticky situation.
awkward, difficult, tricky, ticklish, problematic, delicate, touch-and-go, touchy, embarrassing, sensitive, uncomfortable
informal hairy
4(Of a website or its content) attracting a long visit or repeat visits from users: make your site as sticky as possible to keep visitors there longer more and more often, web designers focus on the need to add sticky features to their sites
More example sentences
  • Controlling the content on the stickiest kids' site on earth is an increasingly sticky matter.
  • Facebook and browser games are now a key element of many film and TV marketing campaigns - they're sticky, they're compelling and they give potential viewers ownership over stories and characters.
  • Horoscopes in particular must be the original sticky content, keeping your visitors coming back day after day or week after week.
4.1(Of a thread on an Internet message board) set to remain at the top of the other threads regardless of when it was last updated: a sticky thread is now live on the forum
More example sentences
  • Maybe this post should be sticky so it always stays on top?
  • You can have more than one sticky post and you can easily change which posts are sticky.
  • The post announcing the event should be sticky until the day of the event.
4.2 informal Long-lasting or persistent: his new nickname has proved to be surprisingly sticky
More example sentences
  • Customers tend to stick around. ‘These are sticky, long-term contracts’.
  • Psychiatric labels that define certain behaviours and beliefs as deviant are particularly sticky and difficult to escape from.
  • Some habits can be quite sticky and hard to change.

noun (plural stickies)

Back to top  
(On an Internet message board) a thread containing important information that is set to remain at the top of the other threads regardless of when it was last updated.
Example sentences
  • Let me start by saying sorry if this has been posted elsewhere, but I couldn't find it in the sticky and I'm not sure how to search whole questions.
  • I suggest to every new member to read the interesting stickies.
  • This thread should really be a sticky.


sticky fingers

informal A propensity to steal.
Example sentences
  • Oh, I enjoying firing people when I catch them with sticky fingers, stealing.
  • And I think most Americans don't want politicians' sticky fingers going through their tax returns.
  • And we have had a spot of bother with sticky fingers as well.

sticky wicket

see wicket.



Pronunciation: /ˈstikəlē/
Example sentences
  • I'm drooping in the oppressive heat, but Binoche is fresh-faced and crisply unaffected, her impossibly glamorous shoes tucked neatly beneath her, perky and upright as we sprawl stickily in the leather seats.
  • In reality this blood which still oozes out stickily, is the red sap of the tree.
  • They slid down her face stickily, and she didn't brush them away.


Pronunciation: /ˈstikēnəs/
Example sentences
  • So that's how I spent the afternoon - gently devouring sweet red hearts on a sunny Sunday afternoon, savouring the stickiness - I can think of many worse ways to spend my time.
  • ‘When you have very finely milled starch and sugar together the effect on teeth can be worse than sugar, perhaps because of the stickiness,’ he said.
  • Yesterday, with both hands covered in stickiness and occupied cutting the wax capping from the top of the honeycomb, a lump of wax containing honey flew onto my leg and started running down in a nasty tickly way.

Words that rhyme with sticky

brickie, Dickie, hickey, icky, mickey, Nicky, picky, quickie, rickey, Rikki, sickie, tricky, Vicky

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