stop order


Definition of stop order

: an order to a broker to buy or sell respectively at the market when the price of a security advances or declines to a designated level

Examples of stop order in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

The stop order continued through two following inspections. Washington Post, "Riders plunge 34 feet, 6 injured in roller coaster derail," 15 June 2018 The stop order continued through two following inspections. Jennifer Kay,, "Two riders plunge 34 feet, 9 injured as roller coaster derails," 15 June 2018 Individuals who flout the communications stop order face a maximum sentence of two years in prison and a fine of 20,000 Singapore dollars ($14,891). Fox News, "New Singapore anti-terror law can order media blackout," 16 May 2018 According to the reports, Best Buy has stopped ordering new handsets from Huawei and will no longer sell its products over the coming weeks. Michael Simon, PCWorld, "Best Buy dumps Huawei phones, another major blow to the company's U.S. aspirations," 22 Mar. 2018 But partway through, legislators failed to appropriate money for the fiscal year beginning July 2015 and the state issued a stop order on the work, one of more than 200 projects affected statewide. Gregory Pratt,, "Stalled Olive-Harvey College construction to resume — over budget and years late," 26 Dec. 2017 Almost a month later, several thousand dollars were withdrawn from the account despite the bank having put a stop order on it, Austrac also alleged. Robb M. Stewart, WSJ, "Australian Regulator Deepens Compliance Case Against Commonwealth Bank," 14 Dec. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'stop order.' 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 stop order

1882, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about stop order

Dictionary Entries near stop order

stop netting

stop nut

stop off

stop order

stop out



Statistics for stop order

Last Updated

23 May 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for stop order

The first known use of stop order was in 1882

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for stop order

stop order


Financial Definition of stop order

What It Is

A stop order (also called a stop-loss order or stop market order) is a trade order whereby the investor instructs the broker to automatically sell the stock if it drops to a certain price.

How It Works

For example, let's assume that you own 100 shares of Company XYZ stock, for which you have paid $10 per share. You are expecting the stock to hit $12 sometime in the next month, but you do not want to take a huge loss if the market turns the other way.

You direct your broker to set a stop order at $8.50. If the stock goes up, you will realize all of the benefits. If the stock goes down and touches $8.50, your broker will automatically place a market order to sell your shares.

It is important to note that when the stop order is triggered, it becomes a market order. You will not necessarily receive $8.50 per share; you will most likely receive a little more or a little less.

Why It Matters

Stop orders generally are a trading or short-term investing strategy. They are useful because they help reduce the pressure of monitoring your trade day-to-day; the trade is largely set on autopilot. This can be particularly helpful for emotional investors.

Even though stop orders offer crucial trading discipline to investors by helping them make important decisions about cutting losses, they also increase the risk of getting out of a position too early -- especially when volatile stocks are involved. In our example, if XYZ was known to be volatile and fluctuated from $8.00 to $12.50 during the one-month forecasting period, then you would miss out on the price appreciation that you expected.

Long-term buy-and-hold investors probably don’t want to make substantial use of stop orders. When a stock goes lower, stop orders will lock in losses rather than give you a chance to evaluate whether a slight price decline is actually signaling a buying opportunity.

Source: Investing Answers

stop order

Legal Definition of stop order

see order sense 4b

More from Merriam-Webster on stop order

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with stop order Encyclopedia article about stop order

Comments on stop order

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


incapable of being surmounted or overcome

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Finance Words Quiz

  • a-piggy-bank
  • The etymology of mortgage is related most closely to which two words?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?


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

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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