Definition of stack up in English:

stack up

phrasal verb

  • 1Form or cause to form a large quantity; build up.

    ‘cars stack up behind every bus, while passengers stand in line to pay fares’
    • ‘Almost 1,000 people reported symptoms, and although no one died, every one of the 125 beds in the town's only hospital was filled, and patients were stacked up in the corridors.’
    • ‘It's not even the rainy season - or what we used to qualify as the rainy season, as if we knew anything about it in the first place - but the storms are stacked up out over the Pacific like pool balls on a billiard table and not a pocket in sight.’
    • ‘In times of extreme deadline crisis, when deadlines are stacked up all around the office like unexploded ordinance, lack of attention to personal hygiene is a professional survival mechanism.’
    • ‘Most of these devices have large amounts of system memory, so multiple tasks can be stacked up at once, and their big hard disks (usually around the 20GB mark) make storing contact information a simple business.’
    • ‘Straight away, after a cup of tea and an initial unpacking operation, stacking the washer up with a week's linen, he was off out to cut the grass.’
    • ‘When projects fall behind schedule, it seems to be because these particular employees are stacked up with work and can't adhere to the project schedule.’
    • ‘So I guess it counts for something then; it may not help stack the funds up in the bank account but at least the pressure can come off.’
  • 2North American informal Measure up; compare.

    ‘our rural schools stack up well against their urban counterparts’
    • ‘If funding is how the relative merits of departments and faculties were judged, then the humanities and social sciences stacked up poorly indeed compared to the practical disciplines.’
    • ‘And how do they stack up compared to the rest of us on health care expenditures?’
    • ‘How does your pay stack up… when compared to other facility professionals?’
    • ‘Find out how your income stacks up compared to the rest of the world.’
    • ‘How does the Federal Reserve System stack up in comparison with other central banks?’
    • ‘A look at how 1995 compares with other seasons shows how it stacks up against 1933 and other busy years.’
    • ‘It allows schools to receive comparison and external reviews to see how the institutions stack up, Blood says.’
    • ‘I wonder how other state champs would stack up if measured the same way!’
    • ‘And some say our nightlife doesn't stack up when compared to Leeds.’
    • ‘Wade is only one season into his tour of duty, but he is stacking up well in comparison to his predecessors.’
    1. 2.1usually with negative Make sense; correspond to reality.
      ‘to blame the debacle on the antics of a rogue trader is not credible—it doesn't stack up’
      • ‘Any way you look at it, the statement just doesn't stack up.’
      • ‘Sorry but what you said just doesn't stack up with the odds.’