1

stock

noun \ ˈstäk \
Updated on: 13 Oct 2017

Definition of stock

1 a archaic :stump
b archaic :a log or block of wood
c (1) archaic :something without life or consciousness
(2) :a dull, stupid, or lifeless person
2 :a supporting framework or structure: such as
a stocks plural :the frame or timbers holding a ship during construction
b stocks plural :a device for publicly punishing offenders consisting of a wooden frame with holes in which the feet or feet and hands can be locked
c (1) :the wooden part by which a shoulder arm is held during firing
(2) :the butt of an implement (such as a whip or fishing rod)
(3) :bitstock, brace
d :a long beam on a field gun forming the third support point in firing
3 a :the main stem of a plant :trunk
b (1) :a plant or plant part united with a scion in grafting and supplying mostly underground parts to a graft
(2) :a plant from which slips or cuttings are taken
4 :the crosspiece of an anchor — see anchor illustration
5 a :the original (such as a person, race, or language) from which others derive :source
b (1) :the descendants of one individual :family, lineage
  • of European stock
(2) :a compound organism
c :an infraspecific group usually having unity of descent
d (1) :a related group of languages
(2) :a language family
6 a (1) :the equipment, materials, or supplies of an establishment
(2) :livestock
b :a store or supply accumulated or available; especially :the inventory of goods of a merchant or manufacturer
7 a archaic :a supply of capital :funds; especially :money or capital invested or available for investment or trading
b (1) :the part of a tally formerly given to the creditor in a transaction
(2) :a debt or fund due (as from a government) for money loaned at interest; alsoBritish :capital or a debt or fund bearing interest in perpetuity and not ordinarily redeemable as to principal
c (1) :the proprietorship element in a corporation usually divided into shares and represented by transferable certificates
(2) :a portion of such stock of one or more companies
8 :any of a genus (Matthiola) of Old World herbs or subshrubs of the mustard family with racemes of usually sweet-scented flowers
9 :a wide band or scarf worn about the neck especially by some clergymen
10 a :liquid in which meat, fish, or vegetables have been simmered that is used as a basis for soup, gravy, or sauce
b (1) :raw material from which something is manufactured
(2) :paper used for printing
c :the portion of a pack of cards not distributed to the players at the beginning of a game
11 a (1) :an estimate or evaluation of something
  • take stock of the situation
(2) :the estimation in which someone or something is held
  • his stock with the electorate remains high
  • Newsweek
b :confidence or faith placed in someone or something
  • put little stock in his testimony
12 :the production and presentation of plays by a stock company
13 :stock car 1
in stock
:on hand :in the store and ready for delivery
out of stock
:having no more on hand :completely sold out

Examples of stock in a Sentence

  1. That camera is out of stock.

  2. Do you have any more light bulbs in stock?

  3. They carry a large stock of computer software.

  4. We built up an ample stock of food before the storm.

  5. She always seems to have a fresh stock of funny jokes.

  6. The value of his stocks has soared.

  7. Most of her money is invested in stocks.

  8. Do you own any stock?

Recent Examples of stock from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'stock.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Origin and Etymology of stock

Middle English stok, from Old English stocc; akin to Old High German stoc stick

2

stock

verb

Definition of stock

transitive verb
1 :to make (a domestic animal) pregnant
2 :to fit to or with a stock
3 :to provide with stock or a stock :supply
  • stock a stream with trout
4 :to procure or keep a stock of
  • our store stocks that brand
5 :to graze (livestock) on land
intransitive verb
1 :to send out new shoots
2 :to put in stock or supplies
  • stock up on canned goods

Examples of stock in a Sentence

  1. Our store stocks only the finest goods.

  2. Do you stock this item?

  3. The bar is stocked with beer, wine and liquor.

  4. They stocked the shelves in the store with a variety of imported foods.

Recent Examples of stock from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'stock.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of stock

15th century


3

stock

adjective

Definition of stock

1 a :kept regularly in stock
  • comes in stock sizes
  • a stock model
b :commonly used or brought forward :standard
  • the stock answer
2 a :kept for breeding purposes :brood
  • a stock mare
b :devoted to the breeding and rearing of livestock
  • a stock farm
c :used or intended for livestock
  • a stock train
d :used in herding livestock
  • a stock horse
  • a stock dog
3 :of or relating to a stock company
4 :employed in handling, checking, or taking care of the stock of merchandise on hand
  • a stock clerk

Examples of stock in a Sentence

  1. Here are the stock patterns you can choose from.

  2. She gave a stock answer to the reporter's question.

  3. a dull narrative with stock characters

  4. That item is a stock model.

Recent Examples of stock from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'stock.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of stock

1625

Other Animal Husbandry Terms


Financial Definition of STOCK

growth stock

What It Is

Growth stocks are fast-growing, higher-risk companies. They tend to be young. They offer a higher chance of higher returns and a higher chance of bankruptcy.

How It Works

The nature of a company's business determines many of the characteristics of its stock, especially for growth stocks. For example, blue-chip stocks are issued by high-quality, large companies and generally have steady dividend payments. Their values don't "jump around" as much as shares of smaller, riskier companies, generally speaking, and so conservative investors who like dividend payments and not much risk tend to like blue-chip stocks. Companies that pay out dividends are typically not growth stocks -- they are generally mature companies that feel the highest and best use of its excess cash is dividends rather than, say, research and development or other investments.

Growth stocks are generally riskier than other types of companies, but they also offer a chance at very high returns. These returns are often in the form of capital gains rather than dividends. Tech stocks are generally good examples -- they tend to reinvest all excess cash into their businesses and rely heavily on research and development of products that can be very lucrative but easily outdated.

Why It Matters

It's important to note that a company's stock can fall into more than one category. Large-cap stocks can be blue-chip stocks, growth stocks or income stocks, for example. Small-cap stocks can be growth stocks, income stocks, or tech stocks. However, perhaps the most important attribute of growth stocks is that like all stocks, their holders are the last in line when it comes to getting their money back. If the company goes bankrupt and has to sell off all its assets, the cash from the asset sale first goes to pay off lenders, employees and lawyers. The shareholders get whatever is left (which is usually nothing, or just a few pennies for every dollar they originally invested).

Deciding whether to buy growth stocks, or which growth stocks to buy, requires you to consider your goals in life, your age, your cash needs, future cash needs you might have (retirement, college, etc.), your tax situation, the nature of your other investments, and how much risk you're willing to take.


stock

What It Is

Stock, also known as equity, represents ownership interests in corporations. Whether you own one, 100 or 100 million shares of stock in a company, you're an owner of the company.

How It Works

Corporations sell stock, or ownership in the company, in return for cash to run their businesses. Much of the time, only a few people (the founders of the company, for example, who have put their life savings into the company) own the company. But when several owners want to cash out their investments or the company needs more cash for whatever reason, the corporation might "go public," meaning that it sells some of, all of or more of its shares to the general public via a stock exchange.

There are a number of different kinds of stocks, and their classifications largely depend on the rights they confer on the holder. Investors evaluate these categories based on their investment objectives and they look for stocks that meet those objectives. The two most popular categories of stock are common stock and preferred stock.

The most prominent characteristic of common stock is that it entitles the shareholder to vote on corporate matters (typically, the shareholder gets one vote for every share he or she owns, though that is not always the case) such as whether the company should acquire another company, who the board members should be and other big decisions. Common stock also often comes with preemptive rights, which means the shareholder has a "right of first refusal," or first dibs on buying any new stock the company tries to issue.

Perhaps the most important attribute of common stock is that holders are the last in line when it comes to getting their money back. If the company goes bankrupt and has to sell off all its assets, the cash from the asset sale first goes to pay off lenders, employees and lawyers. The shareholders get whatever is left (which is usually nothing, or just a few pennies for every dollar they originally invested).

This pecking order is why preferred stock, the other popular category of stock, exists. Although preferred stock owners don't usually get any voting rights, they usually receive a steady dividend and their claim to the company's assets "outrank" the common stockholders' claims (i.e., in the event of bankruptcy, the company must pay off lenders, preferred shareholders, employees and lawyers before the common shareholders get anything).

The nature of a company's business also determines many of the characteristics of its stock. For example, blue-chip stocks are stocks issued by high-quality, large companies and generally have steady dividend payments. Their values don't "jump around" as much as shares of smaller, riskier companies, generally speaking, and so conservative investors who like dividend payments and not much risk tend to like blue-chip stocks. Companies that pay out dividends are typically income stocks, and they are generally mature companies that feel that the highest and best use of its excess cash is dividends rather than, say, research and development or other investments.

Some stocks move in accordance with the economic cycle, and some move in the opposite direction. Knowing which stocks are which can help you decide when to buy and sell some of your holdings. Cyclical stocks, for example, increase in value when the economy is growing and decrease in value when the economy is shrinking.

Briefly, here are some other categories of stock that investors look at:

Growth stocks: Shares of fast-growing, higher-risk companies. They offer a higher chance of higher returns and a higher chance of bankruptcy.
Tech stocks: Shares of technology companies. Like growth stocks, they are generally riskier than other types of companies, but they also offer a chance at very high returns.
Small-cap, mid-cap and large-cap stocks: Stocks from small, mid-size and large companies. The "cap" is short for capitalization, which is simply the number of shares outstanding times the current price per share. It's important to note that a company's stock can fall into more than one category. Large-cap stocks can be blue-chip stocks, growth stocks or income stocks, for example. Small-cap stocks can be growth stocks, income stocks or tech stocks.

Why It Matters

Finding a stock to buy is about as easy as logging onto the Internet, opening the newspaper or picking up the phone. The trick is deciding which stock to buy. Buying and selling stocks can be done with a simple trading account that you set up and manage yourself, but many investors (both individual and institutional) still call their brokers.

Deciding which stock to buy, or which kinds of stocks to buy, requires you to consider your goals in life, your age, your cash needs, future cash needs you might have (retirement, college, etc.), your tax situation, the nature of your other investments and how much risk you're willing to take. That's a lot to consider, which is why financial advisors come in handy for investors wondering what to do.


watered stock

What It Is

Watered stock is stock that is issued at a price far higher than the value of the issuer's assets.

How It Works

In technical terms, watered stock exists when the following is true:

Stock price x Shares outstanding > Net assets (or in some cases, capital invested)

For example, if the founders of Company XYZ invested $10 million in the company and then decided to take the company public by selling 50 million shares priced at $3 (a $150 million market capitalization), analysts might say that Company XYZ is issuing watered stock.

Why It Matters

Essentially, watered stock is another way to say "overvalued stock." Some sources claim that the term originated in the livestock trade, where ranchers would force cattle to drink lots of water the day before auction so that they weighed more.



STOCK Defined for English Language Learners

stock

noun

Definition of stock for English Language Learners

  • : the supply of goods available for sale in a store

  • : a supply of something that is available for use

  • : a share of the value of a company which can be bought, sold, or traded as an investment


stock

verb

Definition of stock for English Language Learners

  • : to have a supply of (something) in a store for sale

  • : to fill (something, such as a room or a building) with a supply of food, drinks, etc.


stock

adjective

Definition of stock for English Language Learners

  • : regularly used or included with something

  • : commonly used and not original or interesting

  • : usually available for sale in a store


STOCK Defined for Kids

1

stock

noun \ ˈstäk \

Definition of stock for Students

1 :the whole supply or amount on hand
  • Our stock of food is running low.
2 stocks plural :a wooden frame with holes to hold the feet or the feet and hands once used to punish a wrongdoer publicly
3 :the wooden part by which a rifle or shotgun is held against the shoulder during firing
4 :the source from which others descend :ancestry
  • He is of Irish stock.
5 :farm animals :livestock, cattle
6 :a part ownership in a business that can be traded independently
7 :liquid in which meat, fish, or vegetables have been simmered
in stock
:on hand :in the store and available for purchase

2

stock

verb

Definition of stock for Students

stocked; stocking
1 :to provide with or get supplies especially for future use
  • I'm stocking up on groceries.
2 :to get or keep a supply of
  • That store stocks only the best goods.

3

stock

adjective

Definition of stock for Students

1 :kept regularly in supply especially for sale
  • The window comes in stock sizes.
2 :commonly used :standard
  • He gave a stock answer.

Medical Dictionary

stock

noun \ ˈstäk \

medical Definition of stock

:a population, colony, or culture of organisms used for scientific research or medical purposes
  • smallpox virus stocks retained for research into new vaccines and treatments against smallpox

Law Dictionary

stock

noun

legal Definition of stock

1 a :the equipment, materials, or supplies of a business
b :a store or supply accumulated; especially :the inventory of the goods of a merchant or manufacturer
2 :the ownership element in a corporation usually divided into shares and represented by transferable certificates; also :the certificate evidencing ownership of one or more shares of stock
capital stock
1 :the stock that a corporation may issue under its charter including both common and preferred stock
2 :the outstanding shares of a joint stock company considered as an aggregate
common stock
:a class of stock whose holders share in company profits (as through dividends) on a pro rata basis, may vote for directors and on important matters such as mergers, and may have limited access to information not publicly available
cumulative preferred stock
:preferred stock whose holders are entitled to the payment of cumulative dividends as well as current dividends before common stockholders are paid
growth stock
:stock issued by a growth company
margin stock
:stock that may be purchased in a margin account
no-par value stock
:stock issued with no par value which may be carried for corporate accounting purposes as part of the capital stock or as part of the capital surplus to the extent allowed by law called also no-par stock
penny stock
:the stock of a small company not listed on a major exchange and traditionally selling at less than a dollar a share
preferred stock
:a class of corporate stock whose holders are guaranteed payment of dividends and a share of asset distribution before the holders of common stock but are usually denied voting rights
Treasury stock
:stock that is reacquired and held by the issuing company (as to increase the market value of traded shares)
voting stock
:stock (as common stock) entitling the holder to vote in matters of corporate governance
watered stock
:stock issued with a par value greater than the value of the underlying assets


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