- a person who insists on something unyieldingly (usually followed by for): a stickler for ceremony.
- any puzzling or difficult problem.
Origin of stickler
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for stickler
Her grammar is fine—Ann is a stickler for grammar—and her anecdotes make sense in that they have a beginning, a middle and an end.Hatchet Job of the Year 2014 Shortlist Announced
January 19, 2014
Maybe she's a cop who is a stickler for the rules because she's trying to impress the men upstairs.Why Crime Novelists Don't Get Women
April 12, 2010
This fairy was a stickler for the correct use of every word.Welsh Fairy Tales
William Elliott Griffis
But, remember this, I'm under a general who's a stickler for the book, so be careful.A Yankee Flier Over Berlin
Elpaso was notoriously 54 a stickler for a square deal at cards.Nan of Music Mountain
Frank H. Spearman
This was a strenuous day's work, particularly if the star was a stickler.Watch Yourself Go By
Al. G. Field
Gerald was a stickler for correct Latin grammar; he is great on “howlers.”Medival Wales
A. G. Little
- (usually foll by for) a person who makes insistent demandsa stickler for accuracy
- a problem or puzzlethe investigation proved to be a stickler
Word Origin and History for stickler
1530s, "moderator, umpire," from stickle "mediate" (1520s), probably a frequentative of Middle English stihen "to arrange, place," from Old English stihan "to arrange order," which is cognate with Middle Dutch stichten, German stiften "to found, establish," probably from Proto-Germanic *stihtan "to place on a step or base," from PIE root *steigh- "to stride, step, rise" (see stair). Meaning "person who contends or insists stubbornly" is first recorded 1640s.