General English

  • noun anything long and thin
  • verb to attach something somewhere firmly, especially with glue
  • verb to be fixed or not to be able to move
  • verb to push something into something
  • verb to stay in a place
  • verb to put up with


  • noun the main hand control used by the pilot to control the aircraft roll and pitch


  • A waxed paper cartridge containing an explosive, usually 1-1/8" x 8" (3 x 20 cm).
  • A rigid bar fastened to the bucket and hinged at the boom of a power shovel or a backhoe.


  • noun a stump, specifically one of the stumps making up the batsman’s wicket
    Citation ‘In these particular games [the bodyline Tests] it is noticeable that our bowlers have hit the sticks so often’ (Cricketer Spring Annual 1933)
    Citation ‘Curtly Ambrose, apparently distressed by the lack of fighting spirit in his side, smashed down the two remaining stumps after his leg stick was removed by Chris Lewis’ (Ted Corbett, Sportstar [Chennai] 30 April 1994)
  • verb (of a possible catch) to be successfully held by a fielder
    Citation ‘If these two catches had stuck Australia would have been 32 for three’ (Henry Blofeld, Guardian 10 December 1983)


  • verb to attach something, to fix things together, e.g. with glue


  • noun a long thin piece of wood, which is broken or cut from a branch of a tree
  • noun a quantity of bombs, which are released by an aircraft at the same time
  • noun a group of paratroopers, who jump out of an aircraft during a single pass over the drop zone (DZ)


  • noun a joint, reefer (cannabis cigarette). A term which was fairly widespread among smokers of the drug (beatniks, prisoners, etc.) until the mid-1960s, when joint and spliff largely supplanted it.
  • noun chastisement, physical or verbal punishment. Originally implying a literal thrashing with a stick or cane, then generalised to any violent assault, the expression is now used, especially by middle-class speakers, to encompass verbal abuse, denigration or nagging.
  • noun a police truncheon
  • noun an excessively serious, dull or repressed person
  • noun a pickpocket’s associate or decoy.


  • noun the implement with which the ball is struck in some sports, e.g. hockey and lacrosse


  • noun something long and thin

Origin & History of “stick”

Stick ‘piece of wood’ (OE) and stick ‘fix, adhere’ (OE) come from the same Germanic source: the base *stik-, *stek-, *stak- ‘pierce, prick, be sharp’ (which also produced English attach, stake, stitch, stockade, and stoke). this in turn went back to the Indo-European base *stig-, *steig-, whose other descendants include Greek stígma (source of English stigma) and Latin stīgāre ‘prick, incite’ (source of English instigate (16th c.)) and stinguere ‘prick’ (source of English distinct, extinct, and instinct). From the Germanic base was derived a verb, source of English stick, which originally meant ‘pierce’. The notion of ‘piercing’ led on via ‘thrusting something sharp into something’ and ‘becoming fixed in something’ to ‘adhering’. The same base produced the noun *stikkon, etymologically a ‘pointed’ piece of wood, for piercing, which has become English stick. Yet another derivative of the base was Old English sticels ‘spine, prickle’, which forms the first element of the fish-name stickleback (15th c.) – etymologically ‘prickly back’.