Intermediate+ Word of the Day: stock

stock (noun, adjective, verb) /stɑk/ LISTEN

Chicken stock

Stock is the supply of goods in a store or warehouse or something that is kept for future use. In the business world, stock refers to the shares in a company the people can buy and sell in the financial market. Stock is also the liquid made by boiling bones of chicken, fish, etc., used for soups or sauces. As an adjective, stock means ‘related to the shares in a company.’ As a verb, stock means ‘to have a product in a store’ or ‘to keep for future use.’

Example sentences

  • The store manager has to make sure there is always enough stock.
  • I always like to have a good stock of chocolate in the cupboard.
  • The company was in trouble and had to sell off stock.
  • I need beef stock to make this soup.
  • Stock prices for this company have increased 20 percent over the last year.
  • My aunt always stocks her kitchen with canned food in case she gets snowed in in the winter.

Words often used with stock

in stock: available to buy; out of stock: not available to buy. Example: “We’re sorry but the item you ordered is out of stock. We will send it to you as soon as it is in stock again.”

put stock in something: believe in something: “I wouldn’t put much stock in his excuses. He’s always telling lies.” We often use this in the negative, with much–ie, “I don’t put much stock in what he says.”

stock up: to make sure you have plenty of something: “Helen was pleased to see her favorite wine was on sale and decided to stock up while she had the chance.”

take stock: look at and understand something: “At the end of the year a lot of people like to look back at what they have achieved and take stock before deciding what to do next.”

In pop culture

In the US, someone employed to stock the shelves in a store is called a stock boy. Click here to see a video about a stock boy for a famous brand of sneakers:

His accent may be a little hard to understand, but he talks about how important the stock boy is to the store and also talks about his interest in photography and art.

Additional information

Stock, or livestock,  is also a word for the animals on a farm. Example: “They grow soy beans and raise stock on the family farm.

Stock can refer to a person’s ancestry. Example: “Sheila doesn’t get sick very often; she comes from hearty stock.”

Other forms

stocky (adjective)


Stock dates back to before 900 and comes from the Middle English and Old English word stoc(c), meaning stump, stake, post, log; it is similar to the German word Stock and Old Norse word stokkr, meaning tree trunk.

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