from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • intransitive verb To argue or contend stubbornly, especially about trivial or petty points.
  • intransitive verb To have or raise objections; scruple.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun A sharp point; a prickle; a spine.
  • Steep; high; inaccessible.
  • High, as the water of a river; swollen; sweeping; rapid.
  • noun A shallow in a river where the water, being confined, runs with violence.
  • noun A current below a waterfall.
  • To interpose in and put a stop to; mediate between; pacify.
  • To interpose between combatants and separate them; mediate; arbitrate.
  • To take part with one side or the other; uphold one party to a dispute.
  • To contest or contend pertinaciously on insufficient grounds; insist upon some trifle.
  • To hesitate.
  • To play fast and loose; waver from one side to the other; trim.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • intransitive verb obsolete To separate combatants by intervening.
  • intransitive verb To contend, contest, or altercate, esp. in a pertinacious manner on insufficient grounds.
  • intransitive verb To play fast and loose; to pass from one side to the other; to trim.
  • noun Obs. or Prov. Eng. A shallow rapid in a river; also, the current below a waterfall.
  • transitive verb obsolete To separate, as combatants; hence, to quiet, to appease, as disputants.
  • transitive verb obsolete To intervene in; to stop, or put an end to, by intervening; hence, to arbitrate.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • verb obsolete To act as referee or arbiter; to mediate.
  • verb To argue or struggle for.
  • verb To raise objections; to argue stubbornly, especially over minor or trivial matters.
  • noun UK, dialect A shallow rapid in a river.
  • noun UK, dialect The current below a waterfall.

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

  • verb dispute or argue stubbornly (especially minor points)


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

[Variant of Middle English stightlen, to contend, frequentative of stighten, to arrange, from Old English stihtian, stihtan; see steigh- in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Variant of stightle.


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  • I hate to be a stickler, but I feel it is my duty to stickle, and I really just wanted to use the word "stickle"'cuz I just made it up, but anyway:

    Original copies. Jessica Hagy 2006

  • Systematic insincerity on the part of the ostensible purveyors of information and leaders of opinion may be deplored by persons who stickle for truth and pin their hopes of social salvation on the spread of accurate information.

    Boing Boing 2009

  • On Stewart v Cramer, I found this from The Theory of Business of Enterprise written in 1915 and as good a critique of 20th century media written, and for anyone who "stickle for truth", remains a major issue to sort for 21st century democracy.

    Boing Boing 2009

  • Though if we're going to stickle, “Daemon” Is already out, since it went on sale on January 8.

    Archive 2009-01-01 Robert 2009

  • Watching this film made a sizable part of our inner child die horribly, choking to death on his own stickle-bricks.

    Miss Puerto Rico Possibly Telling Whoppers About The Pepper Spray 2007

  • We will stickle it, every little bit of it, we will stick it like new new new.

    Mr Mania 2006

  • The water runs down with a strong sharp stickle, and then has a sudden elbow in it, where the small brook trickles in; and on that side the bank is steep, four or it may be five feet high, overhanging loamily; but on the other side it is flat, pebbly, and fit to land upon.

    Lorna Doone Richard Doddridge 2004

  • Mr. Helstone, both about France and England; and about revolutions, and regicides, and restorations in general; and about the divine right of kings, which you often stickle for in your sermons, and the duty of non-resistance, and the sanity of war, and -- '

    Shirley, by Charlotte Bronte 2004

  • A pickled minnow is very good if you catch him in a stickle, with the scarlet fingers upon him; but

    Lorna Doone Richard Doddridge 2004

  • This only, I think that the like before was never seen, and in this place we had very stickle and strong currents.

    The North-West Passage 2003


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