stickle Meaning, Definition & Usage

  1. verb dispute or argue stubbornly (especially minor points)


Stic"kle intransitive verb
Probably fr. OE. stightlen, stitlen, to dispose, arrange, govern, freq. of stihten, AS. stihtan: cf. G. stiften to found, to establish.
imperfect & past participle Stickled ; present participle & verbal noun Stickling
  1. To separate combatants by intervening. Obs.
    When he [the angel] sees half of the Christians killed, and the rest in a fair way of being routed, he stickles betwixt the remainder of God's host and the race of fiends. Dryden.
  2. To contend, contest, or altercate, esp. in a pertinacious manner on insufficient grounds.
    Fortune, as she 's wont, turned fickle, And for the foe began to stickle. Hudibras.
    While for paltry punk they roar and stickle. Dryden.
    The obstinacy with which he stickles for the wrong. Hazlitt.
  3. To play fast and loose; to pass from one side to the other; to trim.
Stic"kle transitive verb
  1. To separate, as combatants; hence, to quiet, to appease, as disputants. Obs.
    Which [question] violently they pursue, Nor stickled would they be. Drayton.
  2. To intervene in; to stop, or put an end to, by intervening; hence, to arbitrate. Obs.
    They ran to him, and, pulling him back by force, stickled that unnatural fray. Sir P. Sidney.
Stic"kle noun
Cf. stick, v. t. & i.
  1. A shallow rapid in a river; also, the current below a waterfall. Obs. or Prov. Eng.
    Patient anglers, standing all the day Near to some shallow stickle or deep bay. W. Browne.

Webster 1913