short end the stick

stick

1 [stik]
noun
1.
a branch or shoot of a tree or shrub that has been cut or broken off.
2.
a relatively long and slender piece of wood.
3.
a long piece of wood for use as fuel, in carpentry, etc.
4.
a rod or wand.
5.
a baton.
6.
Chiefly British. a walking stick or cane.
7.
a club or cudgel.
8.
something that serves to goad or coerce: The threat of unemployment was the stick that kept the workers toiling overtime. Compare carrot ( def 3 ).
9.
a long, slender piece or part of anything: a stick of candy; sticks of celery.
10.
any of four equal parts in a pound of butter or margarine.
11.
Sports. an implement used to drive or propel a ball or puck, as a crosse or a hockey stick.
12.
Aeronautics. a lever, usually with a handle, by which the longitudinal and lateral motions of an airplane are controlled.
13.
Nautical. a mast or spar.
14.
Printing. composing stick.
15.
the sticks, Informal. any region distant from cities or towns, as rural districts; the country: Having lived in a large city all his life, he found it hard to adjust to the sticks.
16.
Military.
a.
a group of bombs so arranged as to be released in a row across a target.
b.
the bomb load.
17.
Informal. stick shift.
18.
Slang. a marijuana cigarette.
19.
Informal. an unenthusiastic or uninteresting person.
20.
Informal. a portion of liquor, as brandy, added to a nonalcoholic drink.
verb (used with object), sticked, sticking.
21.
to furnish (a plant, vine, etc.) with a stick or sticks in order to prop or support.
22.
Printing. to set (type) in a composing stick.
Idioms
23.
short/dirty end of the stick, Slang. the least desirable assignment, decision, or part of an arrangement.

Origin:
before 1000; Middle English stikke, Old English sticca; akin to Old High German stehho, Old Norse stik stick; akin to stick2

stickless, adjective
sticklike, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
stick1 (stɪk)
 
n
1.  a small thin branch of a tree
2.  a.  any long thin piece of wood
 b.  such a piece of wood having a characteristic shape for a special purpose: a walking stick; a hockey stick
 c.  a baton, wand, staff, or rod
3.  an object or piece shaped like a stick: a stick of celery; a stick of dynamite
4.  See control stick
5.  informal the lever used to change gear in a motor vehicle
6.  nautical a mast or yard
7.  printing See composing stick
8.  a.  a group of bombs arranged to fall at intervals across a target
 b.  a number of paratroops jumping in sequence
9.  slang
 a.  verbal abuse, criticism: I got some stick for that blunder
 b.  physical power, force (esp in the phrase give it some stick)
10.  (usually plural) a piece of furniture: these few sticks are all I have
11.  informal (plural) a rural area considered remote or backward (esp in the phrase in the sticks)
12.  informal (Canadian W coast), (Northwestern Canadian) (plural) the wooded interior part of the country
13.  (plural) hockey a declaration made by the umpire if a player's stick is above the shoulders
14.  (plural) goalposts
15.  obsolete (US) a cannabis cigarette
16.  a means of coercion
17.  informal a dull boring person
18.  informal (usually preceded by old) a familiar name for a person: not a bad old stick
19.  in a cleft stick in a difficult position
20.  wrong end of the stick a complete misunderstanding of a situation, explanation, etc
 
vb , sticks, sticking, sticked
21.  to support (a plant) with sticks; stake
 
[Old English sticca; related to Old Norse stikka, Old High German stecca]

stick2 (stɪk)
 
vb (when intr, foll by out, up, through, etc) , sticks, sticking, stuck
1.  (tr) to pierce or stab with or as if with something pointed
2.  to thrust or push (a sharp or pointed object) or (of a sharp or pointed object) to be pushed into or through another object
3.  (tr) to fasten in position by pushing or forcing a point into something: to stick a peg in a hole
4.  (tr) to fasten in position by or as if by pins, nails, etc: to stick a picture on the wall
5.  (tr) to transfix or impale on a pointed object
6.  (tr) to cover with objects piercing or set in the surface
7.  to put forward or be put forward; protrude or cause to protrude: to stick one's head out of the window
8.  informal (tr) to place or put in a specified position: stick your coat on this chair
9.  to fasten or be fastened by or as if by an adhesive substance: stick the pages together; they won't stick
10.  informal (tr) to cause to become sticky
11.  (when tr, usually passive) to come or cause to come to a standstill: we were stuck for hours in a traffic jam; the wheels stuck
12.  (intr) to remain for a long time: the memory sticks in my mind
13.  slang chiefly (Brit) (tr) to tolerate; abide: I can't stick that man
14.  (intr) to be reluctant
15.  informal (tr; usually passive) to cause to be at a loss; baffle, puzzle, or confuse: I was totally stuck for an answer
16.  slang (tr) to force or impose something unpleasant on: they stuck me with the bill for lunch
17.  (tr) to kill by piercing or stabbing
18.  informal stick in one's throat, stick in one's craw to be difficult, or against one's conscience, for one to accept, utter, or believe
19.  stick one's nose into See nose
20.  informal stick to the ribs (of food) to be hearty and satisfying
 
n
21.  the state or condition of adhering
22.  informal a substance causing adhesion
23.  obsolete something that causes delay or stoppage
 
[Old English stician; related to Old High German stehhan to sting, Old Norse steikja to roast on a spit]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

stick
O.E. sticca "rod, twig, spoon," from P.Gmc. *stikkon- "pierce, prick" (cf. O.N. stik, O.H.G. stehho, Ger. Stecken "stick, staff"), from PIE *st(e)ig- (see stick (v.)). Meaning "staff used in a game" is from 1674 (originally billiards); meaning "manual gearshift lever" first
recorded 1914. Phrase Sticks "rural place" is 1905, from sticks in slang sense of "trees" (cf. backwoods). Stick-ball is attested from 1824. Alliterative connection of sticks and stones is recorded from c.1436.

stick
O.E. stician "to pierce, stab," also "to remain embedded, be fastened," from P.Gmc. *stik- "pierce, prick, be sharp" (cf. O.S. stekan, O.Fris. steka, Du. stecken, O.H.G. stehhan, Ger. stechen "to stab, prick"), from PIE *st(e)ig- (cf. L. in-stigare "to goad;" Gk. stizein "to prick, puncture," stigma
"mark made by a pointed instrument;" O.Pers. tigra- "sharp, pointed;" Avestan tighri- "arrow;" Lith. stingu "to remain in place;" Rus. stegati "to quilt"). Figurative sense of "to remain permanently in mind" is attested from c.1300. Trans. sense of "to fasten (something) in place" is attested from late 13c. Stick out "project" is recorded from 1560s. Slang stick around "remain" is from 1912; stick it as a rude bit of advice is first recorded 1922.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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