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The popular name of two small fishes, both of the genus Gasterosteus. They seldom grow to the length of two inches. – Encyc. Dict. Nat. Hist.


  1. A sidesman to fencers; a second to a duelist; one who stands to judge a combat. Basilius the judge, appointed sticklers and trumpets whom the others should obey. – Sidney.
  2. An obstinate contender about any thing; as, a stickler for the church or for liberty. The tory or high church clergy were the greatest sticklers against the exorbitant proceedings of King James. – Swift.
  3. Formerly, an officer who cut wood for the priory of Ederose, within the king's parks of Clarendon. – Cowel.


Trimming; contending obstinately or eagerly.


Having the quality of adhering to a surface; adhesive; gluey; viscous; viscid; glutinous; tenacious. Gums and resins are sticky substances.

STID'DY, n. [Ice. stedia.]

An anvil; also, a smith's shop. [Not in use or local.]

STIFF, a. [Sax. stif; G. steif; D. and Sw. styf; Dan. stiv; allied to L. stipo, stabilis, Eng. staple, Gr. στιφρος, στιβιαω, στειβω.]

  1. Not easily bent; not flexible or pliant; not flaccid; rigid applicable to any substance; as, stiff wood; stiff paper; cloth stiff with starch; a limb stiff with frost. They, rising on stiff pinions, tower / The mid aerial sky. – Milton.
  2. Not liquid or fluid; thick and tenacious; inspissated not soft nor hard. Thus melted metals grow stiff as the cool; they are stiff before they are hard. The paste is too stiff, or not stiff enough.
  3. Strong; violent; impetuous in motion; as in seamen's language, a stiff gale or breeze.
  4. Hardy; stubborn; not easily subdued. How stiff my vile sense! – Shak.
  5. Obstinate; pertinacious; firm in perseverance or resistance. It is a shame to stand stiff a foolish argument. – Taylor. A war ensues; the Cretans own their cause, / Stiff to defend their hospitable laws. – Dryden.
  6. Harsh; formal; constrained; not natural and easy; a stiff formal style.
  7. Formal in manner; constrained; affected; starched; not easy or natural; as, stiff behavior. The French are open, familiar and talkative; the Italians stiff ceremonious and reserved. – Addison.
  8. Strongly maintained, or asserted with good evidence. This is stiff news. – Shak.
  9. In seamen's language, a stiff vessel is one that will bear sufficient sail without danger of oversetting.

STIFF-EN, v.i. [stif'n.]

  1. To become stiff; to become more rigid or less flexible. Like bristles rose my stiff'ning hair. – Dryden.
  2. To become more thick, or less soft; to be inspissated; to approach to hardness; as, melted substances stiffen as they cool. The tender soil then stiff'ning by degrees. – Dryden.
  3. To become less susceptible of impression; to become less tender or yielding; to grow more obstinate. Some souls we see, / Grow hard and stiffen with adversity. – Dryden.

STIFF-EN, v.t. [stif'n; Sax. stifian; Sw. styfna; D. styven; G. steifen; Dan. stivner, to stiffen, to starch.]

  1. To make stiff; to make less pliant or flexible; as, to stiffen cloth with starch. He stiffened his neck and hardened his heart from turning to the Lord God of Israel. – 2 Chron. xxxvi. Stiffen the sinews; summon up the blood. – Shak.
  2. To make torpid; as, stiffening grief. – Dryden.
  3. To inspissate; to make more thick or viscous; as, to stiffen paste.


Made stiff or less pliant.


Something that is used to make a substance more stiff or less soft.


Making or becoming less pliable, or more thick or more obstinate.

STIFF-HEART-ED, a. [stiff and heart.]

Obstinate; stubborn; contumacious. They are impudent children and stiff hearted. – Ezek. ii.

STIFF'LY, adv.

  1. Firmly; strongly; as, the boughs of tree stiffly upheld. – Bacon.
  2. Rigidly obstinately; with stubbornness. The doctrine of the infallibility of the Church of Rome is stiffly maintained by its adherents.

STIFF'-NECK-ED, a. [stiff and neck.]

Stubborn; inflexibly obstinate; contumacious; as, a stiff-necked people; stiff-necked pride. – Denham.


  1. Rigidness; want of pliableness or flexibility; the firm texture or state of a substance which renders it difficult to bend it; as, the stiffness of iron or wood; the stiffness of a frozen limb. – Bacon.
  2. Thickness; spissitude; a state between softness and hardness as, the stiffness of sirup, paste, size or starch.
  3. Torpidness; inaptitude to motion. An icy stiffness / Benumbs my blood. – Denham.
  4. Tension; as, the stiffness of a cord. – Dryden.
  5. Obstinacy; stubbornness; contumaciousness. The vices of old age have the stiffness of it too. – South. Stiffness of mind is not from adherence to truth, but submission to prejudice. – Locke.
  6. Formality of manner; constraint; affected precision. All this religion sat easily upon him, without stiffness and constraint. – Atterbury.
  7. Rigorousness; harshness. But speak no word to her of these sad plights, / Which her too constant stiffness doth constrain. – Spenser.
  8. Affected or constrained manner of expression or writing; want of natural simplicity and ease; as, stiffness of style.


  1. The joint of a horse next to the buttock, and corresponding to the knee in man; called also the stifle joint.
  2. A disease in the knee-pan of a horse or other animal. – Cyc.

STI'FLE, v.t. [The French etouffer, to stifle, is nearly allied to etoffe, Eng. stuff, L. stupa. But stifle seems to be more nearly allied to L. stipo and Eng. stiff and stop; all however of one family. Qu. Gr. τυφω.]

  1. To suffocate; to stop the breath or action of the lungs by crowding something into the windpipe, or by infusing a substance into the lungs, or by other means; to choke; as, to stifle one with smoke or dust.
  2. To stop; as, to stifle the breath; to stifle respiration.
  3. To oppress; to stop the breath temporarily; as, to stifle one with kisses; to be stifled in a close room or with bad air.
  4. To extinguish; to deaden; to quench; as, to stifle flame; to stifle a fire by smoke or by ashes.
  5. To suppress; to hinder from transpiring or spreading; as, to stifle a report.
  6. To extinguish; to check or restrain and destroy; to suppress; as, to stifle a civil war in its birth. – Addison.
  7. To suppress or repress; to conceal; to withhold from escaping or manifestation; as, to stifle passion; to stifle grief; to stifle resentment.
  8. To suppress; to destroy; as, to stifle convictions.


Suffocated; suppressed.


Suffocating; suppressing.

STIG'MA, n. [L. from Gr. στιγμα, from στιζω, to prick or stick.]

  1. A brand; a mark made with a burning iron.
  2. Any mark of infamy; any reproachful conduct which stains the purity or darkens the luster of reputation.
  3. In botany, the top of the pistil, which always has a peculiar structure different from that of the style, and is moist and pubescent to detain and burst the pollen or prolific powder. – Martyn.

STIG'MA-TA, n.1 [plur.]

The apertures in the bodies of insects communicating with the tracheæ or air-vessels. Encyc.

STIG'MA-TA, n.2 [plur. L.]

In theology, the marks or scars of our Savior's wounds.


  1. Marked with a stigma, or with something reproachful to character. – Shak.
  2. Impressing with infamy or reproach.


  1. A notorious profligate, or criminal who has been branded. [Little used.]
  2. One who bears about him the marks of infamy or punishment. [Little used.] – Bullokar.
  3. One on whom nature has set a mark of deformity. [Little used.] – Steevens.


With a mark of infamy or deformity.