American English

Definition of stick noun from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



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    from tree
  1. 1[countable] a thin piece of wood that has fallen or been broken from a tree We collected dry sticks to start a fire. The boys were throwing sticks and stones at the dog. Her arms and legs were like sticks (= very thin).
  2. in sports
  3. 2[countable] a long thin object that is used in some sports to hit or control the ball a hockey/lacrosse stick
  4. long thin piece
  5. 3[countable] (often in compounds) a long thin piece of something a stick of dynamite carrot sticks a stick of butter
  6. 4[countable] (often in compounds) a thin piece of wood or plastic that you use for a particular purpose a candied apple on a stick popsicle sticks see also chopstick, drumstick, matchstick, walking stick, yardstick
  7. of glue, etc.
  8. 5[countable] a quantity of a substance, such as solid glue, that is sold in a small container with round ends and straight sides, and can be pushed further out of the container as it is used see also lipstick
  9. in plane/vehicle
  10. 6[countable] (informal) the control stick of a plane see also joystick
  11. 7[countable] (informal) a handle used to change the gears of a vehicle see also gearshift, stick shift
  12. for orchestra
  13. 8[countable] a baton, used by the person who conducts an orchestra
  14. country areas
  15. 9the sticks [plural] (informal) country areas, a long way from cities We live out in the sticks. There are many other compounds ending in stick. You will find them at their place in the alphabet.
  16. Idioms
    the big stick (informal)
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    the use or threat of force or power The authorities used quiet persuasion instead of the big stick.
    the carrot and (the) stick (approach)
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    if you use the carrot and stick approach, you persuade someone to try harder by offering them a reward if they do, or a punishment if they do not The emphasis is on the carrot of incentive rather than the stick of taxes.
    get the short end of the stick
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    to be the person in a group who is chosen or forced to perform an unpleasant duty or task I got the short end of the stick and had to clean the toilets.
    a rod/stick to beat somebody with
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    a fact, an argument, etc. that is used in order to blame or punish someone
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: stick