[ stik ]
/ stɪk /
a branch or shoot of a tree or shrub that has been cut or broken off.
a relatively long and slender piece of wood.
a long piece of wood for use as fuel, in carpentry, etc.
a rod or wand.
Chiefly British. a walking stick or cane.
a club or cudgel.
something that serves to goad or coerce: The threat of unemployment was the stick that kept the workers toiling overtime.Compare carrot(def 3).
a long, slender piece or part of anything: a stick of candy; sticks of celery.
any of four equal parts in a pound of butter or margarine.
Sports. an implement used to drive or propel a ball or puck, as a crosse or a hockey stick.
Aeronautics. a lever, usually with a handle, by which the longitudinal and lateral motions of an airplane are controlled.
Nautical. a mast or spar.
Printing. composing stick.
the sticks, Informal. any region distant from cities or towns, as rural districts; the country: Having lived in a large city all his life, he found it hard to adjust to the sticks.
- a group of bombs so arranged as to be released in a row across a target.
- the bomb load.
Informal. stick shift.
Slang. a marijuana cigarette.
Informal. an unenthusiastic or uninteresting person.
Informal. a portion of liquor, as brandy, added to a nonalcoholic drink.
verb (used with object), sticked, stick·ing.
to furnish (a plant, vine, etc.) with a stick or sticks in order to prop or support.
Printing. to set (type) in a composing stick.
PRACTICE SOME ESCAPISM WITH THIS WORD OF THE DAY QUIZ!
We salute you if you remember all the doovers from Word of the Day between May 25 and May 31!
Question 1 of 7
Idioms for stick
short/dirty end of the stick, Slang. the least desirable assignment, decision, or part of an arrangement.
Origin of stick1
before 1000; Middle English stikke, Old English sticca; akin to Old High German stehho, Old Norse stik stick; akin to stick2
OTHER WORDS FROM stickstick·less, adjectivestick·like, adjective
Words nearby stick
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020
British Dictionary definitions for short end of the stick (1 of 2)
/ (stɪk) /
a small thin branch of a tree
- any long thin piece of wood
- such a piece of wood having a characteristic shape for a special purposea walking stick; a hockey stick
- a baton, wand, staff, or rod
an object or piece shaped like a sticka stick of celery; a stick of dynamite
See control stick
informal the lever used to change gear in a motor vehicle
nautical a mast or yard
printing See composing stick
- a group of bombs arranged to fall at intervals across a target
- a number of paratroops jumping in sequence
- verbal abuse, criticismI got some stick for that blunder
- physical power, force (esp in the phrase give it some stick)
(usually plural) a piece of furniturethese few sticks are all I have
(plural) informal a rural area considered remote or backward (esp in the phrase in the sticks)
(plural) Canadian West coast and Northwestern Canadian informal the wooded interior part of the country
(plural) hockey a declaration made by the umpire if a player's stick is above the shoulders
US obsolete a cannabis cigarette
a means of coercion
informal a dull boring person
(usually preceded by old) informal a familiar name for a personnot a bad old stick
in a cleft stick in a difficult position
wrong end of the stick a complete misunderstanding of a situation, explanation, etc
verb sticks, sticking or sticked
to support (a plant) with sticks; stake
Word Origin for stick
Old English sticca; related to Old Norse stikka, Old High German stecca
British Dictionary definitions for short end of the stick (2 of 2)
/ (stɪk) /
verb sticks, sticking or stuck
(tr) to pierce or stab with or as if with something pointed
to thrust or push (a sharp or pointed object) or (of a sharp or pointed object) to be pushed into or through another object
(tr) to fasten in position by pushing or forcing a point into somethingto stick a peg in a hole
(tr) to fasten in position by or as if by pins, nails, etcto stick a picture on the wall
(tr) to transfix or impale on a pointed object
(tr) to cover with objects piercing or set in the surface
(when intr, foll by out, up, through, etc) to put forward or be put forward; protrude or cause to protrudeto stick one's head out of the window
(tr) informal to place or put in a specified positionstick your coat on this chair
to fasten or be fastened by or as if by an adhesive substancestick the pages together; they won't stick
(tr) informal to cause to become sticky
(when tr, usually passive) to come or cause to come to a standstillwe were stuck for hours in a traffic jam; the wheels stuck
(intr) to remain for a long timethe memory sticks in my mind
(tr) slang, mainly British to tolerate; abideI can't stick that man
(intr) to be reluctant
(tr; usually passive) informal to cause to be at a loss; baffle, puzzle, or confuseI was totally stuck for an answer
(tr) slang to force or impose something unpleasant onthey stuck me with the bill for lunch
(tr) to kill by piercing or stabbing
stick in one's throat or stick in one's craw informal to be difficult, or against one's conscience, for one to accept, utter, or believe
stick one's nose into See nose (def. 17)
stick to the ribs informal (of food) to be hearty and satisfying
the state or condition of adhering
informal a substance causing adhesion
obsolete something that causes delay or stoppage
Word Origin for stick
Old English stician; related to Old High German stehhan to sting, Old Norse steikja to roast on a spit
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
Idioms and Phrases with short end of the stick
In addition to the idioms beginning with stick
- stick around
- stick at
- stick by
- stick in one's craw
- stick it
- stick it to someone
- stick one's neck out
- stick out
- stick to
- stick together
- stick to one's guns
- stick to one's last
- stick to the ribs
- stick up
- stick up for
- stick with
- sticky fingers
- carrot and stick
- get on the stick
- make stick
- more than one can shake a stick at
- short end of the stick
- stand (stick) up for
- wrong end of the stick
Also see understuck.
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.