Word of the Day : February 2, 2012


noun STIK-shun


: the force required to cause one body in contact with another to begin to move

Did You Know?

"Stiction" has been a part of the English language since at least 1946, when it appeared in a journal of aeronautics. The word is a combination of the "st-" of "static" ("of or relating to bodies at rest") and the "-iction" of "friction" ("the force that resists relative motion between two bodies in contact"). So, basically, it means "static friction" (or to put it another way, as in our second example sentence, "stationary friction").


Tire quality can affect stiction at the start of an auto race.

"Stiction is stationary friction. Starting the bolt turning takes more force than keeping it turning. The tighter the bolt, the more stiction can affect torque readings." -- From an article by Jim Kerr in the Winnipeg Free Press, December 30, 2011

Test Your Memory

What is the meaning of "graupel," our Word of the Day from January 17? The answer is ...


More Words of the Day

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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