Meaning of STICK in English


I. stick 1 S1 W3 /stɪk/ BrE AmE verb ( past tense and past participle stuck /stʌk/)

[ Word Family: adjective : ↑ sticky , ↑ stuck , ↑ unstuck , ↑ non-stick ; noun : ↑ sticker , ↑ stickiness ; verb : ↑ stick ]

[ Language: Old English ; Origin: stician ]

1 . ATTACH [intransitive and transitive] to attach something to something else using a substance, or to become attached to a surface

stick something on/to/in etc something

Someone had stuck posters all over the walls.

stick to/together

I could feel my shirt sticking to my back.

The oil keeps the pasta from sticking together.

This stamp won’t stick properly.

2 . PUSH IN [intransitive, transitive always + adverb/preposition] if a pointed object sticks into something, or if you stick it there, it is pushed into it

stick (something) in/into/through something

pins stuck in a notice board

The boy stuck his finger up his nose.

3 . PUT [transitive always + adverb/preposition] informal to put something somewhere quickly and without much care SYN bung :

Just stick it in the microwave for a few minutes.

The cards had been stuck through the letterbox.

4 . MOVE PART OF BODY [transitive always + adverb/preposition] if you stick a part of your body somewhere, you put it in a position where other people can see it SYN put :

Clara stuck her head around the door to see who was there.

The baby stuck his legs in the air.

Don’t stick your tongue out. It’s rude!

5 . DIFFICULT TO MOVE [intransitive] if something sticks, it becomes fixed in one position and is difficult to move:

This door keeps sticking.

The wheels stuck fast (=stuck completely) in the mud.

6 . stick in sb’s mind if something sticks in your mind, you remember it well because it is unusual or interesting:

It’s the kind of name that sticks in your mind.

7 . make something stick informal

a) to prove that something is true:

Is there enough evidence to make the charges stick?

b) to make a change become permanent:

The government has succeeded in making this policy stick.

8 . NAME [intransitive] if a name that someone has invented sticks, people continue using it:

One newspaper dubbed him ‘Eddie the Eagle’, and the name stuck.

9 . somebody can stick something spoken used to say angrily that you do not want what someone is offering you:

I told them they could stick their job.

10 . STAY IN BAD SITUATION [transitive] British English spoken to continue to accept a situation or person, even though you do not like them SYN stand :

I can’t stick mum’s new boyfriend.

can’t stick doing something

Gerry can’t stick working for Featherstone’s any longer.

I don’t know how you stick it.

11 . stick in sb’s throat/gullet British English , stick in sb’s craw American English if a situation or someone’s behaviour sticks in your throat, it is so annoying that you cannot accept it:

Her criticism really stuck in my craw.

12 . stick in sb’s throat if words stick in your throat, you are unable to say them because you are afraid or upset

13 . stick to sb’s ribs informal food that sticks to your ribs is very satisfying, so you are not hungry after you have eaten

⇨ ↑ stuck , ⇨ stick/poke your nose into something at ↑ nose 1 (3)

• • •


▪ put to move something to a particular place:

I’ve put the wine in the fridge.


Where have you put my grey shirt?

▪ place to put something somewhere carefully:

‘It’s beautiful,’ he said, placing it back on the shelf.

▪ lay to put someone or something down carefully on a flat surface:

He laid all the money on the table.


She laid the baby on his bed.

▪ position to carefully put something in a suitable position:

Position the microphone to suit your height.


Troops were positioned around the city.

▪ slip to put something somewhere with a quick movement:

He slipped his arm around her waist.


Carrie quickly slipped the money into her bag.

▪ shove to put something into a space or container quickly or carelessly:

Shove anything you don’t want in that sack.


I’ve ironed those shirts so don’t just shove them in a drawer.

▪ stick ( also bung British English ) informal to put something somewhere quickly or carelessly:

I stuck the address in my pocket and I can’t find it now.


Could you bung those clothes in the washing machine?

▪ dump to put something down somewhere in a careless and untidy way:

Don’t just dump all your bags in the kitchen.


People shouldn’t dump rubbish at the side of the street.

▪ pop informal to quickly put something somewhere, usually for a short time:

Pop it in the microwave for a minute.

▪ thrust literary to put something somewhere suddenly or forcefully:

‘Hide it,’ he said, thrusting the watch into her hand.

stick around phrasal verb informal

to stay in a place a little longer, waiting for something to happen:

Perhaps you’d like to stick around and watch?

Tom will be sticking around for a while.

stick at something phrasal verb British English

1 . to continue doing something in a determined way in order to achieve something:

Revising with your friends may help you stick at it.

2 . stick at nothing informal to be willing to do anything, even if it is illegal, in order to achieve something

stick at nothing to do something

He will stick at nothing to make money.

stick by somebody/something phrasal verb

1 . to remain loyal to a friend when they have done something wrong or have problems:

I love him and, whatever happens, I’ll stick by him.

Jean has stuck by her husband through thick and thin.

2 . to do what you promised or decided to do

stick by a decision/promise etc

He has stuck by his radical plans for economic reform.

stick out phrasal verb

1 . if something sticks out, you notice it because part of it comes out further than the rest of a surface:

The children were so thin their ribs stuck out.

stick out of/from/through etc

Paul’s legs were sticking out from under the car.

2 . stick it out to continue doing something that is difficult, painful, or boring:

It wasn’t a happy period of his life, but he stuck it out.

3 . stick your neck out informal to risk giving your opinion about something, even though you may be wrong or other people may disagree with you:

I’m going to stick my neck out with some predictions for the next two years.

4 . stick out to somebody/stick out in sb’s mind to seem more important to someone than other people or things:

The thing that sticks out to me is that they need more help than they’re getting.

⇨ stick/stand out a mile at ↑ mile (5), ⇨ stick out like a sore thumb at ↑ sore 1 (6)

stick out for something phrasal verb British English informal

to refuse to accept less than what you asked for SYN hold out for :

They offered him £250 but Vic stuck out for £500.

stick to something phrasal verb

1 . to do or keep doing what you said you would do or what you believe in, even when it is difficult SYN keep to :

Have you been sticking to your diet?

stick to your decision/principles etc

Miguel was determined to stick to his decision.

It looks as if Nick will stick to his word this time.

2 . to keep using or doing one particular thing and not change to anything else:

If you’re driving, stick to soft drinks.

stick to doing something

Reporters should stick to investigating the facts.

3 . stick to your guns informal to refuse to change your mind about something, even though other people are trying to persuade you that you are wrong:

Having made up his mind, he stuck to his guns.

4 . stick to the point/subject/facts to talk only about what you are supposed to be talking about or what is certain:

Never mind whose fault it was. Just stick to the facts.

5 . stick to the rules informal to do something exactly according to the rules

6 . stick to the path/road etc to stay on a marked path or road so that you do not get lost

7 . stick to the/your story spoken to continue to say that what you have told someone is true, even though they do not believe you:

You intend to stick to this story that she knew nothing of your financial prospects?

8 . stick to the/your knitting American English informal to continue paying attention to your own work and not to get involved with what other people are doing:

I wish Mrs Reese would stick to her knitting.

9 . stick it to somebody American English informal to make someone suffer, pay a high price etc:

The politicians stick it to the tourists because the tourists don’t vote.

stick together phrasal verb informal

if people stick together, they continue to support each other when they have problems:

We’re a family, and we stick together no matter what.

stick up phrasal verb

1 . if a part of something sticks up, it is raised up or points upwards above a surface

stick up from/out of/through etc

Part of the boat was sticking up out of the water.

2 . stick 'em up spoken informal used to tell someone to raise their hands when threatening them with a gun – used in films, stories etc

stick up for somebody phrasal verb informal

to defend someone who is being criticized, especially when no one else will defend them:

You’re supposed to be sticking up for me!

stick up for yourself

She’s always known how to stick up for herself.

stick with something/somebody phrasal verb informal

1 . to continue doing something the way you did or planned to do before:

Let’s stick with the original plans.

2 . to stay close to someone:

You just stick with me. I’ll explain everything as we go along.

3 . to continue doing something, especially something difficult:

If you stick with it, your playing will gradually get better.

4 . be stuck with something/somebody to be made to accept something, do something, spend time with someone etc, when you do not want to:

Bill left and I was stuck with the bill.

5 . to remain in someone’s memory:

Those words will stick with me for the rest of my life.

II. stick 2 S3 BrE AmE noun [countable]

[ Language: Old English ; Origin: sticca ]

1 . PART OF TREE a long thin piece of wood from a tree, which is no longer attached to the tree ⇨ branch , twig :

They collected sticks to start the fire.

2 . TOOL a long thin piece of wood, plastic etc that you use for a particular purpose:

a pair of drum sticks

a measuring stick

Aunt Lou walks with a stick (=uses a stick to help her walk) .

3 . PIECE a long thin or round piece of something:

carrot sticks with dip

a glue stick

stick of

a stick of chewing gum

4 . SPORTS a long, specially shaped piece of wood, plastic etc that you use in some sports to hit a ball:

a hockey stick

5 . (out) in the sticks a long way from a town or city:

They live out in the sticks.

6 . get (hold of) the wrong end of the stick British English informal to understand a situation in completely the wrong way:

People who think the song is about drugs have got the wrong end of the stick.

7 . a stick to beat somebody with something that can be used as a reason for criticizing someone:

These tests will just give politicians yet another stick to beat the teachers with.

8 . PLANE the handle you use to control a plane ⇨ ↑ joystick

9 . CAR American English informal a ↑ stick shift

10 . get on the stick American English spoken to start doing something you should be doing

11 . give somebody/get (some) stick British English spoken if you give someone stick, you criticize them for something they have done:

He’s going to get some stick for this!

12 . up sticks British English informal if you up sticks, you move to a different area

⇨ carrot and stick at ↑ carrot (3)

Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English.      Longman - Словарь современного английского языка.