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[stik-ler] /ˈstɪk lər/
a person who insists on something unyieldingly (usually followed by for):
a stickler for ceremony.
any puzzling or difficult problem.
Origin of stickler
First recorded in 1530-40; stickle + -er1
1. fanatic, purist, perfectionist. 2. puzzle, riddle, mystery. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for stickler
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • 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.

  • 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
  • "You mean present me to them," corrected the old dame, who was a stickler for etiquette.

    A Coin of Edward VII

    Fergus Hume
  • The stickler for uniformity will lament this diversity, but it is probably a good thing.

  • This was in the days of Johnny Bassett, ever a stickler in matters of etiquette.

    A Son Of The Sun Jack London
British Dictionary definitions for stickler


(usually foll by for) a person who makes insistent demands: a stickler for accuracy
a problem or puzzle: the investigation proved to be a stickler
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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