Definition of stick verb from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//stɪk//
    ; NAmE NAmE//stɪk//
    Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they stick
    BrE BrE//stɪk//
    ; NAmE NAmE//stɪk//
    he / she / it sticks
    BrE BrE//stɪks//
    ; NAmE NAmE//stɪks//
    past simple stuck
    BrE BrE//stʌk//
    ; NAmE NAmE//stʌk//
    past participle stuck
    BrE BrE//stʌk//
    ; NAmE NAmE//stʌk//
    -ing form sticking
    BrE BrE//ˈstɪkɪŋ//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈstɪkɪŋ//
    Materials and properties
    jump to other results
    push something in
  1. 1  [transitive, intransitive] to push something, usually a sharp object, into something; to be pushed into something stick something + adv./prep. The nurse stuck the needle into my arm. Don't stick your fingers through the bars of the cage. + adv./prep. I found a nail sticking in the tyre.
  2. attach
  3. 2  [transitive, intransitive] to fix something to something else, usually with a sticky substance; to become fixed to something in this way stick something + adv./prep. He stuck a stamp on the envelope. We used glue to stick the broken pieces together. I stuck the photos into an album. + adv./prep. Her wet clothes were sticking to her body. The glue's useless—the pieces just won't stick. See related entries: Materials and properties
  4. put
  5. 3  [transitive] stick something + adv./prep. (informal) to put something in a place, especially quickly or carelessly Stick your bags down there. He stuck his hands in his pockets and strolled off. Can you stick this on the noticeboard? Peter stuck his head around the door and said, ‘Coffee, anyone?’ (informal) Stick 'em up! (= Put your hands above your head—I have a gun!)
  6. 4[transitive] somebody can stick something (informal) used to say in a rude and angry way that you are not interested in what somebody has, offers, does, etc. I got sick of my boss's moaning and told him he could stick the job.
  7. become fixed
  8. 5  [intransitive] stick (in something) to become fixed in one position and impossible to move synonym jam The key has stuck in the lock. This drawer keeps sticking.
  9. difficult situation
  10. 6[transitive] (British English, informal) (usually used in negative sentences and questions) to accept a difficult or unpleasant situation or person synonym stand stick something/somebody I don't know how you stick that job. They’re always arguing—I can’t stick it any longer. The problem is, my mother can't stick my boyfriend. stick doing something John can't stick living with his parents.
  11. become accepted
  12. 7[intransitive] to become accepted The police couldn't make the charges stick (= show them to be true). His friends called him Bart and the name has stuck (= has become the name that everyone calls him).
  13. in card games
  14. 8[intransitive] to not take any more cards see also stuck
  15. Word Originverb Old English stician, of Germanic origin; related to German sticken ‘embroider’, from an Indo-European root shared by Greek stizein ‘to prick’, stigma ‘a mark’ and Latin instigare ‘spur on’. Early senses included ‘pierce’ and ‘remain fixed (by its embedded pointed end)’.Extra examples He simply stuck a pin in at random among the names of candidates. He stuck the note through her letter box. I tended to stick to tried and tested techniques. She simply made a decision and resolutely stuck to it. What is the point of sticking slavishly to the rules? Her wet hair was sticking to her head. I forgot to stick a stamp on the envelope. She stuck a finger into the sugar bowl. Stick ’em up! The little boy had stuck his head through the railings. The nurse stuck a needle into my arm. This glue’s useless—the pieces just won’t stick.Idioms (saying) people remember and believe the bad things they hear about other people, even if they are later shown to be false See related entries: Rivers and lakes
    poke/stick your nose into something
    jump to other results
    (informal) to try to become involved in something that does not concern you He’s always poking his nose into other people’s business.
      put/stick the boot in (British English, informal)
      jump to other results
    1. 1to kick somebody very hard, especially when they are on the ground
    2. 2to attack somebody by criticizing them when they are in a difficult situation I wonder if the press will put the boot in?
    put/stick the knife in, put/stick the knife into somebody
    jump to other results
    (informal) to be very unfriendly to somebody and try to harm them
    (British English, informal) to give your opinion, advice, etc. without being asked and when it is probably not wanted synonym interfere I was getting along very nicely until Patrick stuck his oar in. See related entries: Boating
    put/stick two fingers up at somebody
    jump to other results
    (British English, informal) to form the shape of a V with the two fingers nearest your thumb and raise your hand in the air with the back part of it facing somebody, done to be rude to them or to show them that you are angry see also V-sign She enjoys sticking two fingers up to convention.
    stand/stick out like a sore thumb
    jump to other results
    to be very noticeable in an unpleasant way The blue building stood out like a sore thumb among the whitewashed villas. If you wear a suit to the party, you’ll stand out like a sore thumb.
    to be very obvious or noticeable It stood out a mile that she was lying. (of a memory, an image, etc.) to be remembered for a long time One of his paintings in particular sticks in my mind.
      stick in your throat/craw (informal)
      jump to other results
    1. 1(of words) to be difficult or impossible to say She wanted to say how sorry she was but the words seemed to stick in her throat.
    2. 2(of a situation) to be difficult or impossible to accept; to make you angry
    (informal) to do or say something when there is a risk that you may be wrong I’ll stick my neck out and say that Bill is definitely the best candidate for the job. (informal) to refuse to change your mind about something even when other people are trying to persuade you that you are wrong
    tell somebody where to put/stick something, tell somebody what they can do with something
    jump to other results
    (informal) to make it clear to somebody that you are angry and are rejecting what they are offering you
    Phrasal Verbsstick aroundstick at somethingstick by somebodystick by somethingstick somethingdownstick it outstick outstick out (of something)stick out for somethingstick to somethingstick togetherstick upstick up for somebodystick with somebody
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: stick