\ 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 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

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 Sitting on the cold ground near a pile of gravel, a stack of papers in her lap and pen in hand, Rocío Cjuiro Mescco listened and took notes as about ten of her neighbors conversed in a mix of Spanish and Quechua, an Indigenous language of the Andes. Colleen Connolly, Smithsonian Magazine, "The Uphill Battle to Stop Peru From Building a New Airport Near Machu Picchu," 24 Feb. 2021 For Nina Nash Long, an ideal afternoon might involve a pool chair and a stack of old shelter magazines. House Beautiful, "Atlanta Designer Nina Nash Long Is Making Timeless Interiors Feel Fresh," 19 Feb. 2021 Behind him sits a stack of boxes with more samples awaiting assays. Alex Salkever, The Christian Science Monitor, "Crowdsourcing COVID-19: How data-driven groups speed pandemic response," 5 Feb. 2021 The truck does a lap around a steel forge with a freaking yacht in tow before a stack of girders is dropped in the bed, all while outrageous payload, towing, and torque figures flash on the screen. David Beard, Car and Driver, "Tested: 2020 Chevrolet, Ford, and Ram HD Pickup Pull-Off," 5 Feb. 2021 In 2018, Manchin took aim at another symbolic stack of papers: state Attorney General Patrick Morrisey’s lawsuit to dismantle Obamacare. Sam Adler-bell, The New Republic, "Joe Manchin, King of the Senate," 3 Feb. 2021 On the fridge door, there’s a stack of plain bittersweet chocolate bars for nibbling that normal people use for baking. Sheryl Julian,, "Cream, caramel, chocolate, and espresso powder go into these glorious little puddings," 26 Jan. 2021 Grad school actually seems like the move for someone with a fat stack of cash and a masochistic love of work. Olivia Crandall, Vulture, "The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City Recap: Mean Girl Games," 13 Jan. 2021 One pair of thick socks is better than a rigid stack of three, Deeter said. Marina Koren, The Atlantic, "Winter Is Good," 4 Jan. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb That bonus would stack on top of his base salary, which is $18.5 million for the ongoing season and the two that follow it. Tony East, Forbes, "Indiana Pacers Get Salary Cap Updates As All-Stars Are Named And Contracts Guarantee," 26 Feb. 2021 When both sections are completed, stack them one atop the other and drill the screw holes for the mending plates. Popular Mechanics Editors, Popular Mechanics, "Three Wine Racks Your Can Build Yourself," 13 Feb. 2021 That won’t be a problem with these OXO measuring spoons, which conveniently stack together using magnets. Camryn Rabideau, USA TODAY, "25 essential kitchen gadgets you can get under $10," 7 Dec. 2020 Clauses like one that bars farmers—or anyone else—from seeking legal recourse over contractual disputes cement the fear that the laws stack the deck against farmers. Aniket Aga, Scientific American, "Farm Protests in India Are Writing the Green Revolution's Obituary," 24 Jan. 2021 Today is going to be a big day, Bill says, watching volunteers stack boxes of food. Maddie Mcgarvey, History & Culture, "In West Virginia, finding your next meal can be a community effort," 18 Dec. 2020 Choose as many as you’d like, stack ‘em, then showcase your pretty-as-a-picture jewelry box. Courtney Thompson, CNN Underscored, "35 products to organize every corner of your home," 5 Jan. 2021 Just stack it up and wrap it on top of itself, making sure the front of the fletching is covered with enough string and glue so that the sharp ends of the feather quills aren’t poking out. Tim Macwelch, Outdoor Life, "How to Process and Use Animal Sinew," 12 Oct. 2020 This storage set is build to stack and kept our potato chips extra-crisp in testing. Nicole Briese, USA TODAY, "Amazon Prime Day is over but these deals are still going strong—shop our top picks," 16 Oct. 2020

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

27 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Stack.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 9 Mar. 2021.

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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 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

Nglish: Translation of stack for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of stack for Arabic Speakers

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