Did you know?

Click any word in a definition or example to find the entry for that word

stick up - definition and synonyms

What are red words?

90% of the time, speakers of English use just 7,500 words in speech and writing. These words appear in red, and are graded with stars. One-star words are frequent, two-star words are more frequent, and three-star words are the most frequent.

Thesaurus diagram

The thesaurus of synonyms and related words is fully integrated into the dictionary. Click on the thesaurus category heading under the button in an entry to see the synonyms and related words for that meaning.

phrasal verb
Word Forms
present tense
I/you/we/theystick up
he/she/itsticks up
present participlesticking up
past tensestuck up
past participlestuck up
  1. 1
    [intransitive] to continue upwards further than the end of a surface or the main part of an object

    You’ve got a bit of hair sticking up at the back.

    The oil rig stuck up out of the darkness.

  2. 2
    [transitive] informal to raise something upwards, especially your arm or hand

    Maggie stuck up her hand to answer the question.

  3. 3
    [transitive] mainly American very informal to steal money or goods from a person or place using a gun

    an attempt to stick up a local bank

  4. 4
    stick ’em up mainly American spoken if someone with a gun tells you to stick ’em up, they are ordering you to raise your arms above your head, usually because they are going to steal money or goods from you
    Synonyms and related words
See also main entry: stick


a lifestyle focussing on simple pleasures such as comfort and cosiness in the home, and spending time with friends and family

BuzzWord Article

Open Dictionary


a form of location that involves the underwater detonation of a bomb which causes sound waves that are picked up by ships

add a word


A must for anyone with an interest in the changing face of language. The Macmillan Dictionary blog explores English as it is spoken around the world today.

global English and language change from our blog
Macmillan learn live love play