1a thin piece of wood that has fallen or been cut off a tree.
a long, thin piece of wood used for support in walking or as a weapon.
(in hockey, polo, and other games) a long, thin implement, typically made of wood, with a curved head or angled blade that is used to hit or direct the ball or puck.
(sticks) (in field hockey) the foul play of raising the stick above the shoulder.
[usually with modifier] a short, thin piece of wood used to impale food:lolly sticks
(the sticks) informal goalposts or cricket stumps.
Nautical, archaic a mast or spar.
a piece of basic furniture:every stick of furniture just vanished
2something resembling or likened to a stick, in particular:
a long, thin piece of something:a stick of dynamitecinnamon sticks
used to refer to a very thin person or limb:the girl was a stickher arms were like sticks
[as modifier] (of a figure) drawn with short, thin, straight lines:stick drawings of a man and girl
a conductor’s baton.
a gear or control lever.
US a quarter-pound pack of butter or margarine.
a number of bombs or paratroopers dropped rapidly from an aircraft:the sticks of bombs rained down
a small group of soldiers assigned to a particular duty:a stick of heavily armed guards
3a threat of punishment or unwelcome measures (often contrasted with the offer of reward as a means of persuasion):training that relies more on the carrot than on the stickCompare with carrot (sense 3).
[mass noun]British informal severe criticism or treatment:I took a lot of stick from the press
4 (the sticks) informal, derogatory rural areas far from cities or civilization:he felt hard done by living out in the sticks
5 [with adjective] informal, dated a person of a specified kind:Janet’s not such a bad old stick sometimes
6 Stock Exchange a large quantity of unsold stock, especially the proportion of shares which must be taken up by underwriters after an unsuccessful issue.
over the sticks
Horse Racing in steeplechasing and hurdles:he gives Folk Dance his seasonal debut over the sticks
sticks and stones may break my bones but names (or words) will never hurt me
proverb used to express indifference to an insult or abuse:all that flies back and forth, really, is words—sticks and stones, y’know?
up the stick
British informal pregnant.
British informal go to live elsewhere.
[from nautical slang to up sticks 'set up a boat's mast' (ready for departure)]