Definition of sticky in English:

sticky

adjective

  • 1Tending or designed to stick to things on contact.

    ‘sticky cakes and pastries’
    ‘a sticky label’
    • ‘Provide some bowls of water to drop sticky utensils in as you go.’
    • ‘The table is littered with sticky coffee cups and stickier buns.’
    • ‘Pierce the centre of the cake with a fork - it should come out sticky, but not with raw mixture attached to it.’
    • ‘In seawater, the expelled tubules lengthen considerably and become sticky upon contact with any object.’
    • ‘The main room is so huge it kills atmosphere and the floor was dirty and sticky.’
    • ‘That could be the solution to keeping Swindon's streets free from the sticky stains.’
    • ‘That means the town centre is soiled with around 200,000 sticky stains.’
    • ‘Walker stretches double-sided, highly sticky carpet tape between garden stakes in front of the entrance to a burrow.’
    • ‘Eventually, however I inflated a passable bubble, which left me with a sticky chin, but restored my dignity.’
    • ‘Babbling brats would congregate near my truck, waving their miscounted sticky change in little grubby fists.’
    • ‘Emma went into the kitchen, where sticky plates and bowls and a messy skillet waited.’
    • ‘The web isn't sticky, but slows prey down long enough for the spider to grab dinner and drag it to the den.’
    • ‘It was filthy and sticky and as he carefully picked it up to place it in the trash, he noticed some scribble on the back.’
    • ‘I no longer cared if something sticky and messy got in it - what use was there in worrying about my hair, when the rest of the world was being threatened?’
    • ‘He kept his head down as he mopped, scrubbing at a sticky stain.’
    • ‘They also sprayed some kind of substance on the equipment which made it sticky and unusable.’
    • ‘Thanks to phenomenally sticky feet, certain spiders can carry 170 times their weight upside-down.’
    • ‘The patch is very sticky, and shouldn't fall off.’
    • ‘Jenn felt something sticky on her hand, and removed it.’
    • ‘The sticky boxes are designed to lure their prey with scents of chocolate and other foods.’
    adhesive, adherent, gummed
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 (of a substance) glutinous; viscous.
      ‘the dough should be moist but not sticky’
      • ‘And these are enzymes that make up a gluey, sticky substance, known as glucan, and the bacteria make this from sugar.’
      • ‘The bottom of my bags usually turn into a potpourri of sticky gum, tobacco, half eaten cough drops and pennies that are slimed in a foreign substance.’
      • ‘Stir in the flour and salt, a sticky dough should form.’
      • ‘Some of the sticky substance stuck on her shoe and she grimaced in disgust.’
      • ‘In the last number of weeks a sticky coating has been painted on to the roof and the top of the walls.’
      • ‘Ideally the amount of honey used is regulated so that the finished processed licorice is only slightly sticky.’
      • ‘Once we had a food project and I made a sticky mess of a cake.’
      • ‘After rubbing them against the bumpy bark, I had covered them in a pungent sticky sap, designed to protect the trees from the tendency to rot in such a wet environment.’
      • ‘When an egg is laid it is covered by a sticky substance that glues the egg firmly to any surface on which it is laid, irrespective of whether it is an adult bug or a plant.’
      • ‘These vegetables are often pounded into a thick, sticky dough or paste.’
      • ‘His hand came in contact with the sticky remains of one Twinkie.’
      • ‘Now ants have this relationship with aphids where they looks after aphids and move them around and eat the sweet sticky substance aphids secrete onto plant leaves.’
      • ‘The maidservant watched as a slow trickle of a thick sticky black substance began to run down the carved panels.’
      • ‘Gently remove the sticky residue with warm water and a wash cloth.’
      • ‘Be careful not to use an oily wood which will release sticky resin when hot.’
      • ‘It looks a bit like a fire extinguisher and you spray it and this sticky foam goes all over you and then it hardens and then you're just kind of stuck to the floor.’
      • ‘I love a trip to the cinema except for the rather sticky residue on the floor.’
      • ‘The dough will be firm but moist, and a bit sticky to the touch.’
      • ‘Then, she proceeded in smearing the sticky pink glob all over his curly hair.’
      • ‘I personally had a most unpleasant train trip just last week where someone had blatantly smeared sticky jam all over the handrails and back of seats.’
      glutinous, viscous, viscid
      View synonyms
    2. 1.2 (of prices, interest rates, or wages) slow to change or react to change.
      • ‘Wages are typically very sticky and slow to adjust and the job market in Hong Kong will stay very competitive.’
      • ‘Such sticky prices in the presence of an increase in the money supply then result in increased real demand.’
      • ‘Retail gasoline prices tend to be stickier than wholesale ones.’
      • ‘What is far more likely to be the case is that one market will have "stickier" prices than the other.’
      • ‘New theories of unemployment give a reason that wages and prices would be sticky.’
      • ‘Why are food and energy prices so much stickier in the U. K. than elsewhere?’
      • ‘It is true that in the short run, wages seem to be sticky and we get results that are inconsistent with market clearing, notably bouts of high unemployment.’
      • ‘Long-term rates have proven to be sticky.’
      • ‘Sticky prices in the face of positive movement in the economy points to some form of distortion.’
      • ‘UK inflation is proving to be far stickier than Eurozone inflation.’
      • ‘The second quarter showed just how sticky prices can be on the downward side.’
      • ‘The negative repercussions of such inadequate concurrent production are made worse if prices are sticky or do not adjust quickly.’
      • ‘Approximately 70 per cent of the company's costs are labour related and these are likely to be sticky in the short to medium term.’
      • ‘In many parts of the southeast of England house sales are proving to be stubbornly sticky, even after sellers have made a 5 % or 10 % cut in the asking price to achieve a sale.’
      • ‘The presence of nonmarket forces, such as regulations, sticky wages, or tradition, may weaken competition.’
      • ‘The pace of house price increases has slowed markedly, and in many parts of the southeast of England house sales are proving to be stubbornly sticky.’
      • ‘As with other manufactured products, bread prices tend to be sticky.’
      • ‘I would think that commercial real estate would tend to be somewhat more sensitive to interest rates and to economic conditions than residential real estate, where prices are probably stickier.’
      • ‘Labor is no longer a commodity with a sticky price.’
      • ‘Inflation helps the economy deal with sticky wages and prices.’
  • 2(of the weather) hot and humid; muggy.

    ‘it was an unusually hot and sticky summer’
    • ‘When it is sticky and sweaty, no one really cares about drinking wisely and well.’
    • ‘Hot, sticky weather such as that we have been having for the last few days simply adds to stress, says Mrs Clarke - and makes it more likely that we will flare out of control.’
    • ‘In an open-neck blue shirt, crisp denim jeans, brown suede shoes, and carrying a denim jacket, he is ideally dressed for the sticky weather.’
    • ‘The water lapped playfully closer and close to our toes and the cool sand embraced our bodies like a fresh sheet on a sticky summer night.’
    • ‘The sultry, sticky heat that usually hangs over central Japan in summertime might have been bothersome to many.’
    • ‘The air was so humid and sticky that it made breathing difficult.’
    • ‘They proved that once again with a virtually flawless set on this sticky late summer evening.’
    • ‘If the weather is sticky, it is humid and not particularly pleasant.’
    • ‘It's a great place to go in the summer when it gets very hot and sticky.’
    • ‘The Constitution of the United States was crafted over four hot, sticky months in the summer of 1787 in Philadelphia.’
    • ‘Not only is this the worst month of the year for hot and sticky weather, but we've had a couple of weeks of absolute train chaos.’
    • ‘The music is soulful, the weather is warm and sticky, and the women are beautiful.’
    • ‘Right after we came ashore, we felt the sticky, humid air of the land hit our faces.’
    • ‘This mix, accompanied by a sticky heat, climate and geography completely separate from the rest of the USA, creates a romantic mystery for the whole state.’
    • ‘The weather was very hot and sticky but the good news was no rain.’
    • ‘History is the eventual arbiter for all that is argued in the sticky, sweaty months of summer.’
    • ‘Its so muggy and sticky and every time I breath in, the air feels disgustingly warm and damp.’
    • ‘The nation's capital attracts every type of tourist in the sticky summer months.’
    • ‘Sitting in fringe theatres on sticky summer nights can be pretty purgatorial.’
    • ‘Summers at Valley Forge are miserably hot and sticky - not at all like the breezy cool of the Kenyan highlands.’
    humid, muggy, close, sultry, sweltering, steamy, oppressive, airless, stifling, suffocating, sweaty, soupy, like a turkish bath, like a sauna
    View synonyms
    1. 2.1 Damp with sweat.
      ‘she felt hot and sticky and changed her clothes’
      • ‘She dropped her luggage to the ground and immediately peeled her sweater from her moist, sticky skin.’
      • ‘When they are sweating and get sticky, I just open up the harness zipper.’
      • ‘They left the room and he pulled off the sticky, damp shirt.’
      • ‘Perhaps it was a sensation crystallised by the potent mix of sun and alcohol, and sweat cooled onto a sticky back.’
      • ‘It is my heavily researched belief that high pressure has a horrible effect on people, they're sticky, they're clammy, their bile rises and they snap at each other.’
      • ‘Arven wiped his slimy hands, which were now beginning to get disgustingly sticky.’
      • ‘Patients often feel cool, yet clammy or sticky to touch, and sometimes have dilated hand veins.’
      • ‘I couldn't help but notice how cool and dry Rick's hand felt, not moist and sticky.’
      • ‘His hair was wet with sweat, and his face was flush and sticky.’
      perspiring, sweating, clammy, glowing, moist, damp, slimy, soggy, dripping, drenched
      View synonyms
  • 3informal Involving problems; difficult or awkward.

    ‘the relationship is going through a sticky patch’
    • ‘He briefs us on the sticky subject of fakes and forgers, and offers sterling advice on how to care for a collection.’
    • ‘This is the latest in a growing number of sticky issues that threatens to delay final agreement on the document by its December deadline and push it over into the Irish presidency.’
    • ‘Shrinking the grain size in steps is essential because things get increasingly sticky as you head down the size scale.’
    • ‘Issues to be tackled will include the public or private ownership of infrastructure and the sticky question of over-regulation.’
    • ‘There is, however, one sticky issue that keeps this arrangement from really reaching its true potential.’
    • ‘The only sticky part is that when an invitation is sent very close to the event, then the recipient knows he was not on the original list, but most people roll with that.’
    • ‘This is a sticky issue because one person's advertisement is another person's junk mail.’
    • ‘The traffic is much lighter this morning, albeit still quite sticky by any normal standard.’
    • ‘I had, as I said, gotten myself into a rather sticky situation.’
    • ‘Junk bonds roared back into favour in the USA during the 1990s but the market has since hit a sticky patch.’
    • ‘So, if things get really sticky, could Ford sell off some of its big assets?’
    • ‘Alas, as a woman with two lives, such situations soon become rather sticky.’
    • ‘Now she was stuck in a very sticky situation.’
    • ‘The worst came when we hit a little sticky patch in November.’
    • ‘Things are getting pretty sticky in the NFL these days when it comes to the quarterback position.’
    • ‘Time will come, one day, when you find yourself in a very sticky situation.’
    • ‘The problem of soccer gambling has become too sticky even for local police to tackle.’
    • ‘It is a reality that marriages go through sticky times.’
    • ‘Don't expect too much and make sure you don't get into any sticky situations.’
    • ‘Had Fletcher needed more fuel, the situation might have gotten a little sticky.’
    awkward, difficult, tricky, ticklish, problematic, delicate, touch-and-go, embarrassing, sensitive, uncomfortable
    View synonyms
  • 4(of a website or its content) attracting a long visit or repeat visits from users.

    ‘make your site as sticky as possible to keep visitors there longer’
    ‘more and more often, web designers focus on the need to add sticky features to their sites’
    • ‘Traffic at the Survivor site spikes during that program, with the average viewer clicking around for a very sticky 30 minutes.’
    • ‘Horoscopes in particular must be the original sticky content, keeping your visitors coming back day after day or week after week.’
    • ‘The best thing about the site is that it provides an exceptionally sticky, single point of access for all things on the web concerning Ireland.’
    • ‘The use of Flash technologies saves production time and makes the site more interactive and sticky.’
    • ‘Controlling the content on the stickiest kids' site on earth is an increasingly sticky matter.’
    • ‘Facebook and browser games are now a key element of many film and TV marketing campaigns - they're sticky, they're compelling and they give potential viewers ownership over stories and characters.’
    • ‘We build a site that is local, compelling and sticky that can drive traffic.’
    • ‘Page views are a good indication of how sticky your website is.’
    • ‘The site is lucid about the complexities of its business model - how its sticky content will produce a growing mass of daily page views.’
    • ‘We believe that eventually every major consumer-oriented company will need interactive programming - sticky content - for their Web sites.’
    • ‘Running a successful website can be a fulfilling activity, and it's my job to take you step by step through the route to creating a gorgeous, fast, accessible and sticky site.’
    • ‘By implementing these tools, you will end up adding value to your website while making your pages more sticky.’
    • ‘Library websites are already about as sticky as sites like Amazon, with an average stay of almost ten minutes.’
    • ‘Constantly changing both the copy and imagery on your site helps maintain the sticky factor, which helps to bring visitors back to your site time and again.’
    • ‘Originally a way to stay above water by making their sites more sticky, developers now recognise the importance of social play in their community development and pour them into the design mix.’
    • ‘Self-linking is one of the strategies to keep the users within a site, but there are other strategies to make sites sticky.’
    • ‘Websites are supposed to be sticky, they are supposed to change often enough that users are drawn back and, once there, discouraged from leaving.’
    • ‘To make your website stickier you can add a few simple interactive applications like site polls, surveys, a guest book, and an event calendar.’
    • ‘The site is sticky, with about 20 percent of visitors staying for 20 minutes per day.’
    • ‘By definition, search engine results aren't sticky: you're on your way somewhere else.’
    1. 4.1 (of a thread in an online forum) set to remain at the top of the other threads regardless of when it was last updated.
      ‘a sticky thread is now live on the forum’
      • ‘Maybe this post should be sticky so it always stays on top?’
      • ‘If you post in a sticky topic, you may find that the topic becomes "stuck" on your "New Posts" page as well.’
      • ‘I wish we had sticky threads, or maybe just a little new poster section.’
      • ‘I must admit that I'm not keen on the return of the 'three most recently replied to topics' idea but if we do bring that back, might sticky topics mess that up a bit?’
      • ‘The post announcing the event should be sticky until the day of the event.’
      • ‘You can have more than one sticky post and you can easily change which posts are sticky.’
      • ‘Note that in the Forum's Tarantino Books Corner, there is one sticky topic for each of the available Tarantino books, so it is very easy to find information on those books.’
      • ‘If you know of any topics that should be included in the sticky topics at the top of each forum, please tell that forum's moderator.’
      • ‘You can have a sticky thread with the most understandable topic title ever and you'll still have muppets posting the same questions underneath.’
      • ‘Should we make a sticky FAQ for this board?’
      • ‘I'm chucking in another vote for sticky topics.’
      • ‘We could just have one sticky thread that is always posted to whenever an announcement is made.’
      • ‘Have we ever had sticky threads, I can't remember?’
      • ‘We thought it might be useful if we had a single post containing details of the most useful guides, links and resources that have appeared on this forum - hence the new sticky post that you will see in this section.’
      • ‘How does all this relate to the concept of creating sticky group discussions?’
      • ‘It's been my long held opinion that we could get huge benefits from sticky threads for this sort of thing, should it become technically possible to implement.’
      • ‘Would it be possible to make the thread sticky?’
      • ‘I prefer having general help and advice on a static web page, rather than as sticky posts in a forum.’
      • ‘I wonder if it would be a good idea to add sticky thread capability so we can have the equivalent of the 'Stupid Questions' at the top of every forum that needs one.’
      • ‘I wanted to find out whether it was possible to have an option to 'minimise' the sticky section on any given thread?’
    2. 4.2informal Long-lasting or persistent.
      ‘his new nickname has proved to be surprisingly sticky’
      • ‘These labels are, however, often based on assumptions and stereotypes - and can be sticky and difficult to shake off.’
      • ‘There have been several failed attempts at advertising systems for online content, but some more recent methods have proven to be sticky.’
      • ‘If you have followed the way the press operate over the past couple of decades, you can smell a sticky story that pushes the desired narrative a mile away.’
      • ‘The hard part is picking from several valuable ideas the single most valuable idea and making it as sticky as possible.’
      • ‘With the really sticky ideas, a company has told a story to people throughout the company and beyond, so that employees can make the right decisions on their own.’
      • ‘A study done by an associate professor at Ohio State University has debunked the sticky myth that 9 out of every 10 restaurants fails in the first year.’
      • ‘Some habits can be quite sticky and hard to change.’
      • ‘Psychiatric labels that define certain behaviours and beliefs as deviant are particularly sticky and difficult to escape from.’
      • ‘The sticky idea that tests are measures of achievement persists.’
      • ‘Sometimes a carefully crafted given name simply gives way to a sticky nickname.’
      • ‘Customers tend to stick around. ‘These are sticky, long-term contracts’.’
      • ‘Once our attention is grabbed, sticky ideas refuse to let go, holding our interest by creating in us a need to discover the outcome.’
      • ‘The sticky nature of these and so many other urban legends intrigued the authors.’
      • ‘He has a bad habit of spreading sticky rumours about other residents.’
      • ‘These industries proved to be sticky, long-lasting, respectful to people and the environment and a key to innovation.’
      • ‘The sticky nickname of Health Nazis is now universally used by any opponent to define Tobacco Control.’
      • ‘As usual, the envy is largely baseless and dumb, but it's sticky and hard to shake.’
      • ‘Trinidad has a very rich history and culture which has proven to be sticky in an ever changing modern world.’
      • ‘This view has proved remarkably sticky.’
      • ‘It's a sadly sticky nickname that was given to me by my best friend.’

noun

  • 1A piece of paper with an adhesive strip on one side, used for leaving messages or reminders.

    • ‘And I get to put little red and orange stickies at the bottom of the pages, too.’
    • ‘Jay picked up one of the stickies on her desk and passed it to him.’
    • ‘I certainly needed my deck of yellow stickies to flag her intelligent illustrations, but I found it all quite manageable because she writes so well.’
    • ‘I found that I had to keep a deck of small yellow stickies at hand to post on pages with diagrams and definitions.’
    • ‘Perfect pictures of sunny days, birthday parties and proms, of boyfriends, girlfriends and parents all hamming it up for the camera were as abundant as the yellow stickies that plastered his desk back at the precinct.’
    • ‘Handling problems and dealing with a nonstop barrage of calls is probably more than can be efficiently handled by a few yellow stickies.’
    • ‘And the secure system with the hard-to-guess passwords won't be very secure after users post their passwords on little yellow stickies.’
  • 2(in an online forum) a thread containing important information that is set to remain at the top of the other threads regardless of when it was last updated.

    ‘could you put a sticky in the forum for those of us that are confused?’
    • ‘I suggest to every new member to read the interesting stickies.’
    • ‘A lot of stickies were brought in from the sub-forums and probably shouldn't be stickies any more.’
    • ‘It remains the mentors' choice whether that thread has become good enough to be made into a sticky in the FAQ-forum.’
    • ‘Let me start by saying sorry if this has been posted elsewhere, but I couldn't find it in the sticky and I'm not sure how to search whole questions.’
    • ‘The two useful threads are hidden amongst 20 threads that should not be stickies.’
    • ‘The Mint Forum has a number of stickies explaining how to configure Mint using familiar terms from the config files of your favorite blogging software.’
    • ‘Mods, can we get this video turned into a sticky?’
    • ‘This thread should really be a sticky.’
    • ‘Since it's been suggested there were too many stickies at the top of the forum, I'm going to add a layer of indirection and replace them with this thread.’
    • ‘Should "Loop Back Test Instructions" be made into a sticky?’

Phrases

  • come to a sticky end

  • sticky fingers

    • informal A propensity to steal.

      • ‘Who knows what really happened in that hotel where they are being accused of getting a major case of sticky fingers around a vending machine.’
      • ‘A solid bike lock is also a good idea to help prevent someone with sticky fingers from leaving with your ride.’
      • ‘And I think most Americans don't want politicians' sticky fingers going through their tax returns.’
      • ‘Call me paranoid but I see the long sticky fingers of our State Department at work here.’
      • ‘I suspect sticky fingers were responsible for the ones that didn't arrive.’
      • ‘Oh, I enjoying firing people when I catch them with sticky fingers, stealing.’
      • ‘Well actually, I don't think my cousin Albert would have been fine even if he didn't develop those sticky fingers - he never stayed with one job or woman very long.’
      • ‘And we have had a spot of bother with sticky fingers as well.’
      • ‘This is especially surprising in such a wealthy county - sticky fingers perhaps, somewhere?’
      • ‘Caught with sticky fingers Bob dismissed the sum as pocket change and handed it back.’
  • a sticky wicket

    • 1A pitch that has been drying after rain and is difficult to bat on.

      • ‘True, it spoke without much inflection, as if reporting a cricket score from a sticky wicket.’
      • ‘Supporters heading to today's game at Wandella would be pleased to know that the rain also failed to turn Wandella Road into a sticky wicket.’
      • ‘Grange had made 91-4 on a sticky wicket against Wheldrake, who had enjoyed a good win over Ovington in the first round.’
      • ‘The Bears were sent in on a sticky wicket and were soon in trouble at 3-7.’
      1. 1.1informal A tricky or awkward situation.
        ‘I might be on a sticky wicket if I used that line’
        • ‘Hardly a hot bed of rap music so I think they were on a sticky wicket right from the start.’
        • ‘English cricket looks to be on a sticky wicket in the aftermath of the national team's disappointing exit from the World Cup.’
        • ‘With increasing education levels, and rising standards of living (with rising expectations) China's fascist rulers are on a sticky wicket.’
        • ‘It's a bit of a sticky wicket, but we've got to put something back and we must try to look at the whole picture.’
        • ‘If Mark is leaving because of rumoured budget cuts, the person coming in is on a sticky wicket straight away.’
        • ‘The Democratic Presidential nominee, who has been railing against outsourcing, is walking on a sticky wicket on the issue.’
        • ‘It was obvious by his address that the new Governor did not want to start his innings on a sticky wicket, hence his eagerness to disassociate himself with reports which referred to his closeness to the Gandhi family.’
        • ‘Fighting ‘globalisation’ always was a sticky wicket for the radical Left.’
        • ‘The Taoiseach is certainly batting on a sticky wicket - if you'll excuse the cricket term - but it fills the bill aptly here.’
        • ‘The controlling group needs to know they are going to be on a sticky wicket with this.’

Pronunciation

sticky

/ˈstɪki/