stock

noun
\ ˈstäk \

Definition of stock 

(Entry 1 of 3)

1a 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

3a : 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

5a : 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

6a(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

7a 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 also, British : 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

(3) : stock certificate

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

10a : 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

11a(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 highNewsweek

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

in stock

: on hand : in the store and ready for delivery

out of stock

: having no more on hand : completely sold out

stock

verb
stocked; stocking; stocks

Definition of stock (Entry 2 of 3)

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

stock

adjective

Definition of stock (Entry 3 of 3)

1a : kept regularly in stock comes in stock sizes a stock model

b : commonly used or brought forward : standard the stock answer

2a : 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

Keep scrolling for more

Examples of stock in a Sentence

Noun

That camera is out of stock. Do you have any more light bulbs in stock? They carry a large stock of computer software. We built up an ample stock of food before the storm. She always seems to have a fresh stock of funny jokes. The value of his stocks has soared. Most of her money is invested in stocks. Do you own any stock?

Verb

Our store stocks only the finest goods. Do you stock this item? The bar is stocked with beer, wine and liquor. They stocked the shelves in the store with a variety of imported foods.

Adjective

Here are the stock patterns you can choose from. She gave a stock answer to the reporter's question. a dull narrative with stock characters That item is a stock model.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Schnatter remains on the board and is still the company's largest shareholder with nearly 30 percent of the stock. Candice Choi, Fox News, "Papa John's to take John Schnatter's face off its marketing materials," 13 July 2018 Schnatter remains on the board and is still the company's largest shareholder with nearly 30 percent of the stock. Candice Choi, USA TODAY, "Papa John's to pull founder John Schnatter's image from marketing over racial slur," 13 July 2018 Overfishing of the stock has been evident since 1984. Wendy Mitman Clarke, Smithsonian, "How a Fallback to Historic Traditions Might Save Catalonia’s Red Shrimp Fishery," 5 July 2018 The turnover of stocks has actually increased over time. The Economist, "The growth of index investing has not made markets less efficient," 5 July 2018 Like some other naysayers about the threat to Roe, the Journal editorial places a lot of stock in conservative respect for judicial precedents. Ed Kilgore, Daily Intelligencer, "Are Democrats Crying Wolf on Threat to Abortion Rights?," 3 July 2018 But the 130-member group formed by ex-Takeda employees is also working to persuade one-third of shareholders to vote against a company proposal at an upcoming Takeda shareholder meeting to approve an issue of new stock to help fund the Shire deal. Ed Silverman, STAT, "Pharmalittle: Takeda bid for Shire passes first shareholder test; Amazon agrees to buy PillPack," 28 June 2018 Synnex Corp will pay Convergys shareholders $13.25 per share in cash and 0.1193 shares of Synnex stock. Alexander Coolidge, Cincinnati.com, "Convergys being sold to California company," 28 June 2018 The men, who appeared in U.S. Magistrate Court on Tuesday, are charged in the Southern District of Florida with soliciting investors to buy shares of stock in First Call Ventures LLC and its subsidiaries, which White created in 2011 and 2012. Meryl Kornfield, Sun-Sentinel.com, "Three men ran $2M Ponzi scheme from Broward office, grand jury says," 27 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Libraries' fundamental job in any community is to ensure equal access to information for all, but often, securing that access requires more than just stocking bookshelves and preparing for children's story hour. Abby Lynes, OregonLive.com, "Librarians emerge as unlikely players in battle against opioid epidemic," 1 June 2018 Lake said the fish were stocked without the town's permission, as required. Karen Caffarini, Post-Tribune, "About 100 fish found dead in Bon Aire Lake: Merrillville official," 13 July 2018 Fences went up and the area was stocked with wildlife, primarily bears. Scott Craven, azcentral, "Bearizona: Top things to do at drive-thru wildlife park in Williams," 12 July 2018 Such supply chains are the reason British supermarkets are stocked with fresh produce all year. Jason Douglas, WSJ, "May’s Brexit Plan Comes Just in Time for Supply Chains," 11 July 2018 The influx transformed England’s top flight: a league that had long been entirely stocked by British players — with a smattering of Scandinavians — was suddenly a much more diverse, cosmopolitan, exotic place. Rory Smith, New York Times, "When the World’s Greatest Soccer Players Gather, Scouts Stay Away," 5 July 2018 Amarena: Equipped with gelato recipes from Italy, Amarena stocks its coolers with old favorites such as mint chocolate chip, black cherry, chocolate and more. Lauren Delgado, OrlandoSentinel.com, "Take a break from steamy summer with cool, creamy gelato," 12 July 2018 While the Sox farm system under Hahn is once again stocked, nothing is guaranteed in baseball. Paul Sullivan, chicagotribune.com, "Reunion of '93 White Sox brings memories of growing pains of the past," 9 July 2018 There may come a time when Morris, after stocking his spread offense with speedy recruits from Texas, molds Arkansas into a double-digit-game winner in arguably the most challenging division in the Power 5. Chris Johnson, SI.com, "First-Year Outlooks for the SEC's Six New Head Coaches in 2018," 6 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

The Red Branch production directed by Stephanie Lynn Williams features an endearing cast whose performances make potentially stock characters spring to life. Mike Giuliano, Columbia Flier, "Aristophanes would laugh at 'Lysistrata Jones'," 23 Aug. 2017

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.

See More

First Known Use of stock

Noun

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Verb

15th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

Adjective

1625, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for stock

Noun

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about stock

Statistics for stock

Last Updated

16 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for stock

The first known use of stock was before the 12th century

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for stock

stock

noun

Financial Definition of 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.

Source: Investing Answers

growth stock

noun

Financial Definition of 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.

Source: Investing Answers

watered stock

noun

Financial Definition of 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.

Source: Investing Answers

stock

noun

English Language Learners Definition of stock

 (Entry 1 of 3)

: 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

English Language Learners Definition of stock (Entry 2 of 3)

: 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

English Language Learners Definition of stock (Entry 3 of 3)

: regularly used or included with something

: commonly used and not original or interesting

: usually available for sale in a store

stock

noun
\ ˈstäk \

Kids Definition of stock

 (Entry 1 of 3)

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

stock

verb
stocked; stocking

Kids Definition of stock (Entry 2 of 3)

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.

stock

adjective

Kids Definition of stock (Entry 3 of 3)

1 : kept regularly in supply especially for sale The window comes in stock sizes.

2 : commonly used : standard He gave a stock answer.

Keep scrolling for more

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

stock

noun

Legal Definition of stock 

1a : 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

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on stock

What made you want to look up stock? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

alleviating pain or harshness

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Musical Words Quiz

  • gramophone
  • Which word describes a musical performance marked by the absence of instrumental accompaniment?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!