make (something) stick

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make (something) stick

To cause something to be permanent, established, or able to persist. I've been trying to teach my class the equation all week, but nothing seems to make it stick. The district attorney is afraid we won't be able to make the charges stick if we arrest the suspect now.
See also: make, stick

make stick

Make effective or permanent, as in They tried to appeal but our lawyers made the verdict stick. This idiom uses stick in the sense of "adhere." [First half of 1900s]
See also: make, stick

make something stick

AMERICAN, INFORMAL
If you make something stick, you make it continue to be successful or effective. Mr. Kasparov held the advantage in the first game but could not make it stick.
See also: make, something, stick
References in classic literature ?
One of them let go the rope in the midst of the hoisting and slipped down to the deck dead; but Saxtorph hammered the others and made them stick by the job.
When he got home, George decided to look at the stubborn burrs under his microscope to see what made them stick.
Nearly half (44 per cent) of the 1,006 people questioned said the broader range of goods often made them stick to the products they usually bought.
The study in magazine Retail Week found 44% of 1,006 people questioned said the range of goods often made them stick to products they usually bought.
Forty-four per cent of 1,006 people questioned by Accenture's Consumer Choice said the multiplicity of goods for sale often merely made them stick to the products they usually bought.