\ ˈsti-kē How to pronounce sticky (audio) \
stickier; stickiest

Definition of sticky

b(1) : viscous, gluey
(2) : coated with a sticky substance
2 : humid, muggy also : clammy
3 : tending to stick
4a : disagreeable, unpleasant came to a sticky end
c : difficult, problematic a sticky situation
5 : excessively sentimental : cloying

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Other Words from sticky

stickily \ ˈsti-​kə-​lē How to pronounce stickily (audio) \ adverb
stickiness \ ˈsti-​kē-​nəs How to pronounce stickiness (audio) \ noun

Examples of sticky in a Sentence

The sap is very sticky. There is a sticky substance on the table. The paint was still sticky. The weather was hot and sticky.
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Recent Examples on the Web Unlike most sunscreens, this one is weightless and silky (not sticky or oily) and doesn't leave a white residue. Courtney Thompson, CNN Underscored, "Tatcha's best-selling lip mask is finally back in stock," 26 Dec. 2019 Black, sticky, and viscous, bitumen is a form of petroleum found in areas around the Dead Sea. National Geographic, "Europe's morbid 'mummy craze' has been an obsession for centuries," 10 Dec. 2019 Use a hammer to pop sets of sticky, stretchy, slime bubbles and reveal a variety of characters. Taylor Telford, Anchorage Daily News, "Hot toys 2019: Star Wars, Hatchimals, Owleez and ‘Frozen’ offerings top holiday wish lists," 25 Nov. 2019 The autumn rains commenced upon Roosevelt’s arrival, and for days the leaden sky poured, drizzled and misted, turning ground that had been dusty days before into a sticky, bottomless gumbo. H.w. Brands, Time, "How Theodore Roosevelt Fell in Love With the American West," 22 Oct. 2019 Textures run the gamut: sticky, chalky, crusty, slick. Leah Ollman, Los Angeles Times, "Review: Paintings that read as anything but: The intriguing ‘Test Patterns’ of Fritz Chesnut," 21 Oct. 2019 If the dough feels sticky, dust the top lightly with more wheat bran, cornmeal or flour. Fold the ends of the towel loosely over the dough to cover it. Becky Krystal,, "How to pick, care for and cook in your Dutch oven," 11 Oct. 2019 So many of them are either too watery, too sticky, or too fragranced. Glamour, "10 Hand Creams Glamour Editors Love," 7 Oct. 2019 Cis men tend to know little about the experiences people have with their vaginas, particularly the bits that can be sticky, smelly, and socially coded as unsexy or even shameful. Wired, "The Female Founders Disrupting the Vagina Economy," 29 Sep. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'sticky.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of sticky

1688, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

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Time Traveler for sticky

Time Traveler

The first known use of sticky was in 1688

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Statistics for sticky

Last Updated

8 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Sticky.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 19 January 2020.

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More Definitions for sticky


How to pronounce sticky (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of sticky

: having a substance (such as glue or honey) on it that things easily attach to : covered in a substance that things stick to
of a substance : tending to have things attach to it : tending to have things stick to it
informal : unpleasantly warm and humid


\ ˈsti-kē How to pronounce sticky (audio) \
stickier; stickiest

Kids Definition of sticky

1 : tending to cling like glue : adhesive sticky syrup
2 : coated with a substance that sticks to things My fingers are sticky.
3 : muggy, humid a sticky day
4 : tending to become blocked or jammed sticky windows

Other Words from sticky

stickiness noun

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More from Merriam-Webster on sticky

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for sticky

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with sticky

Spanish Central: Translation of sticky

Nglish: Translation of sticky for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of sticky for Arabic Speakers

Comments on sticky

What made you want to look up sticky? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to insert between existing elements

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