adjective, stick·i·er, stick·i·est.
  1. having the property of adhering, as glue; adhesive.
  2. covered with adhesive or viscid matter: sticky hands.
  3. (of the weather or climate) hot and humid: It was an unbearably sticky day.
  4. requiring careful treatment; awkwardly difficult: a rather sticky diplomatic problem; Breaking the news is going to be sticky.
  5. Informal. unpleasant; unfortunate; nasty: The villain of the story meets a sticky end.
noun, plural stick·ies.
  1. one of a number of small sheets of paper on a pad, each having an adhesive backing that allows it to be positioned and repositioned on smooth surfaces.

Origin of sticky

1720–30; 1910–15 for def 4; stick2 + -y1
Related formsstick·i·ly, adverbstick·i·ness, nounnon·stick·y, adjectiveun·stick·y, adjective

Synonyms for sticky Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

British Dictionary definitions for unsticky


adjective stickier or stickiest
  1. covered or daubed with an adhesive or viscous substancesticky fingers
  2. having the property of sticking to a surface
  3. (of weather or atmosphere) warm and humid; muggy
  4. (of prices) tending not to fall in deflationary conditions
  5. informal difficult, awkward, or painfula sticky business
  6. US informal sentimental
  7. (of a website) encouraging users to visit repeatedly
verb stickies, stickying or stickied
  1. (tr) informal to make sticky
noun plural stickies Australian informal
  1. short for stickybeak
  2. an inquisitive look or stare (esp in the phrase have a sticky at)
Derived Formsstickily, adverbstickiness, noun
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 unsticky



1727, "adhesive," from stick (v.). An Old English word for this was clibbor. First recorded 1864 in the sense of "sentimental;" 1915 with the meaning "difficult." Of weather, "hot and humid," from 1895. Sticky wicket is 1952, from British slang, in reference to cricket.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper