\ˈstak \

Definition of stack 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a large usually conical pile (as of hay, straw, or grain in the sheaf) left standing in the field for storage

2a : an orderly pile or heap

b : a large quantity or number

3 : an English unit of measure especially for firewood that is equal to 108 cubic feet

4a : a number of flues embodied in one structure rising above a roof

b : a vertical pipe (as to carry off smoke)

c : the exhaust pipe of an internal combustion engine

5a : a structure of bookshelves for compact storage of books usually used in plural

b plural : a section of a building housing such structures

6 : a pile of poker chips

7a : a memory or a section of memory in a computer for temporary storage in which the last item stored is the first retrieved also : a data structure that simulates a stack a push-down stack

b : a computer memory consisting of arrays of memory elements stacked one on top of another


stacked; stacking; stacks

Definition of stack (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1a : to arrange in a stack : pile

b : to pile in or on stacked the table with books stack the dishwasher

2a : to arrange secretly for cheating stack a deck of cards

b : to arrange or fix so as to make a particular result likely the odds are stacked against us will stack juries to suit themselves— Patrice Horn

3a : to assign (an airplane) by radio to a particular altitude and position within a group circling before landing

b : to put into a waiting line another dozen rigs are stacked up and waiting— P. H. Hutchins, Jr.

4 : compare used with against such a crime is nothing when stacked against a murder— Pete Censky

intransitive verb

: to form a stack

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Other Words from stack


stacker noun

Examples of stack in a Sentence


He had arranged the letters in stacks. She took a magazine from near the top of the stack.


She spent the afternoon splitting and stacking firewood. She stacked the plates in the cupboard. He stacked the books on the table. The other players accused him of stacking the deck.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Giffin's novel has style and substance - a worthy addition to your summer reading stack. Bethanne Patrick,, "Emily Giffin's new novel is all her fans ever wanted," 29 June 2018 Our stacks are a collection of pieces curated by YOU. Ingrid Schmidt, The Hollywood Reporter, "Inside L.A.'s New Secret Fine Jewelry Space," 11 June 2018 With 100 blinds in your stack, there is nothing to fear. Chuck Blount, San Antonio Express-News, "An assortment of tournament poker tips," 4 June 2018 Instead, testing a camera-only system is part of the company's unorthodox approach for verifying the safety of its technology stack. Timothy B. Lee, Ars Technica, "Intel’s Mobileye wants to dominate driverless cars—but there’s a problem," 21 May 2018 See: Walk off your short stack on one of the scenic trails at Golden Gardens Park, and end at the beach for some stunning views of Puget Sound in the morning. Crystal Paul, The Seattle Times, "Seattle beyond the Space Needle: Pick an itinerary and explore this summer," 14 May 2018 With a paper towel dry off the sides of your washer stack. Svenja Lohner, Scientific American, "Charge from Change: Make a Coin Battery," 10 May 2018 Kanye West became smitten with her off-kilter stacks of vocal harmonies, flirtations with dissonance and wild swings in tone. August Brown,, "Kendrick Lamar’s work has long alluded to other Pulitzer Prize winners," 17 Apr. 2018 During the spring of 1974, Roger Butler, the foreman at the Paxson Highway Maintenance Camp, saw all of his equipment drift in to their stacks at Seven-Mile Hill on the Denali Highway. John Schandelmeier, Anchorage Daily News, "In Interior Alaska, snow came late and then stuck around with a vengeance," 10 Apr. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Fold your parachute in four so the corners are stacked. Science Buddies, Scientific American, "Parachutes with Holes," 14 June 2018 Health, too, has considerable potential to stack the deck against the poor. Ed Kilgore, Daily Intelligencer, "Seniors Are More Conservative Because the Poor Don’t Survive to Become Seniors," 31 May 2018 Additionally, the board directed Cindy Lopez of California Firewood to seek a minor or major use permit from the county of San Diego to allow her operation to continue to stack and store wood at 2366 Main St. behind Dardeen Real Estate. Julie Gallant, Ramona Sentinel, "Board gives mixed reviews to proposed projects," 4 May 2018 Catch a river-view sunset with a Negroni in hand, and then keep the party going downstairs in the 1970s-chic whisky lounge, where 2,500 bottles of the good stuff are stacked along the lounge walls. Paul Rubio, Condé Nast Traveler, "The 10 Best Rooftop Bars in the U.S.," 27 Apr. 2018 What makes the actor stand out, though, in a film stacked with bravura performances (including Margot Robbie and the Golden Globe-winning Allison Janney) is his ability to turn Eckardt into something more than a caricature. Dante A. Ciampaglia, Newsweek, "Who Is Shawn Eckardt? Paul Walter Hauser Steals Every Scene as Harding’s Bodyguard in ‘I, Tonya’," 17 Jan. 2018 The Cards could stack the box and try to shut down Snell. Jake Lourim, The Courier-Journal, "How Louisville football can (and can't) beat Kentucky again," 13 July 2018 Sapporo was praised for the '72 Olympics, but probably has the odds stacked against it for 2026. Stephen Wade,, "Sapporo seems to have second thoughts about 2026 Winter Olympics bid," 10 May 2018 Martin’s office is stacked with books of quotations. Gillian Mcgoldrick,, "In the Pa. Senate, every day starts with a witty ditty," 12 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'stack.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of stack


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


14th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a

History and Etymology for stack


Middle English stak, from Old Norse stakkr; akin to Russian stog stack and probably to Old English staca stake

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Statistics for stack

Last Updated

13 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for stack

The first known use of stack was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for stack



English Language Learners Definition of stack

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a usually neat pile : a group of things that are put one on top of the other

: a large amount of something

: a tall chimney on a factory, ship, etc., for carrying smoke away



English Language Learners Definition of stack (Entry 2 of 2)

: to arrange (things) in a stack : to put (things) in a usually neat pile

: to cheat at a card game by arranging (a deck of cards) in a special way

—used to describe a situation in which one person, team, etc., is given an advantage over others often in a way that is unfair


\ˈstak \

Kids Definition of stack

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a neat pile of objects usually one on top of the other

2 : a large number or amount We've got a stack of bills to pay.

3 : a large pile (as of hay) usually shaped like a cone

5 : a structure with shelves for storing books


stacked; stacking

Kids Definition of stack (Entry 2 of 2)

: to arrange in or form a neat pile

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Comments on stack

What made you want to look up stack? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


evasion of direct action or statement

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