General English

General Science

  • verb to provide a supply of something for future use


  • noun the available supply of raw materials
  • noun investments in a company, represented by shares or fixed interest securities


  • noun animals or plants that are derived from a common ancestor
  • noun a plant with roots onto which a piece of another plant, the scion, is grafted.
  • verb to introduce livestock into an area or into a farm


  • verb to hold goods for sale in a warehouse or store


  • material or devices readily available from suppliers.
  • The body or handle of a tool.
  • A frame to hold a die when cutting external threads on a pipe.
  • The total value of the equity in a corporation.


  • adjective kept for sale all the time
  • noun the quantity of goods for sale or kept available for use.
  • noun the total number of shares issued by a company
  • noun a share of capital held by an individual investor


  • water flavoured with extracts from herbs, spices, vegetables and/or bones by long simmering

Health Economics

  • (written as Stock)
    The quantity of an entity (like beds, or nurses, or health, or money) that exists at a point in time.

Information & Library Science

  • noun the total quantity of items available for use or sale

Media Studies


  • noun a quantity of supplies held ready for use


  • noun the quantity of goods or raw materials kept by a business
  • noun liquid made from boiling bones, etc., in water, used as a base for soups and sauces

Origin & History of “stock”

The word stock originally denoted a ‘tree-trunk’. It came from a prehistoric Germanic *stukkaz, which also produced German stock ‘stick’ and Swedish stock ‘log’. The lineal semantic descent to the stocks (14th c.), a punishment device made from large pieces of wood, is clear enough, but how stock came to be used for a ‘supply, store’ (a sense first recorded in the 15th century) is more of a mystery. It may be that a tradesman’s supply of goods was thought of metaphorically as the trunk of a tree, from which profits grew like branches; and another possibility is that the usage was inspired by an unrecorded application of stock to a wooden storage chest or money box. Stock ‘broth’ was so named (in the 18th century, apparently) because one keeps a ‘stock’ of it on hand in the stockpot, for use at need. The original notion of a stout piece of wood is preserved in the derivative stocky (14th c.), and also in stock-still (15th c.) – literally ‘as still as a log’.