Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A long slender piece of wood, especially:
  • n. A branch or stem cut from a tree or shrub.
  • n. A piece of wood, such as a tree branch, that is used for fuel, cut for lumber, or shaped for a specific purpose.
  • n. A wand, staff, baton, or rod.
  • n. Sports & Games Any of various implements shaped like a rod and used in play: a hockey stick.
  • n. A walking stick; a cane.
  • n. Something slender and often cylindrical in form: a stick of dynamite.
  • n. Slang A marijuana cigarette.
  • n. The control device of an aircraft that operates the elevators and ailerons.
  • n. Informal A stick shift.
  • n. Nautical A mast or a part of a mast.
  • n. Printing A composing stick.
  • n. Printing A stickful.
  • n. A group of bombs released to fall across an enemy target in a straight row.
  • n. Slang A group of paratroopers exiting an aircraft in succession.
  • n. A timber tree.
  • n. Informal A piece of furniture.
  • n. A poke, thrust, or stab with a stick or similar object: a stick in the ribs.
  • n. A threatened penalty: using both a carrot and a stick to keep allies in line.
  • n. The condition or power of adhering: a glue with plenty of stick.
  • n. Informal A remote area; backwoods: moved to the sticks.
  • n. Informal A city or town regarded as dull or unsophisticated.
  • n. Informal A person regarded as stiff, boring, or spiritless.
  • n. Archaic A difficulty or obstacle; a delay.
  • transitive v. To pierce, puncture, or penetrate with a pointed instrument.
  • transitive v. To kill by piercing.
  • transitive v. To thrust or push (a pointed instrument) into or through another object.
  • transitive v. To fasten into place by forcing an end or point into something: stick a hook on the wall.
  • transitive v. To fasten or attach with or as if with pins, nails, or similar devices.
  • transitive v. To fasten or attach with an adhesive material, such as glue or tape.
  • transitive v. To cover or decorate with objects piercing the surface.
  • transitive v. To fix, impale, or transfix on a pointed object: stick an olive on a toothpick.
  • transitive v. To put, thrust, or push: stuck a flower in his buttonhole.
  • transitive v. To detain or delay.
  • transitive v. To prop (a plant) with sticks or brush on which to grow.
  • transitive v. Printing To set (type) in a composing stick.
  • transitive v. Informal To confuse, baffle, or puzzle: Sometimes even simple questions stick me.
  • transitive v. To cover or smear with something sticky.
  • transitive v. Informal To put blame or responsibility on; burden: stuck me with the bill.
  • transitive v. Slang To defraud or cheat: The dealer stuck me with shoddy merchandise.
  • intransitive v. To be or become fixed or embedded in place by having the point thrust in.
  • intransitive v. To become or remain attached or in close association by or as if by adhesion; cling: stick together in a crowd.
  • intransitive v. To remain firm, determined, or resolute: stuck to basic principles.
  • intransitive v. To remain loyal or faithful: stuck by her through hard times.
  • intransitive v. To persist or endure: a bad name that has stuck.
  • intransitive v. To scruple or hesitate: She sticks at nothing—no matter how difficult.
  • intransitive v. To become fixed, blocked, checked, or obstructed: The drawer stuck and would not open.
  • intransitive v. To project or protrude: hair sticking out on his head.
  • intransitive v. Sports To throw a jab in boxing.
  • stick around Informal To remain; linger.
  • stick out To be prominent.
  • stick out Informal To put up with: stick out a bad situation.
  • stick up To rob, especially at gunpoint.
  • idiom be stuck on Informal To be very fond of.
  • idiom stick it to Slang To treat severely or wrongfully.
  • idiom stick (one's) neck out Informal To make oneself vulnerable; take a risk.
  • idiom to To hold fast to an opinion or a set course of action.
  • idiom stick to (one's) knitting Informal To mind one's own business.
  • idiom stick to (one's) ribs Informal To be substantial or filling. Used of food.
  • idiom stick up for To defend or support.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The traction of tires on the road surface.
  • n. The amount of fishing line resting on the water surface before a cast; line stick.
  • v. To glue; to attach; to adhere.
  • v. To jam; to stop moving.
  • v. To tolerate, to endure, to stick with.
  • v. To persist.
  • v. Of snow, to remain frozen on landing.
  • v. To remain loyal; to remain firm.
  • v. To place, set down (quickly or carelessly).
  • v. To press into with a sharp point.
  • v. To perform (a landing) perfectly.
  • v. To propagate plants by cuttings.
  • v. To hesitate, to be reluctant; to refuse.
  • adj. Likely to stick; sticking, sticky.
  • n. A small, thin branch from a tree or bush; a twig; a branch. syn. transl.
  • n. A relatively long, thin piece of wood, of any size. transl.
  • n. A board, especially a two by four.
  • n. A wand; a baton; a cudgel; a cane or walking stick.
  • n. The vertical member of a cope-and-stick joint.
  • n. Any roughly cylindrical (or rectangular) unit of a substance. transl.
  • n. A piece (of furniture, especially if wooden). usage syn.
  • n. A bunch of something wrapped around or attached to a stick.
  • n. A scroll that is rolled around (mounted on, attached to) a stick.
  • n. A manual transmission, a vehicle equipped with a manual transmission, so called because of the stick-like, i.e. twig-like, control (the gear shift) with which the driver of such a vehicle controls its transmission. syn. transl.
  • n. The control column of an aircraft. transl. (By convention, a wheel-like control mechanism with a handgrip on opposite sides, similar to the steering wheel ofan automobiles, is also called the "stick".)
  • n. Use of the stick to control the aircraft.
  • n. A memory stick.
  • n. A stick-like item: two hockey sticks, for the goalie at right
  • n. A composing stick, the tool used by compositors to assemble lines of type.
  • n. The clarinet. (more often called the liquorice stick) syn.
  • n. A person. (Perhaps because people are, broadly speaking, tall and thin, like pieces of wood.)
  • n. An assistant planted in the audience. syn.
  • n. A fighter pilot.
  • n. A group (of soldiers); specifically:
  • n. Of bombs, a load dropped in quick succession from an aircraft. syn.
  • n. A negative stimulus or a punishment. (This sense derives from the metaphor of using a stick, a long piece of wood, to poke or beat a beast of burden to compel it to move forward. Compare carrot.)
  • n. Corporal punishment; beatings.
  • n. Vigor; spirit; effort, energy, intensity.
  • n. Vigorous driving of a car; gas.
  • n. Ability; specifically:
  • n. An English Imperial unit of length equal to 2 inches.
  • n. A quantity of eels, usually 25. syn.
  • v. To cut a piece of wood to be the stick member of a cope-and-stick joint.
  • n. Criticism or ridicule.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A small shoot, or branch, separated, as by a cutting, from a tree or shrub; also, any stem or branch of a tree, of any size, cut for fuel or timber.
  • n. Any long and comparatively slender piece of wood, whether in natural form or shaped with tools; a rod; a wand; a staff
  • n. Anything shaped like a stick.
  • n. A derogatory expression for a person; one who is inert or stupid.
  • n. A composing stick. See under Composing. It is usually a frame of metal, but for posters, handbills, etc., one made of wood is used.
  • n. A thrust with a pointed instrument; a stab.
  • intransitive v. To adhere.
  • intransitive v. To remain where placed; to be fixed; to hold fast to any position so as to be moved with difficulty; to cling; to abide; to cleave; to be united closely.
  • intransitive v. To be prevented from going farther; to stop by reason of some obstacle; to be stayed.
  • intransitive v. To be embarrassed or puzzled; to hesitate; to be deterred, as by scruples; to scruple; -- often with at.
  • intransitive v. To cause difficulties, scruples, or hesitation.
  • transitive v. To penetrate with a pointed instrument; to pierce; to stab; hence, to kill by piercing.
  • transitive v. To cause to penetrate; to push, thrust, or drive, so as to pierce.
  • transitive v. To fasten, attach, or cause to remain, by thrusting in; hence, also, to adorn or deck with things fastened on as by piercing.
  • transitive v. To set; to fix in.
  • transitive v. To set with something pointed.
  • transitive v. To fix on a pointed instrument; to impale.
  • transitive v. To attach by causing to adhere to the surface.
  • transitive v. To compose; to set, or arrange, in a composing stick.
  • transitive v. To run or plane (moldings) in a machine, in contradistinction to working them by hand. Such moldings are said to be stuck.
  • transitive v. To cause to stick; to bring to a stand; to pose; to puzzle.
  • transitive v. To impose upon; to compel to pay; sometimes, to cheat.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To pierce or puncture with a pointed instrument, as a dagger, sword, or pin; pierce; stab.
  • To push, thrust, or drive the point or end of, as into something which one seeks to pierce, or into a socket or other receptacle; place and fix by thrusting into something.
  • To thrust; cause to penetrate or enter in any way; loosely, to thrust or put (something) where it will remain, without any idea of penetration.
  • To insert in something punctured: as, to stick card-teeth; hence, to set with something pointed or with what is stuck in: as, to stick a cushion full of pins.
  • To thrust or fix upon something pointed: as, to stick a potato on a fork.
  • In carpentry, to run or strike (a molding) with a molding-plane.
  • To close; shut; shut up. See steek.
  • To be fastened or fixed by or as by piercing or by insertion; remain where thrust in: as, the arrow sticks in the target.
  • To be thrust; extend or protrude in any direction.
  • To pierce; stab. See stick.
  • To fasten or attach by causing to adhere: as, to stick a postage-stamp on a letter.
  • To cause to come to a stand; puzzle; pose.
  • To impose upon; cheat; chouse.
  • To beat, as at a game of cards: with for before the penalty or stake: as, to stick one for the drinks at poker.
  • To cleave as by attraction or adhesion; adhere closely or tenaciously.
  • To remain where placed; hold fast; adhere; cling; abide.
  • To hold or cling in friendship and affection.
  • To be hindered from proceeding or advancing; be restrained from moving onward or from acting; be arrested in a course, career, or progress; be checked or arrested; stop.
  • To be embarrassed or puzzled; be brought to a standstill, as by being unable to interpret or remember the words one is attempting to read or recite.
  • To scruple; hesitate,: with at.
  • To remain with; abide in the memory or possession of: as, ill-gotten gains never stick by a man.
  • To furnish or set with sticks, as for climbing upon: said of peas.
  • In printing, to arrange in a composing-stick; compose: as, to stick type.
  • To cook (cutlets or steaks) by spitting them on long sticks with a piece of bacon at the end. The sticks are stuck in the ground, close to leeward of the fire. See sticker-up, 2.
  • To ‘hold up’; rob.
  • Hence to be importuned by a beggar; be forced to give in charity.
  • To bring (a kangaroo) to bay.
  • To stop (without idea of violence).
  • To pose; puzzle: as, “I was stuck up for an answer.”
  • n. A thrust with a pointed instrument which pierces, or is intended to pierce.
  • n. An adhesion, as by attraction or viscosity.
  • n. Hesitation; demur; a stop; a standstill.
  • n. A strike among workmen.
  • n. A piece of wood, generally rather long and slender; a branch of a tree or shrub cut or broken off: also, a piece of wood chopped or cut for burning or other use: often used figuratively.
  • n. A cudgel; a rod; a wand; especially, a walking-stick or cane.
  • n. Anything in the form of a stick, or somewhat long and slender: as, a stick of candy; a stick of sealing-wax; one of the sticks of a fan, whether of wood, metal, or other material.
  • n. Specifically— The wand or baton with which a musical conductor directs a chorus or orchestra.
  • n. The wooden rod or back of a bow for playing on a musical instrument of the viol class.
  • n. The wooden rod or wand, with a rounded or padded head, with which a drum or similar musical instrument is beaten and sounded; a drumstick.
  • n. In printing: A composing-stick.
  • n. A piece of furniture used to lock up a form in a chase or galley. It is called, according to the place it occupies, head-stick, foot-stick, side-stick, or gutter-stick.
  • n. The rod which is carried by the head of a rocket, and serves to direct its flight.
  • n. A timber-tree.
  • n. Nautical, a mast: as, the gale was enough to blow the sticks out of her.
  • n. That which is strung on a stick; a string: as, a stick of herring.
  • n. The number of twenty-five eels, or the tenth part of a bind, according to the old statute de ponderibus. Also called strike.
  • n. A stick-insect. See stick-bug and walking-stick.
  • n. A person who is stiff and awkward in bearing; hence, a stupid, incapable, or incompetent person.
  • n. Synonyms See staff.
  • n. A material of syrupy consistence obtained by cooking mixed city garbage and other refuse material with steam, removing grease and water by expression from the liquid product, skimming off the grease, and evaporating the watery residue. It is mixed with some of the solid matter from the same garbage or with chemicals, and used as a ‘filler’ or subordinate ingredient in fertilizers.
  • n. Rum, brandy, or any other liquor when used as a ‘stiffener’ or flavoring in ‘soft’ drinks: as, tea with a stick in it.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • v. endure
  • n. a rectangular quarter pound block of butter or margarine
  • v. cover and decorate with objects that pierce the surface
  • v. fasten with an adhesive material like glue
  • v. be loyal to
  • v. stay put (in a certain place)
  • v. be a mystery or bewildering to
  • n. a long implement (usually made of wood) that is shaped so that hockey or polo players can hit a puck or ball
  • n. threat of a penalty
  • v. be a devoted follower or supporter
  • n. a lever used by a pilot to control the ailerons and elevators of an airplane
  • n. an implement consisting of a length of wood
  • v. pierce or penetrate or puncture with something pointed
  • v. put, fix, force, or implant
  • v. be or become fixed
  • v. fasten with or as with pins or nails
  • n. a small thin branch of a tree
  • v. pierce with a thrust using a pointed instrument
  • n. informal terms for the leg
  • v. come or be in close contact with; stick or hold together and resist separation
  • n. marijuana leaves rolled into a cigarette for smoking
  • v. fasten into place by fixing an end or point into something
  • v. stick to firmly

Etymologies

Middle English stikke, from Old English sticca; see steig- in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Middle English stikke ("stick, rod, twig"), from Old English sticca ("rod, twig"), from Proto-Germanic *stikkô, from Proto-Indo-European *steig- or *stig- (“to pierce, prick, be sharp”). (Wiktionary)
From Middle English stiken ("to stick, pierce, stab, remain embedded, be fastened"), from Old English stician ("to pierce, stab, remain embedded, be fastened"), from Proto-Germanic *stikōnan (“to pierce, prick, be sharp”), from Proto-Indo-European *steig- or *stig- (“to pierce, prick, be sharp”). (Wiktionary)
Possibly a metaphorical use of the first etymology ("twig, branch"), possibly derived from the Yiddish schtick. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • The vote in the legislature is veto-proof, so any request for Jindal to veto the bill *must stress that the governor can make this veto stick if he wants it to stick*.

    Help Needed In Louisiana

  • Compare also _He made the stick bend_ -- equaling _He made-bend _ (= bent) _the stick_ -- with _He made the stick straight_ -- equaling _He made-straight _ (= straightened) _the stick_.

    Higher Lessons in English A work on english grammar and composition

  • An "ideal" BMI sufferer putting on a few pounds of muscle by doing some judicious exercise might well stave off death for a bit longer; simply gorging on cakes probably won't help. recent calls for a BMI tax are now further exposed as foolishness, and the "fat people" that he rashly proposes to attack with a stick (any time, Coren - better make it a big stick*) have the consolation of knowing that they'll probably outlive him.

    The Register

  • The witch took the stick, waved it at the girl and said: "then this is your fortune; _through the woods and through the woods and out with a crooked stick_.

    Woodland Tales

  • But Leaders Without a Title stick to their knitting.

    The Leader Who Had No Title

  • Give us examples of how he is a Maverick instead of just trying to make the label stick!

    How’d they do? The best political team’s analysis

  • In the text pages of this comic, Feazell made readers an offer no longer good, I am guessing to send a free mini-comic to anyone who sent in their own drawing of the title stick-figure character, along with an SASE.

    Archive 2003-12-01

  • I don't recollect how long he held the office, but it was long enough to make the title stick to him for the rest of his life with the tenacity of a militia colonelcy or village diaconate.

    The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 01, No. 03, January, 1858

  • Then the can is put through a drying compartment to make the label stick quickly.

    All About Coffee

  • Not only did the term stick, but the practice of elected officials determining electoral boundaries continues today.

    University of Florida News

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  • Used to describe injections or needle pokes for the purpose either of delivering medicine, taking a sample of blood, or of introducting a catheter.

    The nurses will say so-and-so is a tough stick, meaning it's hard to get into a vein, or an easy stick, and good attendings will remind you to order all your labs at the same time, to avoid the number of sticks your patient has to endure.

    January 27, 2008