stick1 / stik/ • n. 1. a thin piece of wood that has fallen or been cut from a tree.2. a thin piece of wood that has been trimmed for a particular purpose, in particular: ∎ a long piece of wood used for support in walking or as a weapon with which to hit someone or something. ∎ (in hockey, polo, and other games) a long implement, typically made of wood, with a head or blade of varying form that is used to hit or direct the ball or puck. ∎ a short piece of wood used to impale food: Popsicle sticks. ∎ fig. a piece of basic furniture: every stick of furniture just vanished. ∎ (sticks) (in field hockey) the foul play of raising the stick above the shoulder. ∎ archaic Naut. a mast or spar.3. something resembling or likened to a stick, in particular: ∎ a long, thin piece of something: a stick of dynamite cinnamon sticks. ∎ a quarter-pound rectangular block of butter or margarine. ∎ a conductor's baton. ∎ a gear or control lever. ∎ (in extended and metaphorical use) a very thin person or limb: the girl was a stick her arms were like sticks. ∎ a number of bombs or paratroopers dropped rapidly from an aircraft. ∎ a small group of soldiers assigned to a particular duty: a stick of heavily armed guards. ∎ inf. a marijuana cigarette.4. a threat of punishment or unwelcome measures (often contrasted with the offer of reward as a means of persuasion): training that relies more on the carrot than on the stick.5. (the sticks) inf., derog. rural areas far from cities: a small, dusty town out in the sticks.6. inf., dated a person of a specified kind: Janet's not such a bad old stick sometimes.DERIVATIVES: stick·like / -ˌlīk/ adj.stick2 • v. (past stuck / stək/ ) 1. [tr.] (stick something in/into/through) push a sharp or pointed object into or through (something): he stuck his fork into the sausage the candle was stuck in a straw-covered bottle. ∎ (stick something on) fix something on (a point or pointed object): stick the balls of wool on knitting needles. ∎ [intr.] (stick in/into/through) (of a pointed object) be or remain fixed with its point embedded in (something): there was a slim rod sticking into the ground beside me. ∎ [tr.] insert, thrust, or push: a youth with a cigarette stuck behind one ear she stuck out her tongue at him. ∎ [intr.] protrude or extend in a certain direction: his front teeth stick out Sue's hair was sticking up at all angles. ∎ [tr.] put somewhere, typically in a quick or careless way: just stick that sandwich on my desk. ∎ inf. used to express angry dismissal of a particular thing: he told them they could stick the job—he didn't want it anyway. ∎ inf. cause to incur an expense or loss: she stuck me for all of last month's rent. ∎ stab or pierce with a sharp object: [as adj.] (stuck) he screamed like a stuck pig. 2. [intr.] adhere or cling to a substance or surface: the plastic seats stuck to my skin. ∎ [tr.] fasten or cause to adhere to an object or surface: she stuck the stamp on the envelope. ∎ be or become fixed or jammed in one place as a result of an obstruction: he drove into a bog, where his wheels stuck fast. ∎ remain in a static condition; fail to progress: he lost a lot of weight but had stuck at 210 pounds. ∎ (of a feeling or thought) remain persistently in one's mind: one particular incident sticks in my mind. ∎ inf. be or become convincing, established, or regarded as valid: the authorities couldn't make the charges stick the name stuck and Anastasia she remained. ∎ (in blackjack and similar card games) decline to add to one's hand.3. (be stuck) be fixed in a particular position or unable to move or be moved: Sara tried to open the window but it was stuck we got stuck in a traffic jam the cat's stuck up a tree. ∎ be unable to progress with a task or find the answer or solution to something: I'm doing the crossword and I'm stuck. ∎ inf. be or remain in a specified place or situation, typically one perceived as tedious or unpleasant: I don't want to be stuck in an office all my life. ∎ (be stuck for) be at a loss for or in need of: I'm not usually stuck for words. ∎ (be stuck with) inf. be unable to get rid of or escape from: like it or not, she and Grant were stuck with each other. ∎ (be stuck on) inf. be infatuated with: he's too good for Jenny, even though she's so stuck on him.4. Brit., inf. accept or tolerate (an unpleasant or unwelcome person or situation): I can't stick Geoffrey—he's a real old misery. ∎ (stick it out) inf. put up with or persevere with something difficult or disagreeable.PHRASES: stick at nothing allow nothing to deter one from achieving one's aim, however wrong or dishonest: he would stick at nothing to preserve his privileges.stick 'em up! inf. hands up! (spoken typically by a person threatening someone else with a gun).stick in one's throat (or craw) be difficult or impossible to accept; be a source of continuing annoyance. ∎ (of words) be difficult or impossible to say: she couldn't say “Thank you”—the words stuck in her throat.stick it to inf. treat (someone) harshly or severely.stick one's neck out inf. risk incurring criticism or anger by acting or speaking boldly.stick out a milesee mile.stick out like a sore thumbsee sore.stick to one's gunssee gun.stick to one's ribs (of food) be filling and nourishing: a bowl of soup that will stick to your ribs.PHRASAL VERBS: stick around inf. remain in or near a place: I'd like to stick around and watch the game.stick at inf. persevere with (a task or endeavor) in a steady and determined way.stick by1. continue to support or be loyal to (someone), typically during difficult times: I love him and whatever happens, I'll stick by him.2. another way of saying stick to in sense 2 below.stick something on inf. place the blame for a mistake or wrongdoing on (someone).stick out be extremely noticeable: many important things had happened to him, but one stuck out.stick out for refuse to accept less than (what one has asked for); persist in demanding (something): they offered him a Rover but Vic stuck out for a Jaguar.stick to1. continue or confine oneself to doing or using (a particular thing): I'll stick to bitter lemon, thanks. ∎ not move or digress from (a path or a subject).2. adhere to (a commitment, belief, or rule): the government stuck to its election pledges.stick together inf. remain united or mutually loyal: we Europeans must stick together.stick someone/something up inf. rob someone at gunpoint.stick up for support or defend (a person or cause).stick with inf. 1. persevere or continue with: I'm happy to stick with the present team.2. another way of saying stick by above.
stick-and-carrot a method of persuasion combining the threat of punishment with the promise of reward; a carrot dangled in front of a donkey was a proverbial method of tempting the animal to move.
sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me proverbial saying, late 19th century; meaning that verbal attack does no real injury (compare hard words break no bones).
See also big stick, up like a rocket, down like a stick, the short end of the stick.
Stick ★½ 1985 (R)
Ex-con Stick (Reynolds, directing himself) wants to start a new life for himself in Miami. Lots of drug dealers and guns don't help the interest level in this dull underworld tale. Based upon the Elmore Leonard novel. 109m/C VHS . Burt Reynolds, Candice Bergen, George Segal, Charles Durning, Dar Robinson; D: Burt Reynolds; W: Elmore Leonard; M: Steve Dorff.
Hence sticky (-Y1) XVIII.