from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A supply accumulated for future use; a store.
  • noun The total merchandise kept on hand by a merchant, commercial establishment, warehouse, or manufacturer.
  • noun All the animals kept or raised on a farm; livestock.
  • noun All the aquatic animals kept or raised in an aquaculture operation.
  • noun A population of wild animals, especially of a species that is also farmed.
  • noun A kind of financial security granting rights of ownership in a corporation, such as a claim to a portion of the assets and earnings of the corporation and the right to vote for the board of directors. Stock is issued and traded in units called shares.
  • noun The stock issued by a particular company.
  • noun Chiefly British The money invested in a corporation, including debt and equity.
  • noun Chiefly British A bond, especially a government bond.
  • noun The trunk or main stem of a tree or another plant.
  • noun A plant or stem onto which a graft is made.
  • noun A plant or tree from which cuttings and slips are taken.
  • noun The original progenitor of a family line.
  • noun The descendants of a common ancestor; a family line, especially of a specified character.
  • noun Ancestry or lineage; antecedents.
  • noun The type from which a group of animals or plants has descended.
  • noun A race, family, or other related group of animals or plants.
  • noun An ethnic group or other major division of the human race.
  • noun A group of related languages.
  • noun A group of related families of languages.
  • noun The raw material out of which something is made.
  • noun Paper used for printing.
  • noun The broth in which meat, fish, bones, or vegetables are simmered for a relatively long period, used as a base in preparing soup, gravy, or sauces.
  • noun A main upright part, especially a supporting structure or block.
  • noun Nautical The timber frame that supports a ship during construction.
  • noun A frame in which a horse or other animal is held for shoeing or for veterinary treatment.
  • noun A device consisting of a heavy timber frame with holes for confining the ankles and sometimes the wrists, formerly used for punishment.
  • noun Nautical A crosspiece at the end of the shank of an anchor.
  • noun The wooden block from which a bell is suspended.
  • noun The rear wooden, metal, or plastic handle or support of a rifle, pistol, or automatic weapon, to which the barrel and mechanism are attached.
  • noun The long supporting structure and mooring beam of field-gun carriages that trails along the ground to provide stability and support.
  • noun A handle, such as that of a whip, a fishing rod, or various carpentry tools.
  • noun The frame of a plow, to which the share, handles, coulter, and other parts are fastened.
  • noun A theatrical stock company.
  • noun The repertoire of such a company.
  • noun A theater or theatrical activity, especially outside of a main theatrical center.
  • noun Botany Any of several Eurasian and Mediterranean plants of the genus Matthiola in the mustard family, especially M. incana, widely cultivated for its clusters of showy, fragrant, variously colored flowers.
  • noun Games The portion of a pack of cards or of a group of dominoes that is not dealt out but is drawn from during a game.
  • noun Geology A body of intrusive igneous rock of which less than 100 square kilometers (40 square miles) is exposed.
  • noun Zoology A compound organism, such as a colony of zooids.
  • noun Personal reputation or status.


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

Middle English stok, from Old English stocc, tree trunk.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Old English stocc, with modern senses mostly referring either to the trunk from which the tree grows (figuratively, its origin and/or support/foundation), or to a piece of wood, stick, or rod. How the senses of "supply" and "raw material" developed from these is unclear, however.



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  • In Ashes Valley this evening I crawl under

            sheltering bushes

    Joined at the same stock, so close together they

            let no light through them...

    - Peter Reading, C, 1984

    September 28, 2008

  • Also a flower; see also Virginia stock

    December 31, 2007