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1. verb To stand or protrude upright. I always get this single hair that sticks up after I dry my hair.
2. verb To affix something to a high point on a vertical surface for it to be seen or displayed. In this usage, a noun or pronoun can be used between "stick" and "up." My mom always sticks my good grades up on the fridge. It's a little embarrassing, but it also makes me feel good. The police are sticking up wanted posters of the criminal.
3. verb To raise and hold something aloft. In this usage, a noun or pronoun can be used between "stick" and "up." Tom, don't stick up your hand if you don't have something worthwhile to say. The giraffe stuck its head up above the canopy of leaves.
4. verb To rob someone or something, especially at gunpoint. In this usage, a noun or pronoun can be used between "stick" and "up." The criminal stuck me up in the back alley and stole all my money. He got sent to prison at 16 for sticking up drugstores and supermarkets.
5. noun A robbery, especially at gunpoint. As a noun, the phrase is usually hyphenated. That's the second stick-up at that gas station this month. Everybody on the ground, this is a stick-up!
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
stick someone or something up
to rob someone or a business establishment. (Presumably with the aid of a gun.) Max tried to stick the drugstore up. Max stuck up the store.
stick something up
1. to fasten something to a place where it can be seen; to put something on display, especially by gluing, tacking, or stapling. stick this notice up. Put a copy on every bulletin board. Please stick up this notice.
2. to raise something; to hold something up. she stuck her hand up because she knew the answer. The elephant stuck up its trunk and trumpeted.
to stand upright or on end; to thrust upward. The ugly red flower stuck up from the bouquet. Why is the worst-looking flower sticking up above all the rest?
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
1. Project from a surface, as in That little cowlick of his sticks up no matter what you do. [Early 1400s]
2. Put up a poster or notice, as in Will you stick up this announcement on the bulletin board? [Late 1700s]
3. Rob, especially at gunpoint, as in The gang concentrated on sticking up liquor stores and gas stations. This usage, dating from the mid-1800s, gave rise to the colloquial phrase, stick 'em up, a robber's order to a victim to raise his or her hands above the head. [1930s]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
1. To project or protrude upwards: When I woke up this morning my hair was sticking up.
2. To cause something to project or protrude upwards: The mayor stuck up her hands and waved to the crowd. Stick 'em up—this is a robbery!
3. To rob someone or something, especially at gunpoint: A robber stuck up the bank and stole thousands of dollars. Two people with shotguns walked into the store and stuck it up.
4. To post something with or as if with an adhesive: They stuck up posters all around the neighborhood. I stuck the photos up on my website.
5. stick up for To defend or support someone or something: I stuck up for my little brother whenever the other kids teased him. You should stick up for yourself and not let people spread rumors about you.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Phrasal Verbs. Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.