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

Definition of sticky

1a : adhesive
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
b : awkward, stiff
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

Synonyms & Antonyms for sticky


adherent, adhesive, clingy, gluey, glutinous, gummy, tacky, tenacious, viscid



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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

With a wooden spoon, stir until a sticky dough forms. Tara Duggan,, "Recipe: Reem’s Za’atar Man’oushe," 2 Aug. 2019 The statue, which depicts a young woman in traditional Korean dress sitting next to an empty chair, was smeared with a brown, sticky substance last Thursday morning, according to Glendale police. Lila Seidman, Glendale News-Press, "Down the street from vandalized comfort-women statue is an exhibit honoring the women," 1 Aug. 2019 On the second, the coverage was sticky enough that Stafford scrambled to his right to buy extra time. Dave Birkett, Detroit Free Press, "Detroit Lions observations: The dreaded conditioning hill, Stafford's latest pick," 31 July 2019 In addition to the proteins available between buns, the bowls’ toppings range from seaweed salad to kimchi to avocado mash — and bowls can be made with brown rice, which is not sticky enough to form burger buns. Rachel Lebeaux,, "RiceBurg puts down roots in Wellesley," 31 July 2019 Early morning showers created a humid, sticky practice for the Miami Dolphins on Wednesday as the team prepares for its 1 p.m. scrimmage on Saturday at Hard Rock Stadium. Safid Deen,, "Dolphins training camp Day 6: Stock up, stock down and other observations," 31 July 2019 Groups of anglers walked up and down the creek, picking their way through the water to avoid the sticky mud. Matt Tunseth, Anchorage Daily News, "The silvers are in at Ship Creek. Here’s how I got skunked.," 29 July 2019 My favorite way to eat a peach is peeling and eating it while standing at the kitchen sink, the sweet, sticky juices dribbling down my chin. San Diego Union-Tribune, "New cookbook celebrates the joy of summer peaches," 23 July 2019 The high temperatures and sticky humidity caused Jefferson County Public Schools to cancel outdoor activities through Sunday. Billy Kobin, The Courier-Journal, "Louisville's excessive heat wave leads to more 911 calls, but few ER visits," 21 July 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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Statistics for sticky

Last Updated

6 Aug 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for sticky

The first known use of sticky was in 1688

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More Definitions for sticky



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

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with sticky

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for 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).


a period when something is suspended

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