noun (1)
\ ˈstik How to pronounce stick (audio) \

Definition of stick

 (Entry 1 of 4)

1 : a woody piece or part of a tree or shrub: such as
a : a usually dry or dead severed shoot, twig, or slender branch
b : a cut or broken branch or piece of wood gathered for fuel or construction material
2a : a long slender piece of wood or metal: such as
(1) : a club or staff used as a weapon
b : an implement used for striking or propelling an object in a game
c : something used to force compliance
d : a baton symbolizing an office or dignity also : a person entitled to bear such a baton
3 : a piece of the materials composing something (such as a building)
4 : any of various implements resembling a stick in shape, origin, or use: such as
b : an airplane lever operating the elevators and ailerons
c : the gearshift lever of an automobile
5 : something prepared (as by cutting, molding, or rolling) in a relatively long and slender often cylindrical form a stick of candy a stick of butter
6a : person, chap
b : a dull, inert, stiff, or spiritless person
7 sticks plural : remote usually rural districts regarded especially as backward, dull, or unsophisticated : boondocks
8 : an herbaceous stalk resembling a woody stick celery sticks
10 : a piece of furniture
11a : a number of bombs arranged for release from a bombing plane in a series across a target
b : a number of parachutists dropping together
12 slang : a marijuana cigarette
13a : punishment or the threat of punishment used to force compliance or cooperation choosing between the carrot and the stick
b British : criticism, abuse


verb (1)
sticked; sticking; sticks

Definition of stick (Entry 2 of 4)

transitive verb

: to hit or propel (something, such as a hockey puck) with a stick


verb (2)
stuck\ ˈstək How to pronounce stick (audio) \; sticking

Definition of stick (Entry 3 of 4)

transitive verb

1a : to pierce with something pointed : stab
b : to kill by piercing
2 : to push or thrust so as or as if to pierce
3a : to fasten by thrusting in
b : impale
c : push, thrust
4 : to put or set in a specified place or position
5 : to furnish with things fastened on by or as if by piercing
6 : to attach by or as if by causing to adhere to a surface
7a : to compel to pay especially by trickery got stuck with the bar bill
8a : to halt the movement or action of
b : baffle, stump
9a : cheat, defraud
b : to saddle with something disadvantageous or disagreeable is still stuck with that lousy car
10 : to execute (a landing) flawlessly in gymnastics

intransitive verb

1 : to hold to something firmly by or as if by adhesion:
a : to become fixed in place by means of a pointed end
b : to become fast by or as if by miring or by gluing or plastering stuck in the mud
2a : to remain in a place, situation, or environment
b : to hold fast or adhere resolutely : cling she stuck to her story
c : to remain effective
d : to keep close in a chase or competition
3 : to become blocked, wedged, or jammed
4a : balk, scruple
b : to find oneself baffled
c : to be unable to proceed
stick in one's craw
: to irritate, nag at, or obsess one
stick it to
: to treat harshly or unfairly
stick one's neck out
: to make oneself vulnerable by taking a risk
stick to one's guns
: to maintain one's position especially in face of opposition
stuck on
: infatuated with


noun (2)

Definition of stick (Entry 4 of 4)

1 : a thrust with a pointed instrument : stab
2a : delay, stop
3 : adhesive quality or substance

Illustration of stick

Illustration of stick

Noun (1)

1stick 2b: a lacrosse, b ice hockey, c field hockey

In the meaning defined above

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Other Words from stick

Noun (1)

sticklike \ ˈstik-​ˌlīk How to pronounce stick (audio) \ adjective

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Verb (2)

stick, adhere, cohere, cling, cleave mean to become closely attached. stick implies attachment by affixing or by being glued together. couldn't get the label to stick adhere is often interchangeable with stick but sometimes implies a growing together. antibodies adhering to a virus cohere suggests a sticking together of parts so that they form a unified mass. eggs will make the mixture cohere cling implies attachment by hanging on with arms or tendrils. clinging to a capsized boat cleave stresses strength of attachment. the wet shirt cleaved to his back

First Known Use of stick

Noun (1)

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb (1)

1937, in the meaning defined above

Verb (2)

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a

Noun (2)

1637, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for stick

Noun (1)

Middle English stik, from Old English sticca; akin to Old Norse stik stick, Old English stician to stick

Verb (2)

Middle English stikken, from Old English stician; akin to Old High German sticken to prick, Latin instigare to urge on, goad, Greek stizein to tattoo

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Time Traveler for stick

Time Traveler

The first known use of stick was before the 12th century

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Dictionary Entries Near stick



stick 'em up

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Cite this Entry

“Stick.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for stick


\ ˈstik How to pronounce stick (audio) \

Kids Definition of stick

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a cut or broken branch or twig
2 : a long thin piece of wood
4 : something like a stick in shape or use fish sticks a hockey stick


stuck\ ˈstək \; sticking

Kids Definition of stick (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : to push into or through I stuck a needle in my finger.
2 : to stab or pierce with something pointed Ow! The thorn stuck me.
3 : to put in place by or as if by pushing She stuck candles in the cake.
4 : to push out, up, into, or under I stuck out my hand.
5 : to put in a specified place or position I stuck a cap on my head.
6 : to remain in a place, situation, or environment We decided to stick where we were.
7 : to halt the movement or action of The car was stuck in traffic.
8 : baffle I got stuck on the first problem.
9 : to burden with something unpleasant She was stuck with paying the bill.
10 : to fix or become fixed in place by or as if by gluing Stick a stamp on the letter.
11 : to cling or cause to cling My wet clothes stuck to me.
12 : to become blocked or jammed The door is stuck.


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