\ 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 Sure, getting a stack from the government every month sounds cool, but what's the catch? Ineye Komonibo, Marie Claire, "Andrew Yang's 2020 Dark-Horse Presidential Platform," 12 Sep. 2019 And at several points, characters announce world events and deliver pivotal speeches while standing on stacks of newsprint, as though literally standing upon history. Cirrus Wood, The Mercury News, "Silicon Valley’s Naatak stages “Gandhi” — a musical — on eve of 150th birthday," 14 Sep. 2019 There, past piles of empty beehives, on a wall of metal shelves, were stacks of wooden disks—all that remains of 39 trees taken down in 2014 from Great Mountain Forest in the northwest corner of the state. Jan Ellen Spiegel, Quartz, "Scientists are finding that forests aren’t as good at fighting climate change as we thought," 12 Sep. 2019 This year, when nearly 3,000 victims’ names are read aloud there Wednesday, a half-dozen stacks of stone will quietly salute an untold number of people who aren’t on that list. USA TODAY, "Animation behind bars, Elliott the elk, SkyStar: News from around our 50 states," 10 Sep. 2019 Once dry, stack eye gourd on striped gourd, using skewers to secure if necessary. Woman's Day Staff, Woman's Day, "Monster Mash-Up Pumpkins," 9 Sep. 2019 All those stacks of papers and countless PowerPoints will need to be arranged and sorted by someone, with his personal assistant likely to be the unfortunate individual to prepare each aspect., "5 of the Dullest Jobs in Football After Costa Rica Boss Cites 'Boredom' for Departure," 8 Sep. 2019 Their only prominent liberalish proponent is Gwyneth Paltrow, whose web site, Goop, sells Nerd Alert, a signature stack that promises to banish brain fog. Richard Cooke, The New Republic, "The conservative commentariat’s love affair with nootropics," 3 Sep. 2019 McAlear later learned that stacks of the flyers had been found in the University Organizing Center and that University Public Safety had obtained a videotape of a student distributing the flyers. Kathleen Mcwilliams,, "In lawsuit against Wesleyan, professor accuses school of failing to protect him from 'slanderous and vicious personal attacks’ labeling him a sex offender," 29 Aug. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb At this event, many women’s basketball players and athletes from other sports showed up to help run a variety of different games, from basketball, bowling, spin-the-wheel, cup-stacking, mini golf, ring toss and more. Mikayla Pivec | For The Oregonian/oregonlive, oregonlive, "Mikayla Pivec’s Oregon State women’s basketball diary: Giving off the court, getting ready on the court for the 2019-20 season," 7 Nov. 2019 The water backed up almost every year, flooded roads and farmland, and sometimes lapped up against homes in the town of Pescadero, 2 miles away, where residents often had to stack sandbags. Peter Fimrite,, "Restoring a San Mateo County creek to keep new generations of fish thriving," 5 Nov. 2019 The court’s ban on the House map is only the latest move in a long-running legal battle in which Republicans now appear, however unwittingly, to have stacked the deck against themselves. Michael Wines, New York Times, "State Court Bars Using North Carolina House Map in 2020 Elections," 28 Oct. 2019 One uses a cereal box as a table to stack toilet paper, protein shakes and 1% milk. Max Londberg,, "'Shocking' number of Cincinnati area college students skip meals, worry about going hungry," 18 Oct. 2019 That charcoal is then stacked high on trucks that carry it to Paraguayan exporters, who ship it to Europe, the Middle East and the United States, among other major markets. Joel E. Correia, The Conversation, "South America’s second-largest forest is also burning – and ‘environmentally friendly’ charcoal is subsidizing its destruction," 2 Oct. 2019 The tiers of the faerie hideaway are stacked on a green plant stand embedded into the museum’s green landscape, and icicles hang from the levels, each with a tint of green inside. Susan Dunne,, "Wee Faerie Village transforms into superhero central, aka Supertopia!," 2 Oct. 2019 The fried Butterball turkey breast, back on menus for a limited time, is served double-stacked with cranberry spread, herbed mayo and lettuce on a brioche bun. Doreen Christensen,, "Free Pumpkin Spice shake at PDQ," 24 Sep. 2019 Then transition into a side plank by rotating to one side until your hips are perpendicular to the floor, your feet are stacked, and your upper arm is extended to the ceiling. Hayden Carpenter, Outside Online, "The Ultimate Cross-Training Workout for Runners," 23 Sep. 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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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).


not being in agreement or harmony

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