\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

Some of these include stacks of bangles of their choosing— vendors often attend the henna sessions with boxes of glittery, jingling glass bracelets—and small, daintily beaded bags. Noor Brara, Vogue, "Priyanka Chopra and Nick Jonas Begin Their Pre-Wedding Ceremonies—Here’s What Could Be Next," 28 Nov. 2018 At the Menger Hotel, guests have reported sightings of a former hotel maid named Sally White, roaming the hallways while carrying a stack of towels. Condé Nast Traveler, "8 Most Haunted Cities In America and Why You Should Visit," 18 Oct. 2018 The couple made their first appearance in Sydney yesterday, before the baby news broke, with Meghan dressed casually in a coat, black sweater, and pants, while strategically holding a stack of binders over her stomach. Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, "Meghan Markle Wears a White Dress for Her First Appearance After Announcing Her Pregnancy," 15 Oct. 2018 Tires Who wants a stack of old tires breeding mosquitoes in the neighborhood? Mike Allen, Popular Mechanics, "How to Dispose of Hazardous Waste Without Damaging the Environment," 9 Oct. 2018 The desk and dresser are loaded with even more artifacts, including a giant stereo, a stack of photography books, a collection of teacups, and an electric toothbrush. Andrea Park, Teen Vogue, "Photos of Prince Harry's High School Dorm Room Resurface," 29 Aug. 2018 Parpala Jewelry: Find your signature accessory or assemble a stack of necklaces at Parpala Jewelry’s Labor Day sale. Halie Lesavage, Glamour, "80+ Labor Day Sales That Are Definitely Worth Shopping This Year," 28 Aug. 2018 Thompson went on to do a vertical stack of two studs on my right lobe. Devon Abelman, Allure, "Everything You Want to Know About Tragus Piercings — Including How Much They Hurt," 13 Aug. 2018 Reynolds added a stack of Bradbury's books and a Hispanic girl reading one, with images of space and the child astronaut pouring out of the pages. Emily K. Coleman, Lake County News-Sun, "Artist behind Ray Bradbury mural in Waukegan hopes his work will inspire kids who don't have access to art," 13 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The odds always were stacked against the fund, though, as family members opposing it own around 41% of the company’s shares. Aaron Back, WSJ, "Campbell Settles but Gets Activist’s Message," 26 Nov. 2018 Lie on your side with straight legs stacked one on top of the other and at a slight angle. Zoe Ruffner, Vogue, "This Body-Sculpting Workout Is Top-Model-Approved—And Ready for the Holidays," 20 Nov. 2018 As the architects explain: The prefabricated elements are stacked in a way that allows every second module an extra meter of room height, making the kitchen-living areas unusually spacious. Liz Stinson, Curbed, "Bjarke Ingels Group completes prefab affordable housing project in Denmark," 16 Oct. 2018 While some familiar faces may be absent for parts of the day—Meghan Markle and Prince Harry are expected to miss some of festivities—the guest list for the ceremony was still stacked. Halie Lesavage, Glamour, "All the Celebrity Arrivals at Princess Eugenie's Royal Wedding," 12 Oct. 2018 Like electrons, the protons and neutrons stack in order of energy to fill shells. Chris Lee, Ars Technica, "High-energy protons emitted after hooking up with neutrons," 16 Aug. 2018 But the odds are so heavily stacked against trans actors that casting across gender-identification lines becomes a real-world political problem, not a silver screen challenge. Josephine Livingstone, The New Republic, "Scarlett Johansson won’t play a trans man after all.," 13 July 2018 The category for lead actress in a limited series, which includes Jessica Biel, Laura Dern, Michelle Dockery, Edie Falco, Regina King, and Sarah Paulson, feels particularly stacked. Sophie Gilbert, The Atlantic, "Emmy Nominations 2018: Netflix Takes Over," 12 July 2018 Your right knee should be stacked above your ankle., "A beginner's guide to starting a yoga practice," 10 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

8 Dec 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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More from Merriam-Webster on stack

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with stack

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for stack

Spanish Central: Translation of stack

Nglish: Translation of stack for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of stack for Arabic Speakers

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).


a nest or breeding place

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