\ 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

After a three-day trial in Multnomah County Circuit Court, a six-person jury on Wednesday found both men guilty of misdemeanor harassment for offending and annoying the officers with the sticky goo., "2 Portland protesters who doused cops with buckets of glitter mixed with lubricant get 5 days in jail," 7 June 2019 In China and a few other places, onlookers will drink local yellow wine and eat sticky rice dumplings called zongzi, which are wrapped in bamboo or lotus leaves. Amy Gunia, Time, "Google Doodle Celebrates Asia's Dragon Boat Festival. Here's What to Know," 7 June 2019 Lucas’s team brined Flash Gordon sleekness in the future-thinking-but-ubiquitous textures of the 1970s: concrete brutalism, post-Vietnam military surplus, sticky linoleum, S&M rubber. Spencer Kornhaber, The Atlantic, "The Star Wars Park Is a Space-Junk Fantasy," 5 June 2019 Add a little additional water if needed to make the dough slightly sticky. Roxanne Wyss, kansascity, "For Olathe cook, these pierogies are a holiday treat. But you can make them any time," 4 June 2019 Indianapolis is looking at a high of 93 and really sticky humidity that will combine for heat index values around 100 Sunday afternoon. Thomas Leyden, Indianapolis Star, "Sizzling Father's Day: Heat index heading to 100," 17 June 2018 This weather system will bring warm and humid air up the Eastern seaboard and turn our weather rather sticky for Friday and much of Saturday. Dave Epstein,, "Will Alberto bring rain to the Boston area this weekend?," 30 May 2018 Keep in mind that a fresh Christmas tree — i.e. one that's deep green and has needles that are difficult to pull from the branches and a slightly sticky trunk — is far less likely to catch fire than one that's too dry. Beth Anne Macaluso, Redbook, "16 Common Household Items That Could Kill You," 9 Aug. 2017 Sweeten up this traditional dessert with a homemade sticky and sweet sauce. Tiffani Thiessen, Good Housekeeping, "Brioche Bread Pudding with Bourbon-Caramel Sauce," 9 Oct. 2018

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

11 Jun 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).


behavior toward others

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