Dictionary > English Dictionary > Definition, synonym and antonym of stick
Meaning of stick by Wiktionary Dictionary



    • enPR: stĭk, IPA: [stɪk], X-SAMPA: /stIk/
    • Rhymes: -ɪk

    Etymology 1

    From Middle English stikke ( “stick, rod, twig” ), from Old English sticca ( “rod, twig” ), from Proto-Germanic *stikkô, from Proto-Indo-European *steig- or *stig- ( “to pierce, prick, be sharp” ) .


    stick ( plural: sticks )

    1. A small, thin branch from a tree or bush; a twig; a branch. syn. transl .
      The bird's nest was made out of sticks.
      a stick of wood
      The beaver's dam was made out of sticks .
    2. A relatively long, thin piece of wood, of any size. transl .
      I found several good sticks in the brush heap .
      What do you call a boomerang that won't come back? A stick .
    3. ( US ) A board, especially a two by four .
      I found enough sticks in dumpsters at construction sites to build my shed .
    4. A wand; a baton; a cudgel; a cane or walking stick.
      1. A cane or walking stick ( usually wooden, metal or plastic ) to aid in walking. syn. transl .
        I don’t need my stick to walk, but it’s helpful .
      2. A cudgel or truncheon ( usually of wood, metal or plastic ), especially one carried by police or guards .
        As soon as the fight started, the guards came in swinging their sticks .
    5. ( carpentry ) The vertical member of a cope-and-stick joint.
    6. Any roughly cylindrical ( or rectangular ) unit of a substance. transl .
      Sealing wax is available as a cylindrical or rectangular stick .
      1. ( chiefly North America ) A small rectangular block, with a length several times its width, which contains by volume one half of a cup of shortening ( butter, margarine or lard ).
        a stick of butter
        The recipe calls for half a stick of butter .
      2. A standard rectangular ( often thin ) piece of chewing gum. transl .
        Don’t hog all that gum, give me a stick!
        a stick of gum
      3. ( slang ) A cigarette ( usually a tobacco cigarette, less often a marijuana cigarette ). syn .
        Cigarettes are taxed at one dollar per stick .
    7. ( figuratively ) A piece ( of furniture, especially if wooden ). usage syn .
      We were so poor we didn't have one stick of furniture .
    8. A bunch of something wrapped around or attached to a stick .
      ( US ) My parents bought us each a stick of cotton candy .
    9. ( archaic ) A scroll that is rolled around ( mounted on, attached to ) a stick.
    10. ( US, colloquial ) A manual transmission, a vehicle equipped with a manual transmission, so called because of the stick-like, i.e. twig-like, control ( the gear shift ) with which the driver of such a vehicle controls its transmission. syn. transl .
      I grew up driving a stick, but many people my age didn’t.
      the gear-shift lever in a manual transmission car
      1. ( US, colloquial, uncountable ) Vehicles, collectively, equipped with manual transmissions .
        I grew up driving stick, but many people my age didn't .
    11. ( aviation ) The control column of an aircraft. transl. ( By convention, a wheel-like control mechanism with a handgrip on opposite sides, similar to the steering wheel ofan automobiles, is also called the "stick". )
    12. ( aviation, uncountable ) Use of the stick to control the aircraft.
    13. ( computing ) A memory stick.
    14. ( sports ) A stick-like item:
      a hockey stick
      1. ( sports, generically ) A long thin implement used to control a ball or puck in sports like hockey, polo, and lacrosse. transl .
        Tripping with the stick is a violation of the rules.
        a lacrosse stick
      2. ( horse racing ) The short whip carried by a jockey .
      3. ( boardsports ) A board as used in board sports, such as a surfboard, snowboard, or skateboard .
      4. ( golf ) The pole bearing a small flag that marks the hole. syn .
        His wedge shot bounced off the stick and went in the hole .
      5. ( US, slang, uncountable ) The cue used in billiards, pool, snooker, etc .
        His stroke with that two-piece stick is a good as anybody's in the club .
        1. ( US, slang, uncountable ) The game of pool, or an individual pool game .
          He shoots a mean stick of pool .
          • 2003, Lew Bryson, New York Breweries[3], ISBN 081172817X, page 74:
            Come in, have a good time, drink some beer, shoot some stick, listen to some music .
    15. ( dated, letterpress typography ) A composing stick, the tool used by compositors to assemble lines of type.
    16. ( jazz, slang ) The clarinet. ( more often called the liquorice stick ) syn.
      • 1948, Frederic Ramsey, Jr., “Deep Sea Rider”, in Charles Harvey editor, Jazz Parody: Anthology of Jazz Fiction:
        Arsene, boy, ain't you worried about your clarinet? Where'd you leave that stick, man?
    17. ( slang, dated ) A person. ( Perhaps because people are, broadly speaking, tall and thin, like pieces of wood. )
      • 1967, Maurice Shadbolt, The Presence of Music: Three Novellas[5], page 54:
        Your father's a great old stick. He's really been very good to me .
      1. ( slang ) A thin or wiry person; particularly a flat-chested woman.
    18. ( magic ) An assistant planted in the audience. syn.
    19. ( military aviation ) A fighter pilot.
    20. ( military ) A group ( of soldiers ); specifically:
      1. A group of paratroopers who jump together.
      2. ( South Africa ) A line of ( infantry ) soldiers.
    21. ( military, dated ) A cluster of bombs dropped in quick succession from an aircraft in order to spread them over a target area. syn.
    22. A negative stimulus or a punishment. ( This sense derives from the metaphor of using a stick, a long piece of wood, to poke or beat a beast of burden to compel it to move forward. Compare carrot. )
    23. ( slang, uncountable ) Corporal punishment; beatings.
    24. ( slang ) Vigor; spirit; effort, energy, intensity .
      He really gave that digging some stick. = he threw himself into the task of digging
      She really gave that bully some stick. = she berated him ( this sense melts into the previous sense, "punishment" )
      Give it some stick!
      • 1979, Don Bannister, Sam Chard[13], ISBN 071000219X, page 185:
        'Choir gave it some stick on "Unto Us a Son is Born."' ¶ Cynthia nodded. ¶ 'It was always one of Russell's favourites. He makes them try hard on that.'
    25. ( slang ) Vigorous driving of a car; gas.
    26. ( sports, uncountable ) Ability; specifically:
      1. ( golf ) The long-range driving ability of a golf club .
      2. ( golf ) 1988, William Hallberg, The Rub of the Green[15], page 219:
        I doubted that the three iron was enough stick .
      3. ( baseball ) The potential hitting power of a specific bat .
      4. ( baseball ) General hitting ability.
      5. ( field hockey ) The potential accuracy of a hockey stick, implicating also the player using it .
    27. ( obsolete ) An English Imperial unit of length equal to 2 inches.
    28. ( archaic, rare ) A quantity of eels, usually 25. syn.
    Usage notes
    Derived terms

    Note: Terms derived from the verb are found further below .

    Etymology 2

    From Middle English stiken ( “to stick, pierce, stab, remain embedded, be fastened” ), from Old English stician ( “to pierce, stab, remain embedded, be fastened” ), from Proto-Germanic *stikōnan ( “to pierce, prick, be sharp” ), from Proto-Indo-European *steig- or *stig- ( “to pierce, prick, be sharp” ) .

    Cognate to first etymology ( same PIE root, different paths through Germanic and Old English ), to stitch, and to etiquette, via French étiquette – see there for further discussion .


    stick ( uncountable )

    1. ( auto racing ) The traction of tires on the road surface .
    2. ( fishing, uncountable ) The amount of fishing line resting on the water surface before a cast; line stick.


    stick ( third-person singular simple present sticks, present participle sticking, simple past and past participle stuck or ( archaic ) sticked )

    1. ( ergative ) To glue; to attach; to adhere .
      Stick the label on the jar .
      The tape will not stick if it melts .
    2. ( intransitive ) To jam; to stop moving .
      The lever sticks if you push it too far up .
    3. ( intransitive ) To tolerate, to endure, to stick with.
    4. ( intransitive ) To persist .
      His old nickname stuck .
    5. ( intransitive ) Of snow, to remain frozen on landing .
    6. ( intransitive ) To remain loyal; to remain firm .
      Just stick to your strategy, and you will win .
    7. ( transitive ) To place, set down ( quickly or carelessly ) .
      Stick your bag over there and come with me .
    8. ( transitive ) To press into with a sharp point .
      The balloon will pop when I stick this pin in it .
      1. ( transitive, now only in dialects ) To stab.
    9. ( transitive, gymnastics ) To perform ( a landing ) perfectly .
      Once again, the world champion sticks the dismount .
    10. ( transitive ) To propagate plants by cuttings .
      Stick cuttings from geraniums promptly .
    11. To hesitate, to be reluctant; to refuse.
    Derived terms

    Note: Terms derived from the noun are found above .

    See also


    stick ( comparative sticker, superlative stickest )

    1. ( informal ) Likely to stick; sticking, sticky .
      A non-stick pan. A stick plaster .
      A sticker type of glue. The stickest kind of gum .
    Usage notes
    Derived terms

    Etymology 3

    Possibly a metaphorical use of the first etymology ( "twig, branch" ), possibly derived from the Yiddish schtick .


    stick ( plural: sticks )

    1. ( UK, uncountable ) Criticism or ridicule.


Explanation of stick by Wordnet Dictionary


    1. be a mystery or bewildering to

    2. saddle with something disagreeable or disadvantageous

    3. come or be in close contact with

    4. stick to firmly

    5. pierce or penetrate or puncture with something pointed

    6. pierce with a thrust using a pointed instrument

    7. put, fix, force, or implant

    8. stick your thumb in the crack
    9. fasten into place by fixing an end or point into something

    10. stick the corner of the sheet under the mattress
    11. fasten with or as with pins or nails

    12. stick the photo onto the corkboard
    13. fasten with an adhesive material like glue

    14. stick the poster onto the wall
    15. cover and decorate with objects that pierce the surface

    16. stick some feathers in the turkey before you serve it
    17. stay put ( in a certain place )

    18. Stick around and you will learn something!
    19. be loyal to

    20. be a devoted follower or supporter

    21. She sticks to her principles
    22. endure

    23. be or become fixed

    24. The door sticks--we will have to plane it
    1. threat of a penalty

    2. the policy so far is all stick and no carrot
    3. marijuana leaves rolled into a cigarette for smoking

    4. an implement consisting of a length of wood

    5. he collected dry sticks for a campfire
      the kid had a candied apple on a stick
    6. a long thin implement resembling a length of wood

    7. cinnamon sticks
      a stick of dynamite
    8. a lever used by a pilot to control the ailerons and elevators of an airplane

    9. a long implement ( usually made of wood ) that is shaped so that hockey or polo players can hit a puck or ball

    10. informal terms for the leg

    11. fever left him weak on his sticks
    12. a rectangular quarter pound block of butter or margarine

    13. a small thin branch of a tree

    Definition of stick by GCIDE Dictionary


    1. Stick n. [OE. sticke, AS. sticca; akin to stician to stab, prick, pierce, G. stecken a stick, staff, OHG. steccho, Icel. stik a stick. See Stick, v. t..]
      1. A small shoot, or branch, separated, as by a cutting, from a tree or shrub; also, any stem or branch of a tree, of any size, cut for fuel or timber.

      Withered sticks to gather, which might serve

      Against a winter's day. Milton.

      2. Any long and comparatively slender piece of wood, whether in natural form or shaped with tools; a rod; a wand; a staff; as, “the stick of a rocket; a walking stick.”

      3. Anything shaped like a stick; as, “a stick of wax”.

      4. A derogatory expression for a person; one who is inert or stupid; as, “an odd stick; a poor stick”. [Colloq.]

      5. ( Print. ) A composing stick. See under Composing. It is usually a frame of metal, but for posters, handbills, etc., one made of wood is used.

      6. A thrust with a pointed instrument; a stab.

      A stick of eels, twenty-five eels. [Prov. Eng.] -- Stick chimney, a chimney made of sticks laid crosswise, and cemented with clay or mud, as in some log houses. [U.S.] -- Stick insect, ( Zool. ), any one of various species of wingless orthopterous insects of the family Phasmidae, which have a long round body, resembling a stick in form and color, and long legs, which are often held rigidly in such positions as to make them resemble small twigs. They thus imitate the branches and twigs of the trees on which they live. The common American species is Diapheromera femorata. Some of the Asiatic species are more than a foot long. -- To cut one's stick, or To cut stick, to run away. [Slang] De Quincey.

    2. Stick, v. t. [imp. & p. p. Stuck ( Obs. Sticked ; p. pr. & vb. n. Sticking.] [OE. stikien, v.t. & i., combined with steken, whence E. stuck ), AS. stician, v.t. & i., and ( assumed ) stecan, v.t.; akin to OFries. steka, OS. stekan, OHG. stehhan, G. stechen, and to Gr. to prick, Skr. tij to be sharp. Cf. Distinguish, Etiquette, Extinct, Instigate, Instinct, Prestige, Stake, Steak, Stick, n., Stigma, Stimulate, Sting, Stitch in sewing, Style for or in writing.]
      1. To penetrate with a pointed instrument; to pierce; to stab; hence, to kill by piercing; as, “to stick a beast”.

      And sticked him with bodkins anon. Chaucer.

      It was a shame . . . to stick him under the other gentleman's arm while he was redding the fray. Sir W. Scott.

      2. To cause to penetrate; to push, thrust, or drive, so as to pierce; as, “to stick a needle into one's finger”.

      Thou stickest a dagger in me. Shak.

      3. To fasten, attach, or cause to remain, by thrusting in; hence, also, to adorn or deck with things fastened on as by piercing; as, “to stick a pin on the sleeve”.

      My shroud of white, stuck all with yew. Shak.

      The points of spears are stuck within the shield. Dryden.

      4. To set; to fix in; as, “to stick card teeth”.

      5. To set with something pointed; as, “to stick cards”.

      6. To fix on a pointed instrument; to impale; as, “to stick an apple on a fork”.

      7. To attach by causing to adhere to the surface; as, “to stick on a plaster; to stick a stamp on an envelope; also, to attach in any manner”.

      8. ( Print. ) To compose; to set, or arrange, in a composing stick; as, “to stick type”. [Cant]

      9. ( Joinery ) To run or plane ( moldings ) in a machine, in contradistinction to working them by hand. Such moldings are said to be stuck.

      10. To cause to stick; to bring to a stand; to pose; to puzzle; as, “to stick one with a hard problem”. [Colloq.]

      11. To impose upon; to compel to pay; sometimes, to cheat. [Slang]

      To stick out, to cause to project or protrude; to render prominent.

    3. Stick v. i.
      1. To adhere; as, “glue sticks to the fingers; paste sticks to the wall”.

      The green caterpillar breedeth in the inward parts of roses not blown, where the dew sticketh. Bacon.

      2. To remain where placed; to be fixed; to hold fast to any position so as to be moved with difficulty; to cling; to abide; to cleave; to be united closely.

      A friend that sticketh closer than a brother. Prov. xviii. 24.

      I am a kind of bur; I shall stick. Shak.

      If on your fame our sex a bolt has thrown,

      'T will ever stick through malice of your own. Young.

      3. To be prevented from going farther; to stop by reason of some obstacle; to be stayed.

      I had most need of blessing, and “Amen”

      Stuck in my throat. Shak.

      The trembling weapon passed

      Through nine bull hides, . . . and stuck within the last. Dryden.

      4. To be embarrassed or puzzled; to hesitate; to be deterred, as by scruples; to scruple; -- often with at.

      They will stick long at part of a demonstration for want of perceiving the connection of two ideas. Locke.

      Some stick not to say, that the parson and attorney forged a will. Arbuthnot.

      5. To cause difficulties, scruples, or hesitation.

      This is the difficulty that sticks with the most reasonable. Swift.

      To stick by. To adhere closely to; to be firm in supporting. “We are your only friends; stick by us, and we will stick by you.” Davenant. To be troublesome by adhering. “I am satisfied to trifle away my time, rather than let it stick by me.” Pope. -- To stick out. To project; to be prominent. “His bones that were not seen stick out.” Job xxxiii. 21. To persevere in a purpose; to hold out; as, the garrison stuck out until relieved. [Colloq.] -- To stick to, to be persevering in holding to; as, “to stick to a party or cause”. “The advantage will be on our side if we stick to its essentials.” Addison. -- To stick up, to stand erect; as, “his hair sticks up”. -- To stick up for, to assert and defend; as, “to stick up for one's rights or for a friend”. [Colloq.] -- To stick upon, to dwell upon; not to forsake. “If the matter be knotty, the mind must stop and buckle to it, and stick upon it with labor and thought.” Locke.