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Stick to, stick by, or stick with

To stick is to attach to something or not move. There are three prepositions that are commonly used with this verb, by, with, and to, which change the verb to a phrasal verb. For the most part these can be used interchangeably to mean remain loyal or be persistent, especially if there is hardship involved.

In each phrasal verb, stick can take the usual formations of sticks, stuck, and sticking.


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A related phrase stick to your guns means to stay confident in a decision and not be swayed by detractors or doubts.

Examples

BP wanted its money back – hundreds of millions of dollars of it – but a federal judge said Wednesday that the oil giant must stick by its agreement with the companies it compensated for business losses due to the 2010 Gulf oil spill. [The Guardian]

Labour leader David Cunliffe is sticking by his decision to rule out the Maori Party in a Labour government, but will not go so far as to say Labour would rather go back into Opposition than back down if the Maori Party was kingmaker. [Otago Daily Times]

He believes investors should adjust their convictions as the environment around them changes, but always be sure to stick with your idea and always be right. [Nasdaq]

Toyota Kirloskar will stick to its decision to manufacture mid-sized and compact cars rather than source them from its subsidiary Daihatsu. [The Hindu Business Line]

”It felt good to go out there and we had a game plan and we stuck to it and it worked out better than we thought,” said backup guard Austin Rivers, who made eight of nine shots for a season-high 17 points. [The Times-Picayune]

Like I said about [Buccaneers coach] Lovie [Smith], that’s a hard thing to do to stick to your guns and stick to what you believe is right in the midst of turmoil or things that aren’t going your way. [ESPN Chicago]

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