\ 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

Investigators seized assault rifle manufacturing equipment and parts along with 3 pounds of methamphetamine, vehicles and a silencer, as well as a stack of bulletproof vests. Richard Winton,, "L.A. gangs stockpile untraceable 'ghost guns' that members make themselves," 6 July 2018 But the weapons in our bedroom were limited to a shoehorn, a flattening iron and a stack of hardcover books. John Kelly, Washington Post, "I thought I was alone in the house, then I heard a bump. Or did I?," 1 July 2018 Remember when commemorating an engagement meant buying the bride a stack of wedding magazines to flip through? Carrie Goldberg, Harper's BAZAAR, "Introducing: BAZAAR Bride—the Ultimate Membership for the Newly-Engaged," 5 Feb. 2019 Instead of being able to focus on faint objects, the telescopes (each a stack of seven lenses above CCD imaging hardware) are designed to capture a broad patch of the sky. John Timmer, Ars Technica, "Get ready for a flood of new exoplanets: TESS has already spotted two," 21 Sep. 2018 Although the currency has since been removed from circulation, apparently the hefty stack of bills can still be exchanged at the Bank of England for full market value. Meilan Solly, Smithsonian, "$2 Million in World War II-Era Cash Found Under Floor of Churchill’s Tailor," 14 June 2018 Today, however, feels a little different. Snaking between the floating stacks of rectangular boxes, a gunmetal gray navy ship patrols the shoreline. Time, "Singapore's Sentosa Island Takes an Unlikely Geopolitical Role as Host of the Trump-Kim Summit," 11 June 2018 The setup was sparse and dramatic: a wide-open field, huge stacks of speakers arranged in a circle around the bonfire and cameras filming every moment for a live stream. Jon Caramanica, New York Times, "Kanye West’s Great American Night," 1 June 2018 There's the strings of dark bells, the strange stacks of rocks, the statues of the Buddha. Andy Schatschneider, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Joeann Genetti shares about her 'witch house' in Summit and her new business in Delafield," 1 Mar. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

There is hardly any place in Orlando’s showcase lake where Yertle could order others of his kind to stack themselves in a column, which, as the story goes, Yertle would climb as king of his pond. Kevin Spear,, "Lake Eola turtles need sunbathing perches, says club's petition," 10 May 2018 However, these schools neglect to mention that the system prioritizes wealthy students in a process that is already heavily stacked in their favor. James Wellemeyer, Teen Vogue, "Applying to College Early Is a Privilege Not Every Student Can Afford," 20 Mar. 2019 With no basement, attic or spare room, unglamorous documents have no home and can end up stacked in plain sight in utilitarian boxes, unattractive reminders of the bureaucracy of life. New York Times, "Buried in Paperwork," 6 July 2018 Returning to the family’s Upper West Side apartment, Marina and 3-year-old Nessie opened the door to the last room in the apartment — a bathroom at the end of a long, dark hall — and found Leo and Lucia, stabbed to death and stacked in the tub. Maureen O'connor, The Cut, "The Jury and the Family Speak Out As the Nanny Trial Ends," 19 Apr. 2018 Plus, we're stacked with season 3 finale sneak peeks and season 4 spoilers, too. Kayla Keegan, Good Housekeeping, "This Is Us," 19 Mar. 2019 Similarly, the Theranos board was stacked with a dizzying array of Washington insiders. Cady Drell, Marie Claire, "Elizabeth Holmes Is a Tragic Figure," 18 Mar. 2019 The category is stacked, with Tana nominated alongside social stars like which Bhad Bhabie, Dylan Minnette, Lele Pons, and Trixie Mattel. Allie Gemmill, Teen Vogue, "Bella Thorne Celebrated Ex-Girlfriend Tana Mongeau’s iHeart Radio Award Nomination," 7 Mar. 2019 Your left knee should be stacked directly underneath your left hip and the distance between your knee and your hand should be about the same length as your torso. Amy Marturana, SELF, "How to Do a Turkish Get-up," 8 Feb. 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

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using a distributed computer network

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