stickleback (n.) Look up stickleback at
c. 1400, from Old English sticel "prick, sting, goad, thorn" (from Proto-Germanic *stik- "pierce, prick, be sharp;" see stick (v.)) + back (n.).
stickler (n.) Look up stickler at
1530s, "moderator, umpire," agent noun from stickle "mediate" (1520s), probably a frequentative of Middle English stighten "to arrange, place," from Old English stihtan "to rule, direct, arrange, order," which is cognate with Middle Dutch stichten, German stiften "to found, establish," probably from Proto-Germanic *stihtan "to place on a step or base," from PIE root *steigh- "to stride, step, rise" (see stair). Meaning "person who contends or insists stubbornly" is first recorded 1640s.
sticks (n.) Look up sticks at
"rural place," 1905, from sticks in slang sense of "trees" (compare backwoods). See stick (n.).
sticktoitiveness (n.) Look up sticktoitiveness at
1871, from phrase stick to it "persevere."
stickum (n.) Look up stickum at
"glue, paste," 1909, from stick (v.).
sticky (adj.) Look up sticky at
1727, "adhesive, inclined to stick," from stick (v.) + -y (2). An Old English word for this was clibbor. First recorded 1864 in the sense of "sentimental;" of situations, 1915 with the meaning "difficult." Of weather, "hot and humid," from 1895. Sticky wicket is 1952, from British slang, in reference to cricket. Related: Stickily; stickiness.
stiff (n.) Look up stiff at
"corpse, dead body," 1859, slang, from stiff (adj.) which had been associated with notion of rigor mortis since c. 1200. Meaning "working man" first recorded 1930, from earlier genitive sense of "contemptible person," but sometimes merely "man, fellow" (1882). Slang meaning "something or someone bound to lose" is 1890 (originally of racehorses), from notion of "corpse."
stiff (v.) Look up stiff at
late 14c., "to make stiff," from stiff (adj.). Meaning "fail to tip" is from 1939, originally among restaurant and hotel workers, probably from stiff (n.), perhaps in slang sense of "corpse" (because dead men pay no tips), or from the "contemptible person" sense. Extended by 1950 to "cheat."
stiff (adj.) Look up stiff at
Old English stif "rigid, inflexible," from Proto-Germanic *stifaz "inflexible" (source also of Dutch stijf, Old High German stif, German steif "stiff;" Old Norse stifla "choke"), from PIE *stipos-, from root *steip- "press together, pack, cram" (source also of Sanskrit styayate "coagulates," stima "slow;" Greek stia, stion "small stone," steibo "press together;" Latin stipare "pack down, press," stipes "post, tree trunk;" Lithuanian stipti "stiffen," stiprus "strong;" Old Church Slavonic stena "wall"). Of battles and competitions, from mid-13c.; of liquor, from 1813. To keep a stiff upper lip is attested from 1815. Related: Stiffly.
stiff-necked (adj.) Look up stiff-necked at
"stubborn, obstinate," 1520s (in Tindale's rendition of Acts vii.51), from stiff (adj.) + neck (n.); translating Latin dura cervice in Vulgate, from Greek sklero trachelos, a literal translation from Hebrew qesheh 'oref.
stiffen (v.) Look up stiffen at
early 15c., "make steadfast," from stiff (adj.) + -en (1). Intransitive sense from 1690s. Earlier verb was simply stiff "gain strength, become strong" (late 14c.). Related: Stiffened; stiffener; stiffening. Compare German steifen "to stiffen."
stiffness (n.) Look up stiffness at
late 14c., from stiff (adj.) + -ness. Meaning "uneasy formality" is from 1630s.
stifle (v.) Look up stifle at
late 14c., "to choke, suffocate, drown," of uncertain origin, possibly an alteration of Old French estouffer "to stifle, smother" (Modern French étouffer), itself of uncertain origin, perhaps from a Germanic source (compare Old High German stopfon "to plug up, stuff"). Metaphoric sense is from 1570s. Related: Stifled; stifling.
stigma (n.) Look up stigma at
1590s (earlier stigme, c. 1400), "mark made on skin by burning with a hot iron," from Latin stigma (plural stigmata), from Greek stigma (genitive stigmatos) "mark of a pointed instrument, puncture, tattoo-mark, brand," from root of stizein "to mark, tattoo," from PIE root *steig- "to stick; pointed" (see stick (v.)).

Figurative meaning "a mark of disgrace" in English is from 1610s. Stigmas "marks resembling the wounds on the body of Christ, appearing supernaturally on the bodies of the devout" is from 1630s; earlier stigmate (late 14c.), from Latin stigmata.
stigmatic (adj.) Look up stigmatic at
c. 1600, from Medieval Latin stigmaticus, from stigmat-, stem of Greek stigma (see stigma), + -ic. Related: Stigmatical (1580s).
stigmatism (n.) Look up stigmatism at
1660s, "a branding," from Greek stigmatizein, from stigmat-, stem of stigma (see stigma). Meaning "condition of being affected with stigmata" is from 1897.
stigmatization (n.) Look up stigmatization at
1822, noun of action from stigmatize.
stigmatize (v.) Look up stigmatize at
1580s, "to brand or tattoo," from Medieval Latin stigmatizare, from Greek stigmatizein, from stigmat-, stem of stigma (see stigma). Meaning "to blemish" is from 1610s (figurative), 1630s (literal). Related: Stigmatized; stigmatizing.
stile (n.) Look up stile at
Old English stigel, stile "device for climbing, ladder," related to stigen "to climb," from Proto-Germanic *stig- "to climb" (see stair). An arrangement to allow persons to pass but not sheep and cattle.
stiletto (n.) Look up stiletto at
1610s, "short dagger with a thick blade," from Italian stiletto, diminutive of stilo "dagger," from Latin stilus "pointed writing instrument" (see style (n.)). Stiletto heel first attested 1953.
still (n.2) Look up still at
c. 1200, "a calm," from still (adj.). Sense of "quietness, the silent part" is from c. 1600 (in still of the night). Meaning "a photograph" (as distinguished from a motion picture) is attested from 1916.
still (adv.) Look up still at
"even now, even then, yet" (as in still standing there), 1530s, from still (adj.) in the sense "without change or cessation, continual" (c. 1300); the sense of "even, yet" (as in still more) is from 1730.
still (v.) Look up still at
Old English stillan "to be still, have rest; to quiet, calm, appease; to stop, restrain," from stille "at rest" (see still (adj.)). Cognate with Old Saxon stillian, Old Norse stilla, Dutch, Old High German, German stillen. Related: Stilled; stilling.
still (adj.) Look up still at
Old English stille "motionless, stable, fixed, stationary," from Proto-Germanic *stilli- (source also of Old Frisian, Middle Low German, Middle Dutch stille, Dutch stil, Old High German stilli, German still), from PIE root *stel- "to put, stand," with derivatives referring to a standing object or place (see stall (n.1)). Meaning "quiet, calm, gentle, silent" emerged in later Old English. Euphemistic for "dead" in stillborn, etc. Still small voice is from KJV:
And he said, Go forth, and stand upon the mount before the LORD. And, behold, the LORD passed by, and a great and strong wind rent the mountains, and brake in pieces the rocks before the LORD; but the LORD was not in the wind: and after the wind an earthquake; but the LORD was not in the earthquake: and after the earthquake a fire; but the LORD was not in the fire: and after the fire a still small voice. [I Kings xix.11-13]
Used as a conjunction from 1722.
still (n.1) Look up still at
"distilling apparatus," 1530s, from Middle English stillen "to distill" (c. 1300), a variant of distillen (see distill).
still life (n.) Look up still life at
1690s, translating Dutch stilleven (17c); see still (adj.) + life (n.).
stillbirth (n.) Look up stillbirth at
also still-birth, 1764, from still (adj.) + birth (n.).
stillborn (adj.) Look up stillborn at
1590s, from still (adj.) + born. As a noun from 1913; still (n.) in this sense is attested from 1863 in undertaker's slang."
stillness (n.) Look up stillness at
Old English stilnes "quiet, silence, peace, release, relaxation;" see still (adj.) + -ness.
stilly (adv.) Look up stilly at
Old English stillice; see still (adj.) + -ly (2).
stilt (n.) Look up stilt at
early 14c., "a crutch," a common Germanic word (cognates: Danish stylte, Swedish stylta, Middle Low German, Middle Dutch stelte "stilt," Old High German stelza "plow handle, crutch"), though the exact relationship of them all is unclear, from Proto-Germanic *steltijon, from PIE root *stel- "to put, stand" (see stall (n.1)). Application to "wooden poles for walking across marshy ground, etc." is from mid-15c. Meaning "one of the posts on which a building is raised from the ground" is first attested 1690s. As a type of bird with long legs, from 1831. Stilted in the figurative sense of "pompous, stuffy" is first recorded 1820.
stilted (adj.) Look up stilted at
1610s, "having stilts," from stilt (n.). That of "elevated or supported by stilts" is from 1820. Figurative sense of "pompous, stuffy, formal and stiff" is first recorded 1820.
Stilton (n.) Look up Stilton at
1736, cheese made famous by a coaching inn at Stilton on the Great North Road from London, the owner being from Leicestershire, where the cheese was made. Since 1969 restricted to cheese made in Leicester, Derby, and Nottingham counties by members of the Stilton Cheese Makers Association. The place name is in Domesday Book as Stichiltone and probably means literally farmstead or village at a stile or steep ascent.
stimulant (adj.) Look up stimulant at
1772, from French stimulant or directly from Latin stimulantem (nominative stimulans), present participle of stimulare "to prick, urge, stimulate" (see stimulation). As a noun from 1794.
stimulate (v.) Look up stimulate at
1610s, "rouse to action," from Latin stimulatus, past participle of stimulare (see stimulation). Related: Stimulated; stimulating.
stimulation (n.) Look up stimulation at
1520s, "act of pricking or stirring to action," from Latin stimulationem (nominative stimulatio) "an incitement," noun of action from past participle stem of stimulare "prick, goad, urge," from stimulus "spur, goad" (see stimulus).
stimuli (n.) Look up stimuli at
Latinate plural of stimulus.
stimulus (n.) Look up stimulus at
plural stimuli, 1680s, originally as a medical term, "something that goads a lazy organ" (often the male member), from a modern use of Latin stimulus "a goad, a pointed stick," figuratively "a sting, a pang; incitement, spur," from PIE *sti- "point, prick, pierce" (see stick (v.)). General sense of "something that excites or arouses the mind or spirit" is from 1791. Psychological sense is first recorded 1894.
sting (n.) Look up sting at
Old English stincg, steng "act of stinging, puncture, thrust," from the root of sting (v.). Meaning "sharp-pointed organ capable of inflicting a painful puncture wound" is from late 14c. Meaning "carefully planned theft or robbery" is attested from 1930; sense of "police undercover entrapment" first attested 1975.
sting (v.) Look up sting at
Old English stingan "to stab, pierce, or prick with a point" (of weapons, insects, plants, etc.), from Proto-Germanic *stingan (source also of Old Norse stinga, Old High German stungen "to prick," Gothic us-stagg "to prick out," Old High German stanga, German stange "pole, perch," German stengel "stalk, stem"), perhaps from PIE *stengh-, nasalized form of root *stegh- "to stick, prick, sting."

Specialized to insects late 15c. Intransitive sense "be sharply painful" is from 1848. Slang meaning "to cheat, swindle" is from 1812. Old English past tense stang, past participle stungen; the past tense later leveled to stung.
sting-ray (n.) Look up sting-ray at
also sting ray, 1620s, from sting + ray (n.2). First in Capt. John Smith's writings: "Stingraies, whose tailes are very dangerous ...."
stinger (n.) Look up stinger at
1550s, agent noun from sting (v.). As an animal part, from 1889; earlier in this sense was sting (n.).
stinging (adj.) Look up stinging at
c. 1200, present participle adjective from sting (v.). Figurative use from late 14c.
stingy (adj.) Look up stingy at
"niggardly, penurious, extremely tight-fisted," 1650s, of uncertain origin, perhaps a dialectal alteration of earlier stingy "biting, sharp, stinging" (1610s), from sting (v.). Back-formation stinge "a stingy person" is recorded from 1905. Related: Stingily; stinginess.
stink (n.) Look up stink at
mid-13c., "strong offensive odor," from stink (v.). Sense of "extensive fuss" first recorded 1812.
stink (v.) Look up stink at
Old English stincan "emit a smell of any kind; exhale; rise (of dust, vapor, etc.)" (class III strong verb; past tense stanc, past participle stuncen), common West Germanic (cognates: Old Saxon stincan, West Frisian stjonke, Old High German stinkan, Dutch stinken), from the root of stench. Old English had swote stincan "to smell sweet," but offensive sense also was in Old English and predominated by mid-13c.; smell now tends the same way. Figurative meaning "be offensive" is from early 13c.; meaning "be inept" is recorded from 1924. To stink to high heaven first recorded 1963.
stink eye (n.) Look up stink eye at
"dirty look," by 1972, perhaps from Hawaiian slang.
stink-bug (n.) Look up stink-bug at
1869, American English, from stink + bug (n.).
stinker (n.) Look up stinker at
as a term of abuse (often banteringly), c. 1600, agent noun from stink (v.); also in the same sense was stinkard (c. 1600). Extended form stinkeroo attested by 1934.
stinkhorn (n.) Look up stinkhorn at
type of foul-smelling fungus, 1724, from stink + horn (n.), for its shape.