American English

Definition of stick verb from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



    Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they stick
    he / she / it sticks
    past simple stuck
    -ing form sticking
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    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 tire.
  2. attach
  3. 2[transitive, intransitive] to attach something to something else, usually with a sticky substance; to become attached 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.
  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. become fixed
  7. 4[intransitive] stick (in something) to become fixed in one position and impossible to move synonym jam The key is stuck in the lock. This drawer keeps sticking.
  8. become accepted
  9. 5[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).
  10. in card games
  11. 6[intransitive] to not take any more cards see also stuck
  12. Idioms
    bury/stick your head in the sand
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    to refuse to admit that a problem exists or refuse to deal with it
    poke/stick your nose into something (informal)
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    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 knife in, put/stick the knife into somebody (informal)
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    to be very unfriendly to someone and try to harm them
    stand/stick out like a sore thumb
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    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.
    stand/stick out a mile
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    to be very obvious or noticeable It stood out a mile that she was lying.
    stick in your mind
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    (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)
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    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
    stick your neck out (informal)
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    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.
    stick to your guns (informal)
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    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 (informal)
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    to make it clear to someone that you are angry and are rejecting what they are offering you
    Phrasal Verbsstick aroundstick by somebodystick by somethingstick it/something outstick outstick out (of something)stick to somethingstick togetherstick upstick up for somebody/yourself/somethingstick with somebody/something
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: stick