[ 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 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for stickler

British Dictionary definitions for stickler


/ (ˈstɪklə) /


(usually foll by for) a person who makes insistent demandsa stickler for accuracy
a problem or puzzlethe 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

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