\ ˈstak How to pronounce stack (audio) \

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 againstsuch 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

Noun He had arranged the letters in stacks. She took a magazine from near the top of the stack. Verb 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 Doug Pederson called bunches, stacks, and screens to get the ball into the hands of the tight ends and running back Miles Sanders., "The Eagles were just 1 of 7 on third down in the second half, as the Patriots turned the tables and kept Wentz’s drives short and sweet.," 18 Nov. 2019 In many homes, the kitchen is the center of activity, which means it can be crowded with dishes, groceries, stacks of junk mail, homework: the general detritus of our daily lives. Molly Stevens, Washington Post, "Finding calm in the kitchen isn’t always easy. Here’s how to start.," 11 Nov. 2019 In many homes, the kitchen is the center of activity, which means it can be crowded with dishes, groceries, stacks of junk mail, homework: the general detritus of our daily lives. Molly Stevens,, "Finding calm in the kitchen isn’t always easy. Here’s how to start.," 11 Nov. 2019 His visits to the memorials this week, each time lugging a stack of pizzas that reached his chin, follow a remarkable journey even in a city built on rags-to-riches tales. Michael Wilson, New York Times, "‘I Know the Struggle’: Why a Pizza Mogul Left Pies at Memorials to 4 Homeless Men," 11 Oct. 2019 The cylindrical grenades stack and attach up to three at a time to one another. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "This New Modular Grenade Stacks Like Pringles Chips," 25 Sep. 2019 Paperwork, in the form of stacks of prayer slips, combines belief and bureaucracy. The Economist, "China’s atheist Communist Party encourages folk religion," 19 Sep. 2019 That perk stacks with the Ultra week 2 bonuses of a speedy incubators. Gieson Cacho, The Mercury News, "Pokemon Go: Where to spend Turtwig Community Day in the Bay Area," 11 Sep. 2019 Our inventory’s few concessions to a buyer’s impulse to make impulse buys lived by the register, piled in a few short stacks, their spines becoming as familiar to me as the back of a crush’s neck. David Canfield,, "Get a glimpse into Anthony Bourdain’s legacy in The Last Interview exclusive book excerpt," 19 Aug. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Making things easier for them, as has been the case all year, is that this team’s defense is absolutely stacked. Andy Nesbitt, For The Win, "This is when Tom Brady and the Patriots are at their very best," 22 Nov. 2019 Harold’s chicken is dropped in the fryer to order rather than stacked under a heat lamp ready to serve, and the kitchen is still smoothing things out. Dominic Armato, azcentral, "Harold's Chicken Shack is a Chicago icon. Here's what to try at the first Arizona location," 20 Nov. 2019 But Gorsuch’s rigorous logical analysis proved that Kagan’s description stacked the deck. Robert P. George, National Review, "Counterfeit Textualism," 19 Nov. 2019 Click through the above to see vintage images of the Aggies Bonfire stack disaster and the 20th anniversary ceremony. Dan Carson, Houston Chronicle, "20 years later, photos show how Texas A&M came together after tragic bonfire collapse," 18 Nov. 2019 Photographs reveal small shops with tins and cigarette boxes stacked high. C.c. | Hong Kong, The Economist, "Stories from the Kowloon Walled City," 14 Nov. 2019 The company began selling its newspapers, radio stations and television stations to pay off debt from the buyout and to acquire advertising publications — the thin, colorful catalogs stuffed into mailboxes and stacked near supermarket entrances. Patrick Danner,, "Longtime San Antonio company moves HQ to Austin," 13 Nov. 2019 For generations, Power Five schools have emptied their coffers to attract the best amateur athletes in the country to their campuses with full-ride scholarships, stacking the deck against smaller institutions that don’t have the same resources. Luke Winkie, The Atlantic, "Where Gamers Are the Only Varsity Athletes," 13 Nov. 2019 The batteries are actually from a production EV, or two of them to be accurate, because there's a pair of Chevy Bolt battery packs in the bed, one stacked atop the other. Jonathan M. Gitlin, Ars Technica, "These electric hot rods point the way to future restomods," 7 Nov. 2019

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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Time Traveler for stack

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for stack

Last Updated

24 Nov 2019

Cite this Entry

“Stack.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 6 December 2019.

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More Definitions for stack


How to pronounce stack (audio)

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 How to pronounce stack (audio) \

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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for stack

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with 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).


very cautious or careful

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