\ 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


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

One by one, documents were pulled out of a binder or from a stack and placed in front of the student, the defense attorneys all said. Joel Rubin, Los Angeles Times, "How many students cheated to get into USC? A look inside the admissions investigation," 16 July 2019 The breakfast chain is commemorating its anniversary by selling a stack of its signature buttermilk pancakes for 58 cents, a nod to its founding in 1958. Jordan Valinsky, CNN, "Happy 61st birthday, IHOP. Here's how the chain still rakes in billions," 16 July 2019 In the corner stood a stack of blankets, still in their factory wrappings. David Montgomery, New York Times, "Still Menaced by Flooding, Louisiana Dodges a Storm’s Worst Blows," 14 July 2019 The Charles River skyline could soon get a stack of books. Tim Logan,, "City planners approve BU’s wild-looking data sciences building," 12 July 2019 To capture the heat, the team built out a stack of water channels, separated by porous hydrophobic membranes and heat conduction layers. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "Solar Panels Could Make Saltwater Safe for Farming," 11 July 2019 Field suggests taking a stack of books and wrapping them in that small towel to bind them together. Maggie Gordon, Houston Chronicle, "How to set up an at-home yoga studio," 8 July 2019 Long enough to feel your heart go fast with fear, voice your terror, double back with dark jokes and still have time to calmly remove a visibly swaying vase from a stack of books before the ground went still. Julia Wick,, "Essential California: Largest earthquake in two decades shakes Southern California," 5 July 2019 There’s a stack of junk mail on a side table in the living room. Karina Bland, azcentral, "Summer inspires a cleaning binge, freeing me of clutter and clothes that taunt me," 25 June 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

And books—along the walls, piled on dressers, stacked on the coffee table. Emily J. Smith, Curbed, "The unexpected gift of couch arrest," 18 July 2019 There’s inevitably well over 1,000 works in the show, stacked on the walls, from 16,000 submissions from all over the world. Brian T. Allen, National Review, "The Royal Academy’s Summer Exhibition Takes a Traditional Turn," 13 July 2019 Kendall Jenner proves that stacking on the basics – like a black turtleneck, khaki pants, and a button-up – is the easiest way to make your favorite piece of leather look casual-chic. Kelsey Stiegman, Seventeen, "15 Genius Ways You Should Be Wearing Your Leather Jacket for Fall," 12 July 2019 No regrets about not ever getting to Greece, nor getting through the books stacked on my nightstand. Karina Bland, azcentral, "The things we think about (how long could I wear this outfit?) on a bumpy plane ride," 12 July 2019 There are debris and random material stacked about the yard and on the porch. John Horgan, The Mercury News, "Horgan: For solitary older adults, it takes a village," 10 July 2019 Your father was manic about paying bills on time, but now payment notices are stacked on the table unopened. Michelle Singletary, Washington Post, "Talking to mom and dad about their money isn’t easy. But don’t wait until it’s too late," 5 July 2019 Floor Glute Exercises Lift and Lower Lying on your side, with your legs stacked on top of each other, lift your right leg up towards the ceiling, and then lower it back down. Stephanie Mansour, NBC News, "Tone and tighten your butt with this 31-day routine," 1 July 2019 In sherry production, wines move through a system called solera, in which several rows of barrels are stacked on top of one another, almost like a pyramid. Shana Clarke, Fortune, "A New Style of Winemaking Could Take Sherry Mainstream," 29 June 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



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

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).


to complain fretfully

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