stick·​ler | \ ˈsti-k(ə-)lər How to pronounce stickler (audio) \

Definition of stickler

1 : one who insists on exactness or completeness in the observance of something a stickler for the rules
2 : something that baffles or puzzles : poser, sticker

Examples of stickler in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

My father was a stickler for details who could be quirky. Jacques Kelly,, "T. Michael McInnis, former General Elevator president, dies," 8 July 2019 Friends called Beau, a stickler for rules, the Sheriff. Adam Entous, The New Yorker, "Will Hunter Biden Jeopardize His Father’s Campaign?," 1 July 2019 Linscott is not being a stickler; frozen custard is not ice cream. CBS News, "Frozen custard: Summer's hottest snack," 30 June 2019 But, crucially, Mendeleev wasn’t a huge stickler for his own rules. Bill Andrews, Discover Magazine, "Everything Worth Knowing About The Periodic Table," 26 June 2019 Designer Coco Chanel wasn’t much of a stickler for intellectual property law herself. Ephrat Livni, Quartzy, "Every invention you use has one thing in common," 18 June 2019 She was described by family as intelligent, organized, practical, inquisitive, a stickler for proper grammar, a survivor in difficult situations, and a gentlewoman. Bonnie L. Cook,, "Gladys Palmer Bewley O’Brien, 96, former director of the Haddonfield Public Library," 5 June 2019 Since leaving office, Mr. Obama has become not only a stickler for border enforcement and cultural assimilation but also a critic of identity politics. Jason L. Riley, WSJ, "A Critique of Identity Politics—From Obama," 24 July 2018 When calculating your bill, tow companies are sticklers for marking the passage of time. Danny Westneat, The Seattle Times, "A $21,634 bill? How a homeless woman fought her way out of tow-company hell," 17 Oct. 2018

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

See More

First Known Use of stickler

1799, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about stickler

Statistics for stickler

Last Updated

13 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for stickler

The first known use of stickler was in 1799

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for stickler



English Language Learners Definition of stickler

: a person who believes that something is very important and should be done or followed all the time

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on stickler

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for stickler

Spanish Central: Translation of stickler

Nglish: Translation of stickler for Spanish Speakers

Comments on stickler

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


appealing forcibly to the mind or reason

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Farm Idioms Quiz

  • cow coming home
  • What does 'poke' refer to in the expression 'pig in a poke'?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Add Diction

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!