stickler

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From stickle +‎ -er.

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

stickler (plural sticklers)

  1. (now only Cornish) A referee or adjudicator at a fight, wrestling match, duel, etc. who ensures fair play. [from 16th c.]
    • 1603, John Florio, translating Michel de Montaigne, Essays, II.27:
      In ancient time they were wont to employ third persons as sticklers, to see no treachery or disorder were used, and to beare witnes of the combates successe.
    • Sir Philip Sidney
      Basilius, the judge, appointed sticklers and trumpets whom the others should obey.
    • Dryden
      Our former chiefs, like sticklers of the war, / First sought to inflame the parties, then to poise.
  2. Someone who insistently advocates for something. [from 17th c.]
    Lexicographers are sticklers for correct language.
    • Jonathan Swift
      The Tory or High-church were the greatest sticklers against the exorbitant proceedings of King James II.

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