Phrasal verbs with “stick” in English

Phrasal Verbs with "Stick" - Definitions

What does “stick” mean in English?

The word “stick” [stɪk] in English can be used as both a verb and a noun. As a verb, “stick” means to adhere or fasten something to a surface. For example: “He stuck a stamp on the envelope.” As a noun, “stick” can mean a thin piece of wood or branch. Grammatically, the word “stick” has several forms:

  • Present Simple: stick / sticks
  • Past Simple: stuck
  • Present Participle: sticking
  • Past Participle: stuck

The word “stick” is also part of several phrasal verbs, such as “stick around” (remain nearby) or “stick out” (protrude). Let’s examine some common phrasal verbs with “stick” in more detail, their meanings, and examples.

Common phrasal verbs with “stick” in English

Stick to

  • Meaning: Not change.
  • Example: “Despite the tempting offers, she decided to stick to her original career path.”
  • Meaning: To adhere to or follow closely.
  • Example: “It’s important to stick to the rules.”
  • Meaning: To adhere strictly to something.
  • Example: “He always sticks to his diet.”
  • Meaning: To adhere strictly to a plan or decision.
  • Example: “It’s important to stick to the schedule.”

Stick out

  • Meaning: To protrude or be noticeable.
  • Example: “His bright red tie really sticks out.”
  • Meaning: To be clearly visible or noticeable.
  • Example: “His talent really sticks out.”
  • Meaning: To be obvious or noticeable.
  • Example: “His strange behavior really sticks out.”
  • Meaning: Continue doing something difficult or unpleasant.
  • Example: “I sticks it out even though I hated every minute of it.”

Stick out for

  • Meaning: Demand a salary raise.
  • Example: “We’re sticking out for a 10% increase.”

Stick up

  • Meaning: To stand upright or on end, often used to describe hair or objects protruding upwards.
  • Example: “After being startled, the cat’s fur stuck up along its back.”
  • Meaning: To rob or hold up, often at gunpoint.
  • Example: “The bank was stuck up by armed robbers.”
  • Meaning: To rob or hold up, usually using force.
  • Example: “The store was stuck up last night.”

Stick around

  • Meaning: To remain in a place or stay nearby.
  • Example: “I’ll stick around and wait for you.”
  • Meaning: To remain in a place or wait for something to happen.
  • Example: “I’ll stick around until you’re finished.”
  • Meaning: To remain in a place or wait for something.
  • Example: “I’ll stick around until you’re ready to leave.”

Stick at

  • Meaning: To persevere with or continue doing something, especially when faced with difficulties or challenges.
  • Example: “Although the project was challenging, she decided to stick at it until she succeeded.”

Stick down

  • Meaning: To fix or attach something firmly to a surface using an adhesive.
  • Example: “He stuck down the loose corner of the carpet with glue.”

Stick up for

  • Meaning: To defend or support someone or something.
  • Example: “He always sticks up for his friends.”

Stick together

  • Meaning: To remain united or supportive as a group.
  • Example: “We need to stick together in times of crisis.”

Stick by

  • Meaning: To support or remain loyal to someone.
  • Example: “I’ll stick by you no matter what.”

Stick it out

  • Meaning: To endure or persevere through a difficult situation.
  • Example: “She decided to stick it out until the end.”

Stick it to

  • Meaning: Criticise someone, treat someone badly or unfairly.
  • Example: “The landlord stuck it to us with a huge rent increase.”

Stick with

  • Meaning: To remain loyal or committed to something.
  • Example: “I’ll stick with you until the end.”
  • Meaning: To persist in or continue with something, especially when it is difficult or unpleasant.
  • Example: “Although the project became more challenging, she decided to stick with it until she achieved success.”

Exercise on using phrasal verbs with “stick”

Fill in the missing phrasal verbs with the word ‘stick’.

  1. She promised to _______ by her decision despite the criticism.
  2. The new policy is to ________ the original plan.
  3. Despite the difficulties, he decided to ________ and finish what he started.
  4. The kitten got frightened and saw its fur ________.
  5. Let’s ________ and see how the situation unfolds.


  1. stick
  2. stick with
  3. stick it out
  4. stick up
  5. stick around

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