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A stack is a type of data structure -- a means of storing information in a computer. When a new object is entered in a stack, it is placed on top of all the previously entered objects. In other words, the stack data structure is just like a stack of cards, papers, credit card mailings, or any other real-world objects you can think of. When removing an object from a stack, the one on top gets removed first. This method is referred to as LIFO (last in, first out).

The term "stack" can also be short for a network protocol stack. In networking, connections between computers are made through a series of smaller connections. These connections, or layers, act like the stack data structure, in that they are built and disposed of in the same way.

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Category: Technical Terms