Stock Meaning: Here’s What It Means and How To Use It

This guide will provide all the information you need on the meaning of stock. You’ll learn where it comes from, what it means, how to use it, and more.

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Have you ever wondered where the stock market gets its name? What does the word stock even mean? We use words every day without knowing their true meaning or the history behind thtem. Now, you can learn all of the definitions of the word stock — and trust us, there are plenty.

What Is the Meaning of the Word Stock?

The word stock has several meanings. It can also be used in several forms of speech. Stock is a noun, an adjective, and a verb. In fact, according to the dictionary, the word stock has over 50 meanings.

As A Noun

Stock has several meanings as a noun, including:

  • A supply of goods kept on hand in a store, a warehouse, or in inventory for sale to customers
  • Livestock (ex. Farm animals like cattle or sheep)
  • The main stem of a tree or plant
  • The stump or trunk of a tree that remains after cutting
  • A related group of plants 
  • A related group of animals such as a species
  • The person where a line of descendants originates or the original progenitor
  • A grouping of related languages
  • The handle of a whip or a fishing rod or similar items
  • The handle of a handgun or automatic weapon
  • Part of the support of a machine gun
  • A stupid person
  • A lifeless or senseless object
  • The main upright part of a supporting structure or anything
  • A wooden frame for securing an animal in a standing position
  • A framework used to secure a person’s head, wrists, and ankles in a former instrument of punishment
  • The frame for a boat to rest on while it’s being built or under construction
  • A vertical shaft that forms part of a rudder
  • The body of a carpenter’s plane
  • A specific quality of paper (ex. Card stock)
  • Raw materiasl used to create something
  • A broth or liquor made from boiling meats like chicken, beef, or seafood with or without vegetables or seasonings. The liquid is commonly used in soup, gravy, and sauces.

In addition to all of these, stock is a term in finance. Even under this definition, the nourn has several meanings:

  • The outstanding capital of a corporation
  • The shares of a corporation
  • The certificate of ownership of those shares

As An Adjective 

Stock as an adjective can have several meanings as well. Some of those meanings include:

  • Describing an item that is regularly kept on hand like for a manufacturer
  • Describing a person whose job is to care for items kept on hand (ex. Stock clerk)
  • Describing an object that is common or ordinary (ex. Stock photo)
  • Describing the breeding and raising of livestock
  • Relating to the stock of a company

As A Verb

Stock as a verb like other forms of the word can have a few meanings too. Here are some of the definitions of the word stock as a verb:

  • Furnishing a supply
  • Furnishing with livestock
  • Storing up enough for future use
  • Fastening to a stock like the butt-end of a rifle, handle of a shotgun, an anchor, a bell, etc.
  • Putting someone in the stocks as a punishment
  • Securing an animal to the frame of a plow

What Is the Origin of the Word Stock?

Stock comes from the Old English stoc that meant “trunk, block of wood, or post.” Stock also originates from Germanic stock, which meant stick. It also relates to the Dutch stok, which had the same meaning as the German stock.

The meaning of a fund or store came about from Middle English, but it’s unclear where this meaning truly originates.

When Do You Use the Word Stock?

Stock is most commonly used today to refer to stored items or the purchase of shares within a company. The buying and selling of corporation shares are done through the stock market. There are different types of stock:

  • Growth, income, and value stocks
  • Blue chips or penny stocks
  • Defensive or cyclical stocks
  • Common stock or preferred stock
  • Market capitalization based stocks 

Stocks are also called shares. Common shares mean that the stock a person owns allows them to share directly with the success or failure of a company. Preferred shares mean that the individual shareholder will be paid off first if a company goes under. Their dividends or earnings are given priority as well.

A dividend is ownership interest paid to shareholders for their stock or equity. Stocks are also considered assets because they can be liquidated. A shareholder with a large portion of stock in a company can have a controlling share of the company.

Stock is still used in a variety of other definitions as well. It’s likely an easy word to spot in your everyday life.

What Are Synonyms for Stock?

Synonyms are the best tool we have for finding words that mean the same thing to avoid redundancy in speech and text. Here are some synonyms for the word stock and its various definitions.

Stock as a Noun

Here are synonyms for stock as a noun:

  • Merchandise
  • Goods
  • Wares
  • Commodities

  • Capital
  • Asset
  • Property
  • Funds

  • Ancestry
  • Bloodline
  • Descent
  • Lineage
  • Line
  • Origin

  • Confidence
  • Trust
  • Faith

  • Airhead
  • Goof
  • Doofus
  • Oaf

Stock as a Verb

Here are synonyms for stock as a verb:

  • Sell
  • Market
  • Supply
  • Keep
  • Carry
  • Handle
  • Trade in
  • Provide
  • Offer

What Are Antonyms for Stock?

Antonyms are a valuable tool to describe the opposite meaning of a word. Here are some examples of antonyms for the word stock and its different meanings.

Stock As a Noun

Here are antonyms for stock as a noun:

  • Debt
  • Fact
  • Truth
  • Disbelief

Stock As a Verb

Here are antonyms for stock as a verb:

  • Spend
  • Take
  • Disperse
  • Dissipate
  • Divide
  • Give
  • Let go
  • Use
  • Scatter
  • Waste
  • Deplete

What Are the Right Ways To Use Stock in Past, Present, and Future Tense?

Writing a word in the correct tense is how the reader or listener can tell when an event occurred. The correct tense tells if an event is occurring in the present, has occurred in the past, or will occur at some point in the future. Here are the correct tenses for the word stock:

  • Infinitive: stock
  • Present participle: stocking
  • Past tense: stocked
  • Past participle: stocked

Examples of Using the Word Stock

Examples help give us a clearer picture of how best to use a word in context. Here are examples of the various ways to use the word stock:

  • I don’t put any stock in what he says.
  • She comes from good stock.
  • I hope they have my favorite cereal back in stock.
  • We spend a lot of our shift stocking the shelves.
  • He kept checking the value of his stocks.

The Last Word

In conclusion, a word like stock can have so many meanings that it can be difficult to know all of the potential meanings of a word you may hear all the time. Most definitions can be picked up from context clues, but it’s still good to familiarize yourself with the word’s usage and meanings.


  1. Stock Definition & Meaning | 
  2. The use of public corporal punishment up to the 19th century – Methods of punishment | BBC  
  3. Investing in Stocks – Types of Stocks – Types of Exchange Traded Funds | TAMU